Q&A faculty spotlight: Lisa Cravens-Brown

August 3, 2023

Q&A faculty spotlight: Lisa Cravens-Brown

Lisa Cravens-Brown

Dr. Lisa Cravens-Brown is the Associate Vice Chair for Instruction and Faculty Honors Advisor in the Department of Psychology.

Please list your educational history including degrees earned and universities attended. 

I have a BA in psychology and an MA and PhD in child clinical psychology all from Ohio State.

Please describe your current research/creative activity or area(s) of interest.

My job primarily focuses on teaching and mentoring of teaching - the scholarship I engage in is part-time and focused on the emotional experiences of instructors in the assessment process and the emotional burden of vulnerable/contingent faculty - I work with a group of international scholars on these projects.

What/who influenced you to select your area(s) of study and how has that impacted your career?

I started out wanting to be a researcher, then a clinician/therapist. Over time, I realized that teaching and understanding teaching was the thing I am most passionate about.  I have had a number of really powerful mentors on my journey and am grateful for them all.  

What undergraduate classes do you teach? 

In AU23, I'm teaching a 500-person section of Intro Psych! This is the first time it has been offered in a lecture/recitation format and I'm really excited to do the lecture portion and mentor a group of graduate students through teaching for the first time as recitation leaders. I also teach the History of Psychology course every other year and Psychology of Gender whenever I get a chance.  I lead a cohort of undergraduates as teaching mentees in the department of psychology, which is a credit-bearing experience for them.

Why do you think a student should take these classes and, if appropriate, why would they be of interest to students majoring in other disciplines?

As psychology majors, I strongly believe that you must understand the history of your discipline in order to change it for the future - I also love the Intro Psych class - it contains all of the cool things about the field that I've been in love with for over 30 years! Intro Psych is interesting to anybody interested in humans - I consider it The hub science 🙂

What aspects of your teaching give you the most satisfaction?

Being a part of student growth is fantastic - sharing new information and processing what it means is really rewarding - getting to know students, their lives, and their dreams is also definitely one of my favorite things

If there are opportunities for undergraduates to connect with you for research or creative activity, please share what this would be and how students should reach out to you.

My office is always open to students interested in talking about ways to get involved with me or in the psychology department - my email is cravens-brown.1@osu.edu and I welcome anybody to shoot me an email or to drop by to meet me so that we can get to know each other a bit.

What book/movie would you recommend or what music do you enjoy? 

I just saw the Barbie movie...what a brilliant piece of work that was. I am very interested in gender, sexism and sexuality and that movie really showed an advanced understanding of the problems we face and some solutions that were depicted in such a human, warm and funny way. I also love documentaries - one of my favorites is The Mask You Live In, which is about the gender socialization of boys - really fantastic.

What is the most interesting place you have visited? 

I love Germany very much - so beautiful and so much history. I also love Italy. We took a trip to Cremona a few years back, where there are like 150 violin makers and you can watch them make the violins - it was awesome.

What is the best advice you have received? 

If you take some things off your plate, you think you'll miss them but you won't - take care of yourself rather than take on all the things.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students? 

You only get to be an undergraduate once - don't pile up your life with responsibilities and forget to enjoy this time - take as many classes as you can from other disciplines and enjoy being a tourist in those interesting fields - remember that learning is SO fun...if you aren't finding it fun, figure out why and re-focus your energy on why you wanted to be here in the first place.

Feel free to stop by my office hours.

I love to talk about theater, psychology, pets, food, movies and books - I'm pretty open to talking about everything - I just like to have conversations! 

Would you like to share a fun/interesting fact about yourself?

My wife & I teach blacksmithing at a camp for 8-14 year old girls in Portland, Oregon in the summertime; I do a lot of stained glass work; I do community theater and am directing a show in autumn 2023; I'm a 3rd generation Buckeye & my kids are 4th generation Buckeyes!

Learn more about Professor Cravens-Brown's work, email and office location on her department page.

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