Our Faculty in Focus today is Dr. Elissa Abod, Lecturer and Assistant Program Director of UMBC’s IO Psychology Graduate Program.
Dr. Abod has over 15 years of applied research experience in the Washington, DC area. Her clients include the US Army, the FBI, the FAA, and state law enforcement agencies.
IO Psychology Career Path
Dr. Abod’s career path started out as a consultant in industrial organizational psychology. She enjoyed it so much, she decided to go back to school for her doctorate. After graduating she worked on contracts for defense department and intelligence agencies within the federal government. Through that, she developed areas of expertise in test development and validation, assessment training, and also organizational development. During that experience, she evaluated the climate of organizations and assessed employee attitudes.
Today Dr. Abod is a lecturer in UMBC’s IO Psychology Graduate Program. She enjoys teaching first year students the fundamentals of IO Psychology. Teaching the basic introductory course, she gets to build a working relationship with students early in their studies. “I can help them understand the foundations of IO Psychology. Also, I can get them to start to think critically about some of the issues and problems that occur in the workplace. I like when I see them excited and motivated to learn,” says Abod.
Developing Professional Relationships
Dr. Abod focuses on developing professional relationships with her students, as well as providing opportunities for developing those relationships with other faculty and peers. Furthermore, because it’s an applied program, students in her classes have an opportunity to develop specialized skills in areas like job analysis, program evaluation, and survey development. Additionally, they also gain the foundational knowledge in the content domains within IO Psychology that are really critical.
“When they leave the program, they really are setup to be successful in their first job in the industry,” she says.
The Best Part of UMBC
When asked about what she loves most about UMBC, she said, “The best thing I like about working at UMBC, in addition to the students, is the opportunity I get from teaching them and learning from the my students. Also, UMBC offers a variety of opportunities to enhance teaching styles and learn new trends in the industry. It’s been a growing experience for me, as well as for my students. And I really like that about UMBC.”