SSU Psychology degree develops versatile career opportunities

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — Taking an Introduction to Psychology class that was taught by his father at his local community college, Dr. Darrell Rudmann had the ability to explore how he could establish a career in Psychology.

“I had a very good role model in my father,” he said. “Due to him, I had some ideas that a class could be topical, engaging, and involve projects and in-class activities beyond lecture.”

Continuing his education to eventually earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Dr. Rudmann found his passion for Psychology by working as part of a grant in his college years helping to collect and access data on student progress.

“The idea of being able to create knowledge to help students by collecting and tabulating performance was very appealing to me,” he said. “It was the combination of helping others while incorporating data analysis and technical skills.”

As a professor at Shawnee State University for over fifteen years, Dr. Rudmann is currently a Professor of Psychology and the Chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences. He first found his way to SSU when he saw the university was looking to fill an educational psychologist position on a tenure-track.

“What has been best for my teaching has been the trust and flexibility afforded by my peers and supervisors to experiment and try out different activities and approaches in class,” he said. “Not all institutions and departments permit that freedom.”

Allowing students to gain a general overview of the field of psychology through courses ranging in topics, Dr. Rudmann has been able to offer a flexible curriculum in his classes.

“I was able to take a Cognitive Psychology class to an escape room in town to experience and reflect on the nature of group problem-solving,” he said. “The same class worked with LEGO robots to build simulations of thought and behavior in a real-world environment they develop.”

Sharing his experiences in teaching, Dr. Rudmann knows how versatile a degree in Psychology can be depending on a student’s interest and career plans.

“Psychology, like all liberal arts majors, is flexible,” said Rudmann. “It’s a good mix of practical skills like writing, speaking, and working in groups, along with skills in data analysis and an emphasis on brain functioning.”

To learn more about Psychology at Shawnee State University, visit

Staff report