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Great education professionals have an enviable skill set – the ability to lead, be empathetic, inspire, motivate, communicate, strengthen, and ignite curiosity. Meet six of our alumni who rise to the challenge, bringing heart, soul, mind, and an indefatigable sense of mission to their work with students.


Alex Olivares

UTeach, B.J., ‘08
Crockett High School

I got out of UTeach and thought, “Wow, none of that stuff’s ever going to work in the real world. It’s great and dandy if you have a special school with magnet and high level students, but in a normal environment it’s not going to apply.” As I taught for more and more years, I realized that it’s simply the way to teach. Slowly I incorporated the UTeach strategies more and more, and at this point almost all of my classes are problem- and inquiry-based. I understand the benefits of teaching this way, that it yields long-term learning benefits for the students.

Depression isn’t the same for everyone – the way you experience it can vary according to your age, gender, and life circumstances. Three educational psychology researchers have been looking specifically at depression in men and young girls and at how to uncover depression in people who don’t even know they have it.

Aaron Rochlen:

Aaron Rochlen is an educational psychology professor whose research focuses on men’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Here, he explains how depression is different for men than it is for women and what can happen if men don’t get the help they need.

“There’s just a lot of stigma around men seeking help for any kinds of mental health problems as well as physical issues. While women have traditionally been diagnosed with depression 2-3 times more often than men, men are committing suicide at rates of 4-6 times more often.”

Kevin Stark:

Pediatric behavioral health expert Kevin Stark is nationally known for his research on depression in children. In this clip, he describes why it’s so important to catch depression early in girls and the best way of treating it.

“The rate of depression among females is at least twice that of males.”

Stephanie Rude:

Stephanie Rude examines ways of detecting depression in people who don’t realize they have depression and preventing recurrences of the condition. Find out the simple but revealing strategy she uses to uncover “masked” depression.

“When people are able to take a couple of steps back and see the difficult situations that they are in from a larger perspective – kind of a wide angle lens view – they seem to be able to realize that they are not the only ones suffering.”