Member Spotlight: Diane

Member Spotlight,

Meet Diane Hall!

DianeDiane was born and raised in in western Massachusetts, a place she still calls home. "It’s where I learned to be tough on the outdoor skating rinks and by climbing trees; where I discovered the value of family and community engagement; where I developed my compassion for others; and where I uncovered the beauty in nature through camping." She is a Professor of Psychology at Bay Path University.

Tell us a bit about what you do at your organization. 
I have been with Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA since 2004. I started as an adjunct professor and was hired as a full-time faculty member in 2006 to focus on our traditional undergraduate forensic psychology program and work towards further developing and growing the program.
As a full-time Professor of Psychology, I work with students in various capacities such as teaching, advising, mentoring, and I serve as the Advisor for the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.
Tell us more about yourself! 
I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, and a Clinically Certified Criminal Justice Specialist. I obtained an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology to support my teaching practices. I have worked and trained with various populations over the years in different settings including an inpatient psychiatric unit; a multicultural outpatient setting; and as a triage clinician in a behavioral health hospital. The work I found most fascinating was working in an adult jail as a forensic clinician and working with youth in the Department of Youth Services.
Through these experiences I became aware of the need to prepare students beyond their coursework in the classroom. I envisioned a forensic psychology program to be more than students reading a textbook. Undergraduate students need opportunities to gain experience, network, increase their confidence, and be able to explore their interests. Experiential education also allows students to see the complexities and integration of community systems and become familiar with community resources and treatment options. Over the years students have participated in activities in collaboration with the local sheriff’s department including an educational experience sharing a classroom with adult female offenders; contributing to the Community Accountability Board evaluating offenders prior to release; Addiction Services; and the Counter Criminal Continuum (C3) Policing. Students also participated in a book club with incarcerated youth.

What excites you when you think about the future of Experiential Education?
When students obtain internship opportunities or employment as a result of experiential education, the value of hands-on experiences is validated. Experiential education will always play an important role in career readiness.
Who or what inspires you?
I ask a lot of my students and I know it. I challenge them to be curious and step out of their comfort zone and try something new. The students put their trust in me as they complete these experiences, and I’m amazed at the courage many of them show. They inspire me as I see their confidence grow and their ability to apply what they have learned to their setting and population. When they notice racial disparities, how mental health and addiction issues affect the individual, family, or community, or when they get angered by observed biases and stigma, I am optimistic these students will make positive contributions to our world.
In your free time, we can probably find you:
I’m on a mission to visit all the MLB ballparks in the country. I’ve been to 14 parks and am eager to finish the list.
How long have you been involved with AEE?
I joined AEE in 2021. I presented at the conference and was drawn to the sharing of ideas and experiences.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Member of AEE?
I enjoyed seeing the diversity of projects and learning opportunities my colleagues are implementing.

Find Diane here:  Tel (413) 565-1014

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