CRYSTAL L. HARRIS
Assistant Professor, CAS
Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, Psychology
M.A. University of Notre Dame, Counseling Psychology
M.A. Garrett Theological Seminary, Pastoral Care & Counseling
B.A. Tuskegee University, Mechanical Engineering
As a social psychologist, Dr. Crystal Harris is engaged in social issues that affect both GSU and the Metro Chicago community. She looks at problems systemically and builds forums for ongoing dialogue about the needs and solutions to these issues. Dr. Harris' past research centers around financial stress, financial literacy and their impact on self-efficacy which is a topic relevant to most college students. Students under-prepared in the area of finances can attend workshops to learn to track spending and to process the anxiety that results from financial stress. Her background in counseling and mental health has been an asset to creating programs about others sources of stress, depression and suicide prevention.
Since coming to GSU in 2008, Dr. Harris taught undergraduate psychology courses in the Division of Psychology and Counseling. She also teaches the First Year Seminar Course called Interdisciplinary Humanities, and in August of 2017 she began a new position in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Experienced-based learning is fundamental to her teaching philosophy; she believes that creating community through service learning creates deeper processing of course material and strengthens student satisfaction with their education experience. This involvement "outside the classroom" often enriches academic performance and motivates her students to engage in advocacy and social justice in their own communities.
Outside the office, Dr. Harris has invested time serving GSU students as a leadership mentor, a club advisor, hosting programs and workshops as well as traveling with her student to present at professional association meetings. One of her greatest honors was being selected as GSU Advisor of the Year by student life. Receiving this honor was special because it required student nomination. It reminds her that mentoring students impacts not just the student, but their perception of the whole world.
Dr. Harris has two young adult children (Deborah, 20 and David, 25) who keep her current on social media. Her creative interests include blogging, visual art, and trying out new cultural experiences. For relaxation, she enjoys stamping greeting cards, beading jewelry, crocheting accessories and acrylic painting on canvas. The faculty in residence position has been an exciting opportunity for her to create and collaborate on student programming in a residential setting. She is excited to be a part of the Prairie Place family for a 2nd year and participate in the living and learning community.