Faculty Profiles


Ken Hill

Professor of Education and Psychology

Ken HillWhere did you go to school?
University of Michigan (undergraduate), Harvard University (Masters), and Cornell University (2nd masters and PhD).

What do you teach?
Classes dealing with education, psychology and human ecology. Specifically: Adolescent Psychology, Learning Theory, Counseling, Educational Psychology, Child Development, and the Human Ecology Core Course.

Why do you teach at COA?
Because it is the best place to teach in the world - active and engaged students, small class sizes (better discussions), great community access, and super colleagues.

How long have you been part of the COA community? What has changed?
11 years - a lot has changed. New programs, new people, internationalizing of the student body, climate :o)

What new course would you like to design?
Many, many options ... a field intensive course on the psychology of wilderness adventure, a social psychology course, a moral development course, and a course on education and the law.

Which project thrills you most to assign and witness?
Community-based projects with real outcomes. I love to see our students work on real issues with those outside the COA network.

What does COA stand for?
C - Completely
O - Outstanding
A - Academics

Share an epiphany you've had that has made you a better teacher/learner/person.
My students can do graduate level work at the undergraduate level.

If your students were fruit, you'd have a class full of ...
Star fruit.

What is the most significant challenge the current generation of college students faces?
Too much access to choice and information - the volume can be crippling.

Tell us about your favorite tree on campus.
The Copper Beech in front of Turrets - it looks like something from a Tolkein book.

Where are your roots?
Michigan (the U.P. eh).

What can you say about life on an island in Maine?
It is just about perfect.

In which media do you most enjoy working? Why?
Neurons (changing thinking patterns in self and others). Also, wood and metal (I make knives).

Beyond teaching at COA, which projects or passions energize you?
Family (I have an energetic 7 year old who is a great playmate), camping, and dogs.

Which books do you keep on your desk, in your pocket, on your nightstand?
Desk - none (I like a clean desk). Pocket - none (hard to sit). Night stand - whatever I am currently reading. Right now they are Freakoconomics (for fun) and Why Women Have Sex (ad psych).

If you have a vehicle, does it have bumper stickers? What do they say?
No bumper stickers - too anal retentive to mess up my car.

What brings you joy?
My son's laugh, my wife's smile, my dog's crazy dance before a walk, a beautiful sunset ... I could go on.