Dr. Kiersten Baughman
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in a suburb of Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky.
I went to Morehead State University, a small state school similar to VCSU, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky for college, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and Spanish as a graduate of the honors program. I went to the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, for my master’s in psychology and my doctorate in social psychology.
What led you to become a professor at VCSU?
The first teaching experience was my very first semester in graduate school, where a clerical error led to me teach my own section of a Research Methods lab with 14 students. I had dabbled in teaching younger students in various volunteer positions, but that first class showed me how much I love the classroom and began my trajectory towards becoming a professor.
I attended an “R1” or a research-focused institution for graduate school (University of Oklahoma), which primarily trains students for careers that require lots of continued research productivity. As I gained new experiences as a graduate teaching assistant doing a large variety of classes, it became clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to continue teaching a variety of classes as a professor.
While I was still working on my dissertation, I landed my first full-time teaching position at Ball State University, a one-year position that I very much enjoyed. From there, I went to a small private institution in central Pennsylvania for another one-year position, then back to my home state of Kentucky, and now I’ve found my way to VCSU.
What attracted you to Valley City State, and what’s kept you here?
I am completing my second full year here at VCSU.
Vikings are some of the most enjoyable students I’ve had the pleasure of working with across my years in higher education! I love the small class sizes, getting to know students as individuals in addition to their academic and career interests, and I always enjoy catching up with our talented and diverse student athletes at home competitions.
What’s the biggest takeaway so far from your experience with VCSU?
“We All Row” is truly a motto that all of us Vikings live by, and I love the sense of community we have here at VCSU!