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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published 2014/10/13 






Amy and David---Photo stored on Google Drive


Two soon-to-be graduates Phoumany and Ryan

Ryan and Phoumany

Amy Peterson

Four years ago, I anxiously started my career as a Psychology Research Assistant for none other than the “psychology professor with the big beard,” Dr. David Simpson. Our first encounter was delayed because after receiving my assignment and seeing his picture, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work for him; what a typical precocious freshman I was! But after meeting him and learning the ropes from the God-like junior and sophomores, I finally began to feel comfortable in Dr. Simpson’s neighborhood. Looking back, I can hardly believe how much has changed. Time has transformed me, well, all of us. Sitting in the office, reflecting on my future after Carroll in December, I’m nostalgic for those years. Our accomplishments are innumerable, from silly videos and webcasts to struggling through SPSS for the first time to Survey Monkey and our pilot course in global connections through technology.
Dr. Simpson always brings light and fun into the office, even when he has stuff to do. He continuously checks in with us, jokes about his Chi Tea Lattes, and tells stories about dear Robin, the Newf. Working with Dr. S has turned me from a precocious first-year student to a slightly cynical, confident, and “sassy” senior with smarts to match, so he lets me think! Our S-Team is my work family, and as an old, it’s especially odd that Phoumany and Ryan aren’t still here working with us as they had for three years prior.
Life in David’s land is a never-ending adventure full of learning, fun, and family.

Gracie Bubnik

My time in Mr. David’s neighborhood has been limited because this is my first year. I had heard through the grapevine that there was a waiting list to become one of Dr. Simpson’s research assistants, and somehow, I was given one of the positions! When I received the email, I was excited to be given this opportunity! Then I was on mycarrollu.edu looking up my class schedule and realized he was one of my professors… I was terrified to begin my time as one of his research assistants. I was nervous that he would bring up class work during work and work during class. But we are here two months later, and I have learned that I can apply what I remember during my career to my classwork and vice versa.
I know I haven’t been here as long as many other research assistants, but I have found this little lab near his office very comforting. The family-type relationship I have formed with the other research assistants and Dr. Simpson is something I look forward to building.


Jamilyn Smolik

I started this journey with Dr. Simpson in the spring semester of my sophomore year as one of his Psy205 students. At first, I was highly intimidated by him because I was still a very shy, insecure underclassman with little self-confidence and much to prove. I have learned that he is not as intimidating once you get to know him and is always around to help me whenever needed. After taking one of his classes, I wondered if he had any openings for faculty assistants the following year. Because I was not very assertive or timely, I waited to contact him the following fall when school began again. I received an email saying he would enjoy my help and welcomed me to his team.
After being shown the ropes by some helpful upperclassmen, I have become quite comfortable working in the office. I now also help the newbies get affiliated and comfortable with working in the office. I enjoy helping/working on ‘up and coming’ projects Dr. Simpson participates in outside the Carroll environment. All of his projects provide excellent networking opportunities not only for himself but for us, the student workers as well. As for the other student assistants, I have become wonderful friends with all of them. It is as if we are one big, work family. We sometimes get on each other’s nerves, but like family, we make up and act as if nothing ever happened. As I finish my final year at Carroll, I look back and am so thankful for the opportunity I have been granted to work under Dr. Simpson. I am also grateful I took the initiative to push myself in a direction that will impact my future.

Copy of Maxine

Maxine Venturelli

As a freshman, I remember being assigned to Dr. Simpson as a faculty assistant for my work-study program. I took a breath and turned the doorknob into Dr. Simpson’s office to meet him for the first time. I was so nervous! What I did not know at the time was that I was walking into a place where I would make some great friendships and learn many things from the one and only Dr. Simpson. Starting as acquaintances, they soon became my S-team family. See, these people are not just peers but people who I look up to and admire. I was reticent and shy for the first few weeks working for Dr. Simpson, but that quickly changed. I slowly started to open up. Dr. Simpson takes the time to get to know every one of his faculty assistants. He has challenged me to improve my weaknesses while encouraging me to use my strengths. Over the years, there have been a multitude of projects that have taught me to collaborate with my fellow workers. Although we did not always agree, we always ended up finding a solution in the end. One of the most memorable projects that we completed my sophomore year included creating our course that focused on culture.
Along with the project, we were each given an iPad. I loved participating in this project because I desire to become a teacher! Working with Dr. Simpson is a privilege. He involves us in projects and opportunities that are meaningful. I have so many memories that have accumulated over the years. My experiences here have shaped me into not only a better student but a better person. I will greatly miss the time spent in Dr. Simpson’s office when I graduate this spring.

Copy of Liz

Liz Firkus

Looking back on the past four years gives me such a bittersweet feeling. It seems surreal that I and several other S-Team members will walk across the stage at graduation in just a few short months. I remember walking into Dr. Simpson’s office for the first time, feeling terrified. However, this did not last long; Dr. Simpson and the other S-Team members quickly made me feel right at home. The first two years, we had the same six S-Team members who quickly became my family away from home.
As assistants, we always have work to complete, but Dr. Simpson ensures we have fun doing so. He always tells us the latest stories about Robin, The Newf, his big black Newfoundland “pup.” As an avid reader, Dr. Simpson makes it a habit of giving away books from his collection, so I always have a new book to add, a recommendation for something new to read, or someone to discuss Harry Potter with. Dr. Simpson has always played the role of a second academic advisor, advising about classes to take and what adjuncts he is familiar with and recommends. Working for Dr. Simpson has been a fantastic experience that has taught me so much that I will take with me when I leave Carroll. Any future students will be fortunate to be one of his assistants.