About Me

This blog is dedicated to my General Psychology (PSY 101) courses at Austin College (AC). Starting Fall semester of 2014, I’m having my students create blogs as a way to extend their learning outside the classroom, broaden their conceptualization of academic writing, and develop technological skills. Throughout the semester, I’ll be posting our weekly writing prompts as entries on this blog and once students have written their posts I will include links to their blogs (with their permission of course). I invite you to follow along as we move through our survey course in psychology and encourage you to leave comments and questions on the student pages.

I may from time to time blog along with my students this semester, so you can see my thoughts, ramblings, and amusing (to me at least) anecdotes on some of our course topics.

I suppose at this point I need to introduce myself:

My name is Ian MacFarlane, and I’m an assistant professor in the Psychology department at Austin College in Sherman, TX. I received my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota in the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology department. I’m trained as a researcher and as a psychotherapist, but my first love is teaching. At AC, I teach General Psychology and Research Methods, along with the clinical/counseling courses. I currently teach Psychotherapy & Assessment (PSY 282) and Psychopathology (PSY 281), and am developing upper-level courses designed to give students greater insight into the work of mental health professionals.

I love teaching General Psychology because it’s the class that got me started on the path to being a psychologist. I was on track to be a bio-medical engineering major at the University of Wisconsin when I took Introductory Psychology and never looked back. Aside from the fuzzy memories associated with the course, the mix of students from different majors makes the course special. It’s always fascinating to me to see the connections my students make when they approach the material from their various perspectives.

I’m originally from Minneapolis, MN, so moving to Texas has been quite a change for me. It did help spending a year in Logan, UT, where I completed my doctoral internship at Utah State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, as it got plenty hot there during the summer. I’m one of the weirdos who actually enjoys the cold and snow, which leads me to get weird looks when I’m walking around campus in December with just a long-sleeve shirt (it was like 48 degrees out), so I get a little pouty about the lack of snow here. I will admit, however, that having to shovel sidewalks and driveways is not something I miss.

When I have down time, I enjoy science fiction/fantasy, am a self-proclaimed and proud nerd, and a die hard MN Vikings and Timberwolves fan. If I wasn’t a psychologist, I think I would have made a heck of a wizard (just didn’t get an admission letter from Hogwart’s), but my career aptitude tests in junior high recommended I explore being a file clerk or librarian. I think I made a better choice for myself, and hopefully my students will agree.

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