Q&A with Ethan Van Norman, assistant professor at Lehigh University and school psych alumni

Ethan Van Norman, school psychology alumni, PhD ‘15, is currently an assistant professor of

school psychology at Lehigh University. Previously, he worked at Georgia State University as an assistant professor. In his current position, he teaches graduate level school psychology courses, conducts research, and mentors and advises graduate students.

We asked him some questions about his experience in the school psychology program, here’s what he said:

Q: What did you enjoy most about your experience in your program?

“One of the great things about the University of Minnesota is that it tends to attract highly motivated students. At the same time, there was a general atmosphere of collaboration, so everyone tended to help everyone out. Group assignments didn’t feel like a chore and everyone celebrated everyone else’s successes. I think much of this stemmed from the efforts and expectations laid out by the faculty members of the program.”

Q: Do you think your educational experience was typical? Why or why not?

“I don’t think that the school psychology program at the University of Minnesota is typical. The combination of 1) applied experiences, including those that occur very early in the program, 2) rigorous research expectations and experience of the faculty, 3) availability of externally funded projects, and 4) quality of programs outside of school psychology that students can take classes in and collaborate with (e.g., special education, quantitative methods etc.) is remarkable.”

“I knew that Minnesota was a strong program while I was attending, but I did not realize how atypical the level of that quality was until I became a graduate educator.”

Q: Do you have a productivity secret that helped you get through school?

“I do not think there is a secret to productivity. The simplest way to write more is to write more. The simplest way to complete class assignments is to make them a priority and dedicate the time to complete them – no matter what. Development and growth is expected, but you have to be willing to put in the work and be able to constructively use the feedback that will come your way.”