Dr. Jamie Franco-Zamudio to present the “Last Lecture” March 11

Mon, 03/04/2013 - 3:15pm
Dr. Jamie Franco-Zamudio

MOBILE, Ala. – Spring Hill College's Last Lecture Series will continue with Dr. Jamie Franco-Zamudio, assistant professor of psychology, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 11 in the Gautrelet Room. Sponsored by Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit student honor society, the talk will focus on Franco-Zamudio’s personal life story and insights. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Franco-Zamudio received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2009. Her dissertation and current research, funded by an NIH National Institute of General Medical Science grant, focuses on gaining a greater insight into the ways that social and personal identities affect academic persistence in order to advocate for programming that meets the needs of students from diverse backgrounds.  

"My greatest joy comes from teaching,” said Franco-Zamudio, who was named the 2012-2013 Edward J. Moody, S. J. Teacher of the Year. “I appreciate the opportunity to share psychology with our students and strive to inspire students to incorporate psychological concepts in their respective fields of study and future careers. I aim to be relevant and to adapt to the changing needs of our students. I am certain I will continue to revise each of my classes until the last day I teach!”

Franco-Zamudio is currently working with the Assessing Science Inquiry and Leadership Skills (AScILS) team at UCSC to identify positive academic experiences (e.g., mentoring, programming) that affect retention. In addition, she is analyzing the results of the SHC Student Experiences Survey with her team of undergraduate researchers. They will present the findings at a campus-wide forum in April. Franco-Zamudio is also the co-coordinator, with Gentry Holbert, of the SHC Undergraduate Research Symposium held each year after the Honors Convocation.

“I feel that I have found my fit at Spring Hill College,” she said. “I am very committed to the mission – the concept of ‘cura personalis’ resonates with me. I enjoy participating in service (such as advising the Psychology club and Phi Mu, serving as a Donnelly Scholars mentor, and advising student research) so that I can get to know the students beyond the classroom."

The “Last Lecture” originated as a talk given to students at Carnegie Mellon University by Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science who was dying of pancreatic cancer. This extraordinary lecture, in which the professor opened up about his life, beliefs and struggles to students, resulted in an internationally best-selling book titled “The Last Lecture.”

For more information on the Last Lecture Series at Spring Hill College, contact Rev. Michael Williams, S.J., at (251) 380-4641 or mwilliams@shc.edu.