A Matter of Course: Adult Development

By Brigid Hamilton, '06  |  Photo by Malia Leary

A Matter of Course offers a snapshot of a current University class.

Adult Development is taught by Michiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Iwasaki has taught psychology at Loyola since 2012. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Maryville University before earning her M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University. She received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in Indiana and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Adult Development is taught by Michiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology.

What is the focus of this course?

“This course addresses the physical, cognitive, social, and psychological changes that take place from early to late adulthood, with a focus on the complex interaction between nature and nurture. Students explore generational, cultural, socio-political, and environmental influences on adult development.”

What kind of topics do you discuss in class?

“We discuss relationships: intimate, family, friend, coworkers, and others.”

How does service-learning enhance this course?

“Working with adults at Oak Crest, the Senior Network of North Baltimore, the Cares Career Connection, and Esperanza Center, students have the opportunity to address social jus­tice-related issues and experiential learning while serving others in the local community.”

What do you hope students take from your class?

“I hope this course deepens students’ understanding of oppression, privilege, resilience, and the importance of human connection.”

How does this class prepare students for their future careers?

“In addition to what they learn in class, service-learning experience provides active engagement with community participants, which will be highly valued in their work­places and graduate programs, particularly in the field of psychology.”

What’s different about teaching at a Jesuit university?

“The Jesuit tradition commits to service both within and outside of the institution. I myself engage in caring and civic responsibility, and I am responsible for helping students to do so. And as a minority individual, my scholarship, research, and work focus on diversity (openness and celebrating diversity issues); community (commitment to working with local communities); justice (fostering sensitivity and support for those experiencing injustice); and leadership (developing leadership contributing to the common good).”

What a current student had to say about this course:

“My service takes place at the Cares Career Connection every Wednesday for two hours. There I work primarily with middle-aged and older adults; however, the ages of the clients vary greatly, and I have seen clients who are relatively young—in their 30s—and individuals who are in their 50s and 60s,” said Nona Sharp, ’18, a psychology major with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies from Philadelphia, Pa.

“This experience enhances what I am learn­ing in Dr. Iwasaki’s course, because it is important to understand how to interact with a group of older adults. Interaction and communication are so important in psychology, and this experience will be valuable as I begin to seek research and internship opportunities to enhance my résumé.”

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