With higher education running deep in her family, some may say that Maya Gordon, Ph.D., was destined to become an educator. Her father, grandfather, and grandmother were college professors.
She says she "inherited a legacy of teaching and mentoring." She continues that tradition and in fall 2008 became an assistant professor in Cabrini's psychology department.
Gordon's teaching style is rooted in a commitment to the academic growth and development of her students. Her primary goals as an educator are to teach the basic concepts of the course; to teach students to think critically; and to help each student develop his/her individual voice.
"Learning is fun," Gordon says. "Critical thinking is essential. Knowledge should be shared. These are the core values that shape my teaching philosophy."
In 2008, Gordon's article, "Media contributions to African American girls' focus on beauty and appearance: Exploring the consequences of sexual objectification," was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 32. In 2007, she co-authored "Distorted reflections: Media exposure and Latino adolescents' conceptions of self" in Media Psychology, Vol. 9.
Gordon continually tries to absorb more information about psychology. Her research interests include media influences on the development of children and adolescents; media portrayals of race and gender; self-esteem and identity development among youth of color; and race and gender as contexts for human development.
Gordon earned Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta.
Gordon says that continuing her family's legacy by strengthening and enriching herself as an educator is immensely satisfying.
"Because I learned early on to appreciate the value of education," Gordon says, "teaching provides a sense of fulfillment that helps me grow as a scholar and a person."