Shoenfelt hopes hard work will pay off in faculty regent election

Joe Lord

Betsy Shoenfelt took up golf two years ago, shaving 20 strokes off her handicap in two summers. Her game is not yet where she’d like it be, but the psychology professor doesn’t take short cuts.

“I play it where it lies,” she said.

Just as Shoenfelt won’t take a mulligan on the golf course, the faculty regent nominee said she’s worked tirelessly to position herself for the influential position.

Shoenfelt has been at Western since 1983, when she accepted a tenure-track faculty position after she completed graduate school at Louisiana State University.

A Louisiana native, she said Bowling Green is far cry from the New Orleans area.

“(Bowling Green’s) not really as small as when I got here,” she said. “This is home.”

The 46-year-old said she enjoys teaching at Western because faculty are genuinely concerned with helping students.

“It’s so very student-oriented,” she said.

Shoenfelt is the director of the industrial organizational psychology graduate program at Western. The specialization deals with various aspects of business organization and communication, like developing selection tests and safety programs.

“The common element is it has to do with enhancing performance in applied settings,” she said.

Shoenfelt has found herself on a number of policy-making committee in her 20 years on the Hill, including the chairmanship of the Post-Tenure Review task force. She said she has also been on committees focusing on issues such as sexual harassment and how the university tackles faculty grievances.

“The type of work I do is not the high profile work,” she said.

Psychology department head Steve Haggbloom said Shoenfelt is a valuable faculty member to his department.

He said Shoenfelt’s specialization is geared toward leadership positions because it deals with personnel management and appraisals. Shoenfelt’s personality also helps, he said.

“She’s very easy to work with,” he said. “She’s a good faculty member.”

Shoenfelt is interested in sports psychology, and is also an amateur photographer. It created an interesting merger two years ago, when Shoenfelt was asked to photograph the Nebraska women’s basketball team while they were on an European exhibition tour.

The trip took her to Greece and Italy.

“I think the photographer dropped out,” she said, referring to how she landed the job. “It was a lot of fun.”

Shoenfelt has also served in other capacities related to industrial organizational psychology. She has served as a witness in federal gender equity cases, and has worked with companies to develop selection tests for choosing employees.

Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]