doug pups Edson Fitcher June 2015.JPG

The Roadmap of My Life in Academia

Life entails a variety of choices, which hold consequences and opportunities. My life has been filled with many decision points which have made my journey much different than most. This is not to be construed in a negative light; rather, it is a path that provided me with a unique perspective to the academic world.

My journey began in Alamosa, CO, where I started my post-secondary education as a wildlife biology major at Adams State University. However, I soon realized that was not a desirable trajectory for me. Rather, while completing my general education requirements, I discovered the enjoyment of posing and answering questions about human behavior and its consequences through scientific inquiry – psychology. After several semesters of coursework, I also undertook a minor in Business Administration. While this minor was distinct, this discipline was one with many connections to psychology.

I chose to take an alternate, more scenic, route before entering a doctoral program in psychology. This path involved the completion of an MBA with an emphasis in Leadership, also from Adams State University. To this I can say with certainty, there is nothing but value added from this choice. With increased focus being placed on the interdisciplinary research, I am in a unique position to view theoretical and applied problems from divergent, yet often unifying, lenses.

Upon entering Idaho State University’s PhD program in Experimental Psychology, I began studying the accuracy of person perception with a goal to understand the practical value for organizations. Notably, in my comprehensive exam (an integrative theoretical paper) I suggested that an implicit assumption of most leadership theories is that successful leaders have accurate perceptions of their followers. Yet, empirical work on this fact is absent from the literature. Thus, I have incorporated this into my program of research.

Recently completing my doctoral work, I am currently an Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development in the Organizational Learning & Performance Department at Idaho State University. This temporary (i.e., non-tenure track) position is an ideal opportunity to combine my expertise in organizational issues and human behavior. Specifically, I teach courses on the optimization of human capital and delving into topics such as leadership, workplace training and evaluation, and human resource development.

You can follow this link to see my full curriculum vitae.