Judy Eaton: As happy as can be

Dr. Judy Eaton, professor of psychology at Laurier Brantford. Aldo Zhang
Dr. Judy Eaton, professor of psychology at Laurier Brantford. Aldo Zhang

If you see Judy Eaton around campus, rarely will you see her without a smile. Eaton is happy as a psychology professor here at Laurier Brantford. Growing up in Brantford, Eaton moved away to study her undergraduate at McMaster, followed by a PhD at York. Eaton hadn’t considered Laurier Brantford, but her parents recommended applying, and she says it was the best decision she has ever made.

For Eaton, Laurier Brantford was a perfect fit geographically and she loves the campus. She enjoys her classes, in particular her Intro to Psychology course.

She comments, “It’s the time we can get students excited about psychology.” She shows that she gets enjoyment from others’ happiness.

A huge part of Eaton’s happiness is derived from her five year-old daughter. She is clearly one of the highlights of Eaton’s life. Eaton credits her daughter with giving her a different perspective on life.

“A walk that takes thirty minutes takes two hours instead,” says Eaton, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, a big part of her research involves examining different perspectives. While doing her master’s, she realized that she had been focusing on a lot of negatives and wished to change that. When she needed to write her PhD, she chose to focus instead on forgiveness.

She continues to apply this positive outlook to her life, as well as her research. When approaching a problem, she asks, “What kind of thing can I do to resolve the conflict? Rather than [focus on] how the conflict happens.” This way of looking at social psychology from a positive aspect has made research more enjoyable for her. Summers are free of teaching and offer more time to conduct research. She keeps busy, works very hard, and loves what she does. Although she loves teaching, it’s clear that she gets very excited about her research.

Students in Eaton’s classes have seen how she conducts herself, albeit limited to a professional role. She engages the class and listens to what people have to say, always eager to learn new things. Her voice conveys this tone of excitement, and yet has a calming effect. Her enthusiasm for class discussion shows that she’s happy doing exactly what she’s doing.

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