Alicia Askew graduated summa cum laude from PC in December 1992 as valedictorian of her class and senior of the year for the psychology department, and in 2004, Askew returned to her alma mater as an assistant professor of psychology.
In regards to her return to PC, Askew said, “I was thrilled to join a department comprised of professors that I had admired and who had more than thoroughly prepared me for graduate school. The other psychology professors and many other professors at PC—like Dr. Dean Thompson and Dr. Brian Beasley—helped shape who I am as a professor and researcher.”
Throughout her time as a psychology professor, Askew has always striven to prioritize her students, and this goal has materialized in numerous ways. She has mentored approximately 20 students for research in the forms of honors research projects, independent studies, and summer fellows projects. “These opportunities have been some of the most personally rewarding and enjoyable teaching experiences. Mentoring has allowed me to spend time with bright, motivated students who share their enthusiasm and joy of learning,” she said.
“Dr. Askew has had a huge impact on my life,” said senior Ervina Desaussure. “She gives great advice on school work and also gives unique insight into any personal decision that I have come to her with. She provides another idea that I usually have into looked at. When it comes to PC, I believe her biggest contribution has been the knowledge she has shared with students through classes, internships, and bonds that she has made with us. It is something I’ll value for years to come.”
Askew led Maymester trips in both 2012 and 2014, along with Dr. Sharon Knight of the modern foreign languages department. In June 2014, Askew also met on behalf of the College with psychology faculty from Lillehammer University College in Norway to discuss the development of a study abroad summer program and the possibility of a dual-degree program with their new Masters in Sports Psychology.
As the department chair for the psychology department from 2011-2015, Askew saw the department grow by about fifty percent. In January 2016, she was named the Dean of Academic Programs, a position through which Askew is now responsible for issues related to academic advising, registration, the First-Year Experience program, the bookstore, and other student items. She also works with the provost on matters related to the Honor Council and international programs.
“I would like to think that my efforts have influenced and will continue to influence students to become productive, moral adults who find fulfillment in the paths they follow after they leave PC and that they look back with appreciation at the years they have spent here. Honestly, I hope that I can give back, at least, some of what PC has given to me,” she said.
“Alicia, an alum of Presbyterian College, has continued in the tradition of challenging and top-notch psychology instruction in our department,” said Dr. Sarah Burns, assistant professor of psychology. “She has inspired many students through her research lab and has developed their desire for graduate work in experimental psychology. Now that she is in administration, even more students can benefit from her strong commitment to the traditions of Presbyterian College.”