“I like to create an atmosphere of intellectual and emotional play.”
Todd Van Denburg’s students help with all phases of his research, from investigating the existing literature, formulating research questions, and collecting and analyzing data to writing up the results.
This opportunity to gain independent research experience as an undergraduate seems to pay off. Van Denburg has former advisees currently on the faculty of such institutions as the University of Florida, Xavier University, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
From his perspective, Transylvania’s liberal arts curriculum gives students an advantage. Their exposure to a number of academic disciplines helps them understand that human behavior is influenced by multiple historical and cultural factors that may all affect an individual’s “biological, psychological, and social/cultural levels of motivation.”
In the classroom, Van Denburg likes to “create an atmosphere of intellectual and emotional play.” But “play” doesn’t necessarily mean only fun and games. Van Denburg maintains high expectations for his students, both in class and out of class. Through observing their classroom achievements and their campus activities, he enjoys seeing his students mature, both intellectually and emotionally, during their time at Transylvania.
In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Van Denburg maintains a small private practice, where he offers individual, couples, and family therapy. When time permits, he and his wife enjoy traveling to New York City to visit their daughter and indulge in the cultural experiences the city offers.