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Marte Fallshore Interview

What's your favorite quote?

Relevant to my job: I teach for free; they pay me to grade (source unknown).
Relevant to life in general: Nobody knows what's next, but everybody does it. (George Carlin)
Really, I have many.

What drew you to the field?

Magnetism? Seriously, an interest in understanding the relationship (if any) between music, language, and math. Needless to say, I've done nothing with that line of research beyond continuing the reading I was doing before I ever returned to college.

How did your college experience affect you?

Which one? It took me three tries to finish my bachelors. The first time, fresh out of high school, I flunked out. The second time, a couple of years later, I was getting all A's and an ulcer, so I quit. 10 years later, I went straight through from bachelors to PhD. I really don't know how to answer this question. The reason I'm an academic is because if I had my way I would be a perpetual student. This is the closest you can come to that goal and make a living.

  How did you end up in Ellensburg?  

They gave me a job and I wanted out of Utah. Dale and I wanted a small town in high desert, and here we are.

  What is your favorite class to teach?  

Statistics and research methods (hard to separate those into one class, though, of course, we do).

  Research underway  

Jeff Penick and I are working on an intergenerational reading program that involves research on the older adult volunteers and the children participating. So far, we don't have enough participants to have any data. I also have some undergraduate students working on their own research.

  Grants (anticipated)  

Always searching for something.

  University Service  

I am on the Faculty Senate Dispute Resolution Committee; I am a mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima and Kittitas Counties; I am on the boards of The Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN) and Kittitas Audubon; I organize the local contra dances

  Philosophy of teaching  

I used to have this written up in detail somewhere. Basically, my job is to help the students make connections and understand concepts. Their job is to help me do mine by doing the work.

  Greatest Accomplishment and Awards  

At this point in my life, it might be being willing to play my bass in public. That's probably not what the university is interested in.

  Professional organizations    

  • American Counseling Association
  • Sigma Xi
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Society for Human Ecology
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association
  • Western Psychological Association

Interviews Given / Awards

Nominated for Most Inspirational Educator by Central Washington University and the Center for Excellence in Leadership, 2004; 2001 TIAA-CREF/SOURCE Distinguished Faculty Award ($400); Nominated School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Teacher of the Year, 1996-1997 (UVSC); University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology Certificate of Teaching Excellence, 1993; Sigma Xi Travel Award ($300), to attend and present at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 1993


In no particular order: dance (all kinds but especially swing and international folk dance), cross country skiing, music, sewing, gardening, hiking, reading fiction, writing poetry, working really hard crossword puzzles

Special Interests (travels)

See hobbies for special interests; Slovenia is one of my most favorite places to visit; I really like traveling almost anywhere and would like to do more

Favorite Vacation Spot

There is no place like home.

An interesting thing that happened to you

When I was around 27 years old, I was on a cross-country bicycle trip by myself. On the third day, just outside of McCook Nebraska, I wiped out and broke my collarbone. That began a series of events that led me to go back to university to get my bachelors and ultimately my PhD. I'm a firm believer in karma.

Hidden Talents

Finding perfect metaphors for teaching and/or poetry; a good ear for music.

If you could do anything, what would you do?

I would be a perpetual student.

Did you have a profession before becoming a psychology professor?

No, I had a series of different jobs.

Most meaningful experience

Being born (okay, I'm getting silly, this is a long questionnaire). I suppose in a way the real answer to that is learning to juggle. I was in my early 20s, and it was the first time I had the experience of really working for something. I graduated high school without cracking a book (11th in a class of about 150), and never really had the concept of practice or even learning before that time.

Childhood Hero

Like I could remember that.

What was your family of origin like?

You really don't want to know the answer to this one. Suffice it to say they still live in Georgia where I grew up and I live here.