The Professor Chronicles: Erin Crockett
August 13, 2020
How long have you been teaching?
The first time I ever taught a course was at St. Edwards in 2008.
How long have you been at Southwestern?
I’ve been teaching here since 2011, but I’m also an alumna.
What inspired you to become a professor?
When I came to Southwestern, I wanted to be a lawyer, to be an advocate for children in the foster-care system. I majored in psychology because I enjoy research. That data-analysis side of psychological research drew me in, as did the topics I was studying: I was really interested in questions of gender in relationships and what that means for our psychological and physical health. I also loved teaching so much.
What is something your students would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a terrible speller, and my emails are full of grammatical errors unless I edit them 30 times.
When not working, you can find me …
Traveling and jogging. I started jogging as an undergrad at Southwestern. My first year, the lacrosse team needed a player, and I had never played a sport in my life, but at a small school, those things happen sometimes. For practice, we had to jog a mile, and I could never finish. A teammate helped me get up to five miles, and then I thought, “I’m going to keep going.” And before graduating, I ran a full marathon by graduation.
If you could have a drink at the Cove with anyone in the world, living or dead, what would the beverage be, who would the person be, and why?
My grandmother—because I miss her. I don’t care what we drink.
Describe your dream vacation.
I don’t have a dream vacation; I have a bucket list of places where I want to go. The easiest one is New Zealand. Then South America—I want to climb Machu Picchu and see the salt flats in Bolivia. But my favorite place that I’ve never been is Kenya. When I was a little girl, I did a research project on Kenya, and I’ve always wanted to go, but I’ve never had the opportunity.
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
Make time stop.
When you reflect on your time at Southwestern, what comes to mind?
What made me want to come back to Southwestern is that last line of our mission statement about making meaning and making a difference. In our curriculum, the thing that I’m proudest of is our social-justice tag. And I love how passionate our students become about different issues that are important to them and how they take that and do really amazing things.
What advice would you give students going into your field today?
For students going into my field, learn what open science is [a commitment to improving the openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scholarly research]. Slow down science, and do it right. Getting it right is more important than getting the publication.
For students in general, learn how to engage well with people from diverse perspectives. Learn from those perspectives even if you don’t ultimately adopt them. Take advantage of those conversations, learn, and let that be part of the identity formation that happens here at Southwestern.