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Ralf Greenwald Interview

What's your favorite quote?

"Learning is the best of all wealth; it is easy to carry, thieves cannot steal it, the tyrants cannot seize it; neither water nor fire can destroy it; and far from decreasing, it increases by giving." - The Naladiyar

What drew you to the field?

My first Neurobiology course fascinated me, and thanks in part to an awesome professor I developed a passion for all things brain. I think of the brain as the last frontier of the human body.

How did your college experience affect you?

It helped get me on my current path and imbued me with a thirst for knowledge.

How did you end up in Ellensburg?

The job at CWU.

What is your favorite class to teach?

I love teaching in general, but if I had to choose, it would be Neuroanatomy & Cognitive Psychology

Research underway:

We are currently in the final stages of getting my lab set-up and plan on investigating neural correlates of critical thinking.

Grants (anticipated)

Got some in the works, so only time will tell, hehe.

University Service

Faculty Senate and various department & university committees.

Philosophy of teaching

Plutarch I think Plutarch said it best "...the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited...". I am a proponent of active learning and strive to provide students with motivating, compelling, and enriched learning experiences. I strongly encourage independent and critical thinking in students and try to make my classes fun and engaging. Overall, my prime objective and responsibility is to see that students finish my courses prepared for their coming encounters with that subject, and to have assisted them in achieving a new understanding and interest of that subject. I view teaching as an indispensable component of a successful faculty profile. My own teaching experiences have complimented and enriched my research efforts and given me great personal satisfaction.

Greatest Accomplishment and Awards

Being a father.

Professional organizations:

Interviews Given / Awards

I was recently interview by the Ellensburg Daily Record about the brain and language aspects as they relate to taboo language. In addition to several military awards (including a Letter of Commendation from the Commander of the Joint Task Force Middle East), some academic awards include: Outstanding Contributions to Behavioral and Brain Sciences Teaching Award and Senior Lecturer of the Year Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Texas at Dallas


Reading (fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, etc.), working out, computer gaming. I recently read the Saxon Tales series by B. Cornwell

Special Interests (travels)

I have been to many countries and 3 of the 5 oceans on the globe, crossed the equator, the international dateline, been to the domain of the Golden Dragon and yes I am a son of Neptune (a Trusty Golden Shellback).

Favorite Vacation Spot

images/Heidelberg.jpg One of my favorite spots to visit is Heidelberg, Germany (where I was born).

An interesting thing that happened to you

navy To many to mention, thanks to the U.S. Navy!

Hidden Talents

Well if I told you they would no longer be hidden...

If you could do anything, what would you do?

To be honest, what I am doing now.

Did you have a profession before becoming a psychology professor?

Depends on if student counts as a "profession".

Most meaningful experience

Birth of my son!

Childhood Hero

james-kirk.jpg Although I'm not sure why, Capt. James T. Kirk was one of them, haha.