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Mary Radeke Interview

Picture of Mary Radeke

What's your favorite quote?

I guess I have a few....

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" My Ph.D. adviser's mantra but I am not sure who the original author was.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." -A. Einstein


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." 
- A. Einstein

What drew you to the field?

5 chimpanzees. When I was an undergraduate taking a statistics course on the 3rd floor of the psychology building our first day of class was interrupted by very loud banging on the walls and pant hoots coming from next door. I asked a friend what all the commotion was about and they said that there were chimpanzees living next door. Having an interest in primates since childhood, I knocked on the door of the "chimp lab" to find out how to volunteer. I also discovered that this unique family of chimpanzees used the signs of American Sign Language to communicate. This was the driving force of my interest in the field.

How did your college experience affect you?

How did it affect me? it is still affecting me!.

How did you end up in Ellensburg?

I came to visit a friend who was going to college in Ellensburg.  Loved the campus so much I ended up staying for my undergraduate degree. And Master's. And I'm still here..

What is your favorite class to teach?

Honestly, they are all my favorites but most favorite; General Psychology.

Research underway:

Currently preparing my dissertation for publication but I have a few other hypotheses in the works.  I would tell you but I'd have to lock you in the isolation chamber on the 2nd floor (the locks were removed many years ago so you'd be able to get out on your own...). Seriously, I am interested in the ways students perceive their role in research within the psychology department.  The use of the SONA system for volunteer participation in departmental research has been a great tool to get students involved in research and for our students and faculty who conduct the research. I would like to know how the students feel about participation in the research process, as volunteer participants and as researchers.

Grants (anticipated)

Also, in the works.... have a bit of experience with NSF grants, at least the application process, unfortunately not the actual award. Once I have a more solid idea of my research I will be delving further into the grant world.

University Service

I sincerely enjoy interacting with students in and out of the classroom and wish that I had more time to devote to this area.

Philosophy of teaching

I believe that if you love to teach it shows.  I also feel that as soon as I have nothing left to learn from my students, I should get out of the business.

Greatest Accomplishment and Awards

#1 Every one of my university degrees.

#2 The fact that I get to teach next door to many of the professors who sparked my interest in the field and have always looked up to.  Truly a privilege..

Professional organizations:

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA)

Interviews Given / Awards

Still waiting to hear from the Nobel Prize Committees.  We keep playing phone tag.


Hiking, skiing (Nordic and downhill), dance (modern, classical ballet), yoga (all forms).

Special Interests (travels)

Love to travel.  Have been to Africa, Denmark, England and Italy. 

Favorite Vacation Spot

Kauai, Hawaii  and Sun Valley Idaho.

An interesting thing that happened to you

Interesting things happen on a daily basis. My serious problem with tic tacs (you'll have to ask my students about that one).

Hidden Talents

I studied classical ballet at Cornish College in Seattle, Wa as a high school student and have an award from the Royal Academy of Dance, signed by Dame Margot Fonteyn.  Have done some performing locally and on campus.

If you could do anything, what would you do?

Be a surgeon and breathe under water.

Did you have a profession before becoming a psychology professor?

Not a formal one.

Most meaningful experience

See above (Greatest Accomplishments).

Childhood Hero

Wonder Woman and Jane Goodall.

What was your family of origin like?

American/English on my Mother's side (the Adams family... yup, not kidding) and German on my Father's side.

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