“Well I’m Dr. Danny Hitchcock and I’m an associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences.”
A Welcoming Professor
Dr. Hitchcock was the first professor I ever had here at Regent. Walking into my intro to psychology class as a brand new freshman, I had no idea what to expect. All the students had taken their seats; quiet conversations were conducted in muted tones. Anticipation hung in the air as we waited for our professor.
In came Dr. Hitchcock, wearing a cheerful smile matched with a friendly demeanor. He began the class with a prayer and told us all about his education, his family, and his passion for psychology.
Dr. Hitchcock is one of the three undergraduate psychology professors at Regent, and tends to teach a lot of the introductory psych courses, like introduction to psychology and developmental psychology, as well as many of the biology-based, science-related courses based in cognitive and physiological studies.
He came to Regent last fall and has embraced the community here. He loves to be involved with students, whether through inviting psych students over to his house for a barbecue, or joining in student activities here on campus. (He had a seafood chili in the Chili Bowl competition last year!) He absolutely adores his family, which you’re bound to hear about fairly soon after stepping into a class with him. His love for the Lord is always present, and is incorporated not only in his classroom, but also in his life.
Interviewing Dr. Hitchcock
I sat down with Dr. H to just to chat with him about some fun things. As he is a relatively new professor, I thought it would be cool to get to know him just a bit better.
What is your favorite movie and why?
Dr. Hitchcock: “Oh my favorite movie! Okay I’m a hopeless romantic, as my wife would say, and my favorite move is one of the only Woody Allen movies… It didn’t get a whole lot of attention and is called ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo.’ It’s an interesting movie about the Depression era where there is a woman who’s got a terrible relationship with her husband and the only way she can escape is by skimping some money and going to the movies. She really loved this one movie and went to it so many times that the actor on the screen turns and looks to her during the film and says something like ‘hey isn’t this like your 75th time coming to this film?’ And then he actually steps off the screen into real life and interacts with her and of course he’s a scripted, perfect gentlemen, so it’s the ideal man versus her real husband who’s this wife-beater abuser guy. The reason I like it so much is because it paints a great picture of reality, the reality of sin and how we are in troubled times, always have been. But then with the contrast of the idealism of what is true and good and right and beautiful which I think is manifest in Christ as the perfect Savior the perfect God-man who never sinned. I don’t know if Woody Allen was thinking in those terms, but that’s my favorite film, ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo.’”
What is your favorite way to spend your Sunday afternoon?
Dr. Hitchcock: “Well, I love being with my family, and we often take an afternoon nap, which is a treasured moment! If we are not napping we often have a barbecue or something like that. We like to have students over, so we try to have a barbecue a couple times a month, usually.”
If you could have an endless supply of one type of food, what would it be?
Dr. Hitchcock: “I love sushi!”
If you could ask God any question what would it be?
Dr. Hitchcock: “That is so hard because there is so much I want to know!” He chuckles. “Wow that is a tough one… I guess I would want to know (you know my area is in neuroscience and brain science and that kind of stuff, and I have always wanted to know) how God came up with the idea of the neuron. The strangest thing about neurons is that they communicate without touching each other, and I’ve always wondered why that’s the case. You know, I’m a very affectionate person so I like touching. My wife and I, we communicate a lot by touch and I’m thinking ‘well the nervous system doesn’t do any touching.’ It just dumps a chemical and it floats around to communicate … I don’t know, maybe it’s a silly question but…” He laughs.
Danielle: “No! I think that’s cool. I’ve never thought about it that way like, yeah, why don’t they touch? It’s interesting.”
Dr. Hitchcock: “Yeah, so I guess it’s a design question for God.”
Who in your life inspires you (don’t have to personally know them) and why?
Dr. Hitchcock: “My music pastor as a kid growing up in Colorado Springs, the Rev. Leonard Wecks. He was a wonderful role model. [He was] fun loving, boisterous, musically talented, serious, Godly and loved the Scriptures!”
If you could visit any foreign country where would you go?
Dr. Hitchcock: “I love travel and I’ve traveled to many places but the place that I have never been, but would love to go to, is a small French island called New Caledonia. That’s where my grandfather was a missionary, and my mom spent many years growing up as a kid. I’ve never been able to go see it. It’s in the South Pacific near the coast of Australia… I think there is even a street named after my grandpa, because he was a pastor there and they honored him by naming a street after his last name.”
What is your favorite psychology study?
Dr. Hitchcock: “The classical conditioning study done on Little Albert, the boy who learned to fear lab rats and other white fluffy objects! It is a tragic study [that] shows how important ethics in research have often been overlooked in the name of scientific progress.”
I chatted with Dr. Hitchcock for a tad longer before heading out. As I was leaving he offered me a gumball for the road, and saw me off with a friendly smile and wave. He is a man who exudes kindness and cheerfulness, who’s heart for God is evidently in everything he does and thinks. It was a blessing speaking with him, and if you ever have a chance to take one of his classes or sit down and chat with him, I would highly recommend it.
Danielle Crowley is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.