Effective Communication With Dr. Toaddy

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200A is Dr. Toaddy’s Office in Woodard Hall

Dr. Steven Toaddy’s collegiate journey started in Ohio at Ohio Wesleyan University with a psychology major and a philosophy minor. Once Toaddy graduated from Ohio Wesleyan, he traveled to North Carolina State University to pursue his master’s degree and PHD. He received these titles in Industrial-Organizational psychology. With these credentials he applied to a job being offered at Louisiana Tech University where he currently works as an assistant professor.

Dr. Toaddy felt that “psychology always spoke to [him] because of [the] interest [he] had in people.” His true passion for psychology is for the industrial and organizational field. Toaddy believes this specific field can create “small, understated, incremental improvements in many of thousands of peoples lives.” Where as, the clinical side of psychology can have large improvements on a person’s life. Both clinical and industrial fields of psychology are great tactics to help better people’s lives.

To better students lives here at Louisiana Tech Dr. Toaddy, “educates PHD, masters, and undergraduate students to conduct research alone and with those people to serve the university, [his] department and [his] profession.” With this being said Toaddy sees himself more as an educator then a teacher in his profession. Toaddy’s favorite part about his job is working with “the PHD students because they are so yoked towards this work, and to a small group of faculty, I get to see them and mentor them a bunch so watching those people grow is my favorite.”

In Toaddy’s every day life, he uses verbal communication to coordinate with students and fellow faculty. Instruction, consulting, research, administrative faculty and subcommittee meetings are all conducted verbally to make sure everyone working in the department and with the department is on the same page. Toaddy believes all of the meetings in person are “dwarfed 3:1 by the communication that occurs via written media.” Even with this believed ratio by Toaddy he still believes both types of communication are important for his field of work.

Benefits about written communication for Toaddy is that he can use it when people he is working with can not attend a meeting. For example, when information needs to be shared quickly, Toaddy can send an email to the person he was supposed to meet with to inform them of the details. The email can be sent at any time of the day so the person who is receiving the information can retrieve it on his or her own time. Email seems to be the leader of written communication in Toaddy’s every day life for most convenient way to communicate. Toaddy also uses written communication to keep student records, and produces inter-office communications in a sense memorandum form as a way to briefly answer people’s questions.

Dr. Toaddy asked himself if he lost either verbal or written communication would he be able to survive on the basis of the other. With this thought he believed that written communication would be more important to have. Toaddy said, “one cannot convey durably in spoken form, so if I’m trying to convey something that is adequately complicated, I must do that in written form to the best of my knowledge. I don’t believe people possess memory and [the ability] to convey and remember counter respectably those densities of information.” With this being said written communication can let people worry less about how they sound or how they pronounce certain words. It also helps a person explain difficult information easier because they can take time to write down their thoughts.

Now in regards to which communication is easier, Toaddy believes that verbal is easier to express. It is only easier because people are not explaining as complicated of topics as someone would while writing for written communication. Overall, both verbal and written communication help Dr. Toaddy be a successful assistant professor.

Laura LeFevour, Guest Blogger

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