Professor Susan Hawes’ Global Perspective on Social Responsibility

Susan Hawes, PhD, professor and director of accountability research and director of assessment training and contracts, was interviewed for an article, “Social Responsibility: Psychologists Address Global Community,” in the November 2009 issue of New England Psychologist. An excerpt from the article follows:

While attending a conference in South Africa four years ago, the country’s extreme poverty deeply touched her. “Poverty has a huge damaging effect. It limits your ability to participate in a democratic society,” she says.

This past summer, she and a student traveled to Soweto where they performed psychological and educational assessments on children between the ages of six and fifteen who were HIV+ and had been identified by a non-governmental organization (NGO) as having serious cognitive difficulties. Not only did her research yield important findings, but she also underwent a personal transformation. “When you work with people not like ourselves, it’s an incredible growing experience,” Hawes says. “You come away from it a different person.”

In the classroom, Hawes attempts to apply divergent thinking to her lessons. “History looks at psychology and its social context and how psychology has influenced society, how encouraging reflexivity can be a means to enhance communication,” she says.

Read the full article here.