Soul of 78- Jonathan Mayhall

“I’ve always been interested in why people do the things they do. That’s the point of curiosity to me – where behavior comes from. As far as getting my attention as a possible career, my interest in psychology could be traced back to watching the original Bob Newhart Show on television when I was a kid. Now, I’ve been teaching psychology at Bevill State for 31 years.”

“I obtained my bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama, and my master’s degree at UAB. Then, I returned to Tuscaloosa for a little post-master’s degree work. Before coming to Jasper, I taught Behavioral Studies at the University of Alabama and then Psychology at Shelton State. Then came 1987 – which was a big year for me. I married my wife, Diane, and took this position at Bevill.”

“During my time in graduate school I became friends with Dr. Humphrey Osmond, who was a friend and student of famous psychologist Carl Jung’s. Dr. Osmond was on staff at Bryce Hospital when I was in graduate school. He would come over to hang out and have lunch with the graduate students. He was actually the person who coined the term ‘psychedelic.’ He was just a neat, really funny guy.”

“The most important aspect of teaching my students psychology is simply this – why do folks do the things they do? There are four goals of psychology: to be able to describe it, understand it, predict it, and control it. I try to stress that point – that the highest form of controlling behavior is self-control – to understand ourselves, take control of our own lives, our emotions and responses. The more we know about that, the healthier we’ll be.”

-Jonathan Mayhall, Psychology Instructor at Bevill State Community College

Photo + Interview by Blakeney Cox

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