Testimony of Program Alumna


Whitley Mott

The psychology program has changed everything in and about my life. In this program I have transformed from a weak, confused, and unhappy person into a strong, confident, and happy young mother. Each instructor played a unique role in shaping me into what I am today. I was taught how to take what I was given and turn it into an amazing experience in school, as well as my everyday life. This program restored my self-esteem that I lost at age fifteen from being a teen mom, by establishing a sense of pride and dignity while being a part of this experience. Not only was my self-esteem back, I learned how to appreciate every tiny detail of my life while going through school and working two jobs. I learned how to utilize my time efficiently, create a passion for knowledge, and to overall love life. Here’s how it all began.

One hot summer day at New Horizon’s Daycare, I was teaching my 1-2 year old class as I had always. It was getting close to nap time and for more than one reason, I remember saying how I was so ready to get a new job. I had recently finished my Associate’s degree at Wallace and I was at a standstill with education. I was taking online classes when I went to Wallace. I remember every single day thinking that I’d never get the chance to get a real degree. I was discouraged because I didn’t know what I could do to continue my education so that one day; I could get a real job. The children finally went to sleep, and as I always did; I hid in the corner and pulled out my phone. I was scrolling through my school email account from Wallace when I saw an announcement that said, “Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Alabama State University in one year.” I quickly opened the email so I could finish reading it. I’m pretty sure my eyes welled up with tears. A prayer had finally been answered, and for once in my life I felt like something was made just for Whitley Mott. I finished reading the email and called my sister who was living in Washington D.C. at the time. I was so excited and she was excited for me. I hung up with her and called the school for more information. Before I knew it, I was communicating with Dr. Vazin about the courses. After quite a few delays, our first class started and this was when my world began to change.

All of the instructors in the program play a significant role in my positive experience in the program. It is almost as if they are an ecosystem, where everyone has their own niche. Each instructor added a unique spin to the program and combined together as one reckoning force. Dr. Blackshear was the first instructor I met. He definitely knows how to bring the heat. I was always so interested in his lectures and thought very highly of him traveling on Saturday’s to teach us in person rather than online. He encouraged everyone to be involved in class and taught me numerous life lessons.

Next was Ms. Thompkins who taught me at Wallace, she is one of the sweetest most sincere people I know. She knows how to connect with her students. I loved spending my Saturday’s with her. I thought the movies were a great way for us to learn. That semester passed along and I met Dr. Rossi. Dr. Rossi gets down to business. She comes across nice but she can be intimidating. Sometimes when you know you are in the presence of someone intelligent, it can be nerve-racking. She knows her stuff and she really cares about students retaining what it taught.

Onto Dr. Platt, with his name being said, let me say a big WWWOOOOWWW!!! I think I can decipher anything after taking him. I know one word that accurately describes him and it is thorough. Whoever is in charge of his payroll, I’m here to vouch that he earned it and there is something to show for it! All students need a “Dr. Platt” in their college experience, he is definitely an asset.

Let’s move on to Dr. Cothran, she’s like a little fireball. She is always so bubbly and nice and ready to challenge students. The best way to describe her is a good book that you just can’t put down. I felt that she really cared about me and my life. I loved that about her. Then along came Dr. Maggard. She is the most precise instructor I’ve ever seen. She may not know it but she played a huge role in me gaining my self-esteem back. Her words are smack full of impact. It can leave you speechless at times.

Moving on with Dr. Teague, the first word I think of is humility. He genuinely cared about everyone grasping what was being taught. He was very knowledgeable about the material he delivered. Moving right along on to Dr. Vazin, she is like a breath of fresh air. She is always so composed and rational. I seriously doubt she has a mean bone in her body. I think out of all classes, statistics was the hardest one to deliver to the students. She definitely had a challenge in front of her teaching a math class ONLINE!! She did a great job with the course.

Last we have Dr. Crowe who is happy go lucky. I like how he jokes with us in class. He does a phenomenal job teaching us how to treat people and accurately portraying how to live with, help, and learn from the disabled. Like I said before, all of the professors have taught me in more than one way. As a whole, they were all focused on really teaching. I am always proud to say I’m a product of the psychology instructors at Alabama State.

As with all things in life there are downfalls. In this program they definitely do not outweigh the advantages. One thing I would revise is the amount of time spent on Wimba at a time; I’m already away from my children enough with two jobs. When I get home it is still about me. Sometimes I just want to sit down after work and give my boys my undivided attention. (We all know that I’m not in class all the time because of my jobs but I’m referring to a day that I just work one shift and not early A.M to late P.M.) We just need to incorporate that family time. Aside from that some students try to manipulate others and use them for their gain. They may also lie to instructors about tests and other assignments. (I know they didn’t pull wool over all of the sheep’s eyes) Last, I would have loved a chance to intern, and I hate that I didn’t get that chance but I know doors will be opened other ways.

The advantages in the program long exceed the disadvantages. I loved the faculty and I felt as if they all had one common goal and that goal was to ultimately make us successful in every way possible. I liked being introduced to Wimba. If it weren’t for programs like this, I wouldn’t be able to further my education. While some people hated Saturday classes, I found them refreshing. They were an escape for me. I think they were the only thing that kept me sane in my life for a while. I also enjoyed just being on Alabama State turf. I think it’d be a good idea to have the next group come up more. It made me genuinely happy to be there.

The Accelerated Psychology program from Alabama State University created the most impact in my life imaginable. I don’t regret anything about it. I can truly say the instructors have changed my life and given me a variety of skills that I can use to better my life as well as my children. I appreciate all of the instructors for helping me in every way that they did. Sometimes speaking to my professors was my saving grace. My advice for the program would be to keep the same instructors because they are ultimately who we as students need in our lives. I love all the knowledge I gained from my psychology professors at A.S.U. Although I am still working two jobs, I know that sooner than later I will get a good job and will be able to spend my time where it is needed the most; with my kids. I thank everyone and especially Dr. Vazin for everything I have gained in this program. I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg because my journey in education has just begun, all thanks to a group of believers at A.S.U.