Spotlight on New Faculty — An interview with Robert Griffo


Interview by Catherine Krawiec 
Photo by Dan Landau
Fairleigh Dickinson University welcomes Robert Griffo, assistant professor of psychology in the Maxwell P. Becton College of Arts and Sciences. Griffo has a master's and doctorate in psychology. While he himself was a student, he spent a lot of time working with students, as both a teaching assistant and a research assistant and this is where he discovered his passion about helping others achieve their goals.
GriffoFDU: Tell us about your new position...
Robert Griffo: I began teaching at FDU in 2010 as an adjunct professor and moved to a full time lecturer position in 2012. In the fall of 2014, I transitioned into an assistant professor spot. I've enjoyed teaching at FDU for the past several years but I'm extremely excited about my new position as an assistant professor: it has allowed me to become more active in the university by serving on faculty committees, and playing a more active role in my department. I'm the faculty editor of the psychology and counseling department's "Journal of Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences." This is a student run, peer-reviewed, academic research journal that spotlights undergraduate student research from all over the world.
FDU: How did you become interested in this field?
RG: I have always wondered why my brain doesn't know how my brain works. Humans are capable of so many amazing things, from logic and reasoning, to complex decision making, to creativity and artistic expression. But we often go through our days never thinking about how our minds are able to do all these things. Trying to understand how the mind works is what got me interested in the field of psychology.
FDU: What is something that you would like to contribute to FDU?
RG: Research is a very important aspect of psychology, but it is also a very useful skill to have in general. I would like to offer students more opportunities to gain first hand research experience.
FDU: What is something that you hope your students will take away from your class?
RG: People are complicated. I hope that my students will be able think more critically about themselves, and the world around them, rather than making snap judgments.
FDU: What is one piece of advice you can give to your new students?
RG: Take advantage of all the experiences and opportunities FDU has to offer. Universities are very special; no other place on the planet has such a vast collection of disciplines and professionals in one place. On any given day on campus you can talk to artists, computer programmers, mathematicians, historians, philosophers, biologists, chemists and many other scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Explore, and learn as much as you can. There is no other time in your life when your primary responsibility is to make yourself a more educated, well-rounded person. Take advantage of this!