June 19, 2013 | Queens College
FLUSHING, N.Y., June 19, 213 — You don’t have to be a QC student to hear a lecture by Susan Croll (Psychology). Impressed by the rave reviews routinely given to her on ratemyprofessors.com—last spring she ranked sixth on the website—mtvU asked to film her in action for a new program, “Best Class Ever.”
Croll was happy to oblige; mtvU, MTV’s college media network, reaches more than 750 campuses and almost 9 million students in the United States. “I thought it would be great for Queens College,” she says, noting that no one becomes an outstanding professor without a supportive environment.
Although she had been taped once before, for a video that could be downloaded to iPods, the mtvU project was a much bigger production. “I needed a script,” reports Croll, who usually weighs her audiences and adapts as she goes along, like an improvisational performer. “I had to rehearse waving and smiling. I don’t usually do that.”
Shortly before 5 pm on August 7, students, faculty, and staff filed into Room 230 of Rosenthal Library for the taping session. Following a brief introduction by President James Muyskens, Croll walked on stage and presented “Prisoners of Our Minds: What Do We Really Know about Our World?” The talk was derived from her course on how the brain perceives and processes information. “They wanted a lecture based on a topic I already teach,” she explains. The crowd listened raptly for an hour as Croll cited factors, from medical conditions to experience-based fears, that affect our senses.
Meanwhile, her own senses indicated that students were responding the way they do in the classroom, except for the applause at the lecture’s end. “Students don’t normally clap,” Croll says. “They just race off to the next class.”