When Dr. Kulwinder Kaur-Walker, the advisor for the Psychology Club sought a keynote
speaker for the Psi Chi Honor Society induction ceremony, she found a friendly face
in the crowd-a retired faculty member and a member of Psi Chi-Dr. James E. Hedgebeth.
Hedgebeth said encouraging the next generation to advance the study of psychology
has long been a mission for him. As a result, he was happy to recognize this semester's
honorees for their academic accomplishments:
Stacy Edwards of Portsmouth, Va.,
Angel Bunton of Harrisburg, Pa.,
Lucas Olson of Kill Devil Hills, N.C.,
Mitzi Jordan of Edenton, N.C.
Kenesha Pender of Wilson, N.C.,
Hedgebeth was a psychology professor at ECSU from 1982-2002. Other institutions the
U. S. Army veteran taught at include Allen University in Columbia, S.C., North Carolina
A&T State University, Norfolk State University, Hampton University, and Old Dominion
University. His career began in the early 1960s and spanned two decades. His generation
of psychology professors witnessed a great deal of progress in the field of psychology.
He recalled the days when graduate school psychology programs accepted few students,
maybe eight or nine a year. Graduate school programs in the South rarely accepted
Black students. His generation pursued master's and doctoral degree programs in the
Northeast, Midwest and states in the western segment of the nation. Hedgebeth is
pleased to see the list of universities that welcome students today and the additional
options for college majors.
"In the old days, when you mentioned psychology you were talking about some study
of behavior, particularly the abnormal behavior of a person. It is now more broad-based,
not limited to counseling sessions, mental health issues, working with a hypothesis,
rats or chimps in a laboratory," Hedgebeth said.
"Now you hear more about the psychology of consumerism, psychophysics, psychoeconomics,
sports psychology that is designed to help athletes perform better. There are great
expectations and challenges for our graduates but great rewards in these type jobs."
Advisors for the Psychology Club and local chapter of Psi Chi are Dr. Kulwinder Kaur
Walker and Dr. Jill Haasch.