After 18 years, psychology professor Diana Kyle, who has been an integral part of the campus community, will be retiring from Fullerton College.
Kyle got her start in 1996 teaching her own classes general psychology, statistics, and research methods.
She was simultaneously teaching several research methods lab courses at Claremont Graduate School, now known as Claremont Graduate University.
“I eagerly approached my career with vim and vigor,” Kyle explained, “I did my best to create classes that would provide a rich and rewarding learning environment.”
“I set the tone so that students would know I cared about them, their education, and would help them navigate the journey,” continued Kyle.
Kyle revealed her enthusiasm as she shared the pivotal moment of her start in higher education instruction.
“When I taught my first statistics class,” Kyle said, “I realized I loved the interaction with students and the challenge to communicate complex information.”
“It was fun,” Kyle admitted, “I realized I like teaching best. Research didn’t have to be my primary focus.”
Regarding her interest in the subject of psychology, Kyle was fascinated by the variety of concepts studied by many social and research psychologists: social cognition, stereotyping, attitude formation, decision-making, and other aspects dealing with the social world from an individual perspective.
She joined the Fullerton College faculty in fall 1999.
During her tenure at FC, Kyle became heavily involved in campus life and leadership.
She taught a multitude of psychology classes, on-campus as well as online, while generating opportunities for student involvement, internships, and research experiences.
“My relationship with students was that of mentor,” Kyle explained, “They know that I would spend whatever time was needed to help them in whatever way possible to help them achieve success.”
She also shared the rewarding feeling and the honor to mentor her research students.
“They could have professional experiences of presenting their own research at conferences so they can feel that they were part of the field,” said Kyle.
At the end of the day, to Kyle, it is essentially all about the students and guiding them down the pathways to their own success.
“I never felt like I went to work. I loved interacting with students, mentoring them. I hoped each day I could make a positive difference in one or more of their lives.”
Kyle earned the Educator Recognition Award in 2011 as she was chosen by one of her students. Kyle revealed, “As an educator, that was the most influential and inspirational in [my] life.”
She also earned the Victim Service Award in 2016 for her leadership in bringing awareness to sexual assault and human trafficking.
Kyle introduced the annual Clothesline Project event to Fullerton College, hosting workshops to raise sexual assault awareness and prevention strategies as well as recruiting volunteers for the Sexual Assault Victim Service Prevention Program.
Her experience at Fullerton College also expanded into chairing several different committees on campus and the district.
“It was important that I take an active role in shared governance and do whatever I could to benefit our students and campus,” described Kyle.
Kyle was an integral part in the creation and approval of the Associate in Arts Degree for Elementary Education, which was the first of only three degrees of this kind in California around 2005-2007.
Kyle interacted with a lot of students over her years but she also worked along said many other professors at Fullerton College.
“I enjoyed working with many dedicated faculty members on committees, projects, and events,” Kyle explained,” I worked long hours with many of them.”
Throughout her career in education, Kyle drew inspiration from reading biographies, especially about “strong people who have overcome adversity and succeeded to make a difference.”
She cited author Maya Angelou and Steve Jobs as one of those individuals who have and still continue to inspire her.
Kyle is leaving the college to be amongst family in Texas with plans to write children’s books and a book on academic genealogy.
She shared some essential advice to future teachers in higher education, emphasizing the importance of mentorship as a professor.
“Make classes interesting so students want to learn,” Kyle noted, “Remember students have complex and high-demanding lives.
“Mentor students all the time. It is a privilege to have this opportunity,” continued Kyle.
Family and colleagues will be holding a retirement party for Kyle on Thursday May 25 at El Matador in Downtown Fullerton at 6:00 p.m.