Dr. Martin Dawson
Associate Professor of Psychology
Phone: (325) 793-4618
Office: Old Main 305B
Dr. Dawson and Dr. John Eric Swenson discuss Freud on the radio show “The Professors”
Ph.D., Texas Tech University
M.A., Abilene Christian University
B.A., Trinity University
My passion for Psychology started as a college sophomore when I took a course in child development. I had experience working with children in a summer camp setting, so I knew I enjoyed kids. However, that class opened my eyes to many of the issues and ideas that I still find fascinating today, such as the way nature and nurture work together to shape each person’s unique developmental path.
Another major passion which has shaped my professional development has been my love for China. Upon graduation from Trinity University in 1986, I went to China for 2 years. Later as doctoral student in educational psychology at Texas Tech University, I received a Boren Fellowship to study Chinese. And after completing my doctorate, I spent 7 more years in China. In total, I have spent 10 years there doing things ranging from teaching to studying, to running a couple of businesses (including a Chinese restaurant), and engaging in some small scale community development projects. It has been a few years since I have been back, but I am still looking at possibilities for joint research. I am sure I will find myself back there again.
Here at McMurry, I tend to teach the “normal” courses — things like human development, social psychology, and learning. I also teach courses related to families and parenting (I hold a Masters degree in marriage and family therapy, and two years of my doctorate were actually in family studies).
Currently I am involved in both my own research and with collaborative research with undergraduates. My own work is a joint research and mentoring program at a local middle school here in town. I call that “my own research” — in fact I am being helped by a group of students from McMurry’s servant leadership program. Together we are studying the transition to middle school from the perspective of the students themselves. In addition to this, I am involved with a number of students who are working on developing their own original research projects for their senior theses.
I occasionally manage to have a life away from school — and perhaps it’s no surprise that there is quite a bit of overlap in my professional and personal life. I am happily married to my wife Lucy (for 16 years), and we have 3 children Timothy (11), Philip (9) and Miriam (7). We do all the normal family things such as soccer, cub scouts and family pets (2 dogs, 2 rabbits, 3 fish, and a cat). In addition to this we have a piece of land where I play with my latest toy — a 40 hp Chinese tractor.
Last but not least, as a family we are actively involved in Wylie United Methodist Church. Currently Lucy and I teach the college and career Sunday School class and host a college and career fellowship as well.