Psychology and Human Service Studies Building opens to campus community

The Elon community held a special gathering on Thursday to explore a facility that now houses the psychology and human service studies departments, as well as the public health studies program.

Elon University faculty and staff got a look at one of the newest facilities on campus Thursday morning during a special College Coffee. The gathering was held on the lawn of the new Psychology and Human Service Studies Building on South Campus, just a short walk from Lindner Hall and the Academic Village. 

After enjoying Phoenix Blend and pastries, the crowd toured the building that was previously the home of The Elon School, a local private high school. Ownership of the facility changed hands in August 2012, and after extensive renovations it now houses the Department of Psychology, the Department of Human Service Studies and the Public Health Studies Program. The departments had previously occupied Long and Alamance buildings. 

Thursday’s gathering made for “an opportunity for all of us to spend some time together … and for those of us who have moved into this building to talk a little bit about our new home and share with others the new opportunities we hope to have here,” said Alan Scott, assistant professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. 

The building’s features include classrooms, computer labs, a wet lab and additional space for research. Scott says that means expanded opportunities for both students and employees, Scott says. 

“Faculty who are working in the neuroscience area need lab space that’s a little bit different than what everybody else has,” he said. “We’re excited to have space that’s tailored to them.” 

Beth Warner, associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Service Studies, is equally excited for the new opportunities the refurbished building offers. 

“We now have the latest technology, which is going to be so helpful to our students and to our research as well,” she said. “Faculty and students will be able to engage in experiential learning as well as research [and] have a lot of hands-on experience.” 

Warner says her department’s students often engage in role-playing scenarios as part of their learning process. Technology in the building will allow an instructor observing one of those exercises from a separate room to wirelessly communicate with students who are wearing earpieces while taking part. 

“It’s a real new beginning for us,” she said. “Everybody involved is very excited. Change is difficult sometimes, but we have so many positive new opportunities here that I think it’s made it a whole lot easier to move and get used to new office space.” 

Both Warner and Scott say the facility is set up to boost faculty and student engagement. 

“One of the great things about this building is it has lots of space for students to gather and work together [and] to interact with faculty,” Warner says. “We’re looking forward to that change.”