From the evolution of the Department of Counseling and Industrial/Organizational Psychology, one can see the Department has gone through two transformations and been renamed twice. In the year since I became Chair of the Department, changes have continued; now we have added a new Clinical Psychology concentration to the undergraduate curricula. Forming three pillars of concentrations, Clinical Psychology together with the existing Counseling and I/O Psychology, is a cumulative effort building upon the present system.
Upcoming focus is adding Clinical Psychology concentration into the Master Program, together with the existing Counseling Psychology concentration. As the outlook from the National Health Research Institute for 2023, has shown a manpower shortage of 2,856~3,457 clinical psychologists, offering trainings for both clinical and counseling psychologists will allow students to have greater opportunities in choosing various career paths. As a result, the Department may soon have a third name change to reflect the structure and content of this new development.
With any change comes uncertainty. We hope to ride the surging waves with good timing, and still keep clear direction and focus on good performance. Beyond the measurement of effectiveness within the department on key performance
assessment, I hope to bring more efforts to cultivate real quality talents. And what do I mean by quality talents?
Last year, after a round of advising beginning first-year students to become master’s program graduates, I was starting as an advisor with first-year students again. I have been thinking how I will encourage these students and what experiences I can bring to help shape them. At the first meeting with the class, I announced that I have a personal mission to help each student to become a confident person capable to presenting themselves well to others.
I hope that students dare to be seen and heard, can cultivate their own
perspectives, and be able to act independently. Taking initiative and being willing to stand up and ask questions is an external sign of presence with confidence; however, being able to stand up and articulate complex ideas and concepts requires more on the inside. In other words, I hope that the students of the Department, during four years of undergrad or their years of master program study, can learn to think critically, to read positively, to inquiry actively, to play heartily, to behave proactively, and ultimately, to express themselves freely. There are many courses and activities in the Department, students will have ample opportunities to exercise, to develop confidence, to seek answers, to take responsibilities, and to meet challenges.
While inner and outer personal strengths are highly relevant, there are also important virtues I am looking to cultivate, such as one's character in the self-expression. The spirits of integrity and discipline, in my opinion, are of utmost importance. Concerning integrity, I interpret it as truthfulness, uprightness, and sincerity. Regarding discipline, I expand its meaning more broadly as meaning to respect oneself as well as others, concern with relationships and boundaries, and being to articulate one's mind while being open and rational. I personally believe if one has both integrity and discipline, even if one does not do well academically, many people in business will be happy to hire such person. Therefore, I hope that the students of the Department, by the time they are graduating, have learnt to have grace, openness and confidence to present themselves well to people with their personal and professional demeanor.
I think psychology is an inviting subject. Often people think that a scholar or a disciple of psychology must have learnt the capability to see into other people's mind. Yet there are many people specializing in psychology who would quickly deny that. Personally, I think that if I have chosen psychology as my major, yet I do not understand people more than others, I would be wasting my time. Knowledge of psychology can be very useful and complementary to almost all other academic disciplines. Perhaps one day we will elect a national president who also has a major in psychology, which is likely to make this world a better place. The possibility exists that such a future president will be an alumnus from our Department.
Juno ChunLin Ju, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Social Worker
July 8, 2016