Dr. Anita Verma joined the CPSY faculty as a part-time Assistant Teaching Professor of Social Psychology.
- Where is your hometown?
Houston! Go Texans!
- Tell us about your educational background.
I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, English, and Education. I then pursued my Master’s and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the Kumaon University Nainital, Uttarakhand, India, where I graduated with honors. And My second master on Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. I am proud to be the first-generation college graduate in my family, and to have graduated with honors. Attaining a higher education and becoming a professor were my goals as a child. I have succeeded in achieving them despite many hardships.
- What first interested you in psychology?
What first piqued my interest in psychology were the two professors who lived in my neighborhood when I was a child. I was absolutely fascinated watching them read, conduct research, and engage in discussions about various psychological topics. This experience sparked a dream in me to attain a higher level of education and have in depth conversations, which were not common in my family. This exposure to the academic world at a young age steered me toward a keen interest in psychology, which further fueled my curiosity and ultimately led me to pursue a career in this field.
- What brought you to Ball State?
The multidisciplinary approach to education, and the strong emphasis on research at Ball State were the main attractions for me. Additionally, my love towards Social Psychology, and the warm and welcoming community here made it an obvious choice.
- Please describe your role within the department.
As an Assistant Professor in the Psychology department, my role involves teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. I also collaborate with other faculty members and contribute to few committees.
- What are your research and teaching interests?
My primary research focus lies in understanding the multifaceted impact of the digital world on society. I am particularly intrigued by how advancements in technology influence interpersonal relationships and mental health. A portion of my research is dedicated to studying the implications of the digital realm on the developmental aspects of children, aiming to decipher both its positive attributes and potential pitfalls. Additionally, I delve into the broader scope of globalization, analyzing how the digital age fosters interconnectedness and shapes global societies. Through my teachings, I aspire to foster critical thinking and awareness in students about the evolving digital landscape and its profound impact on human life.
- Outside of academia, what are your favorite hobbies?
In my leisure time, I enjoy a range of activities that keep grounded and connected to the world around me. I take great pleasure in cooking, experimenting with new recipes to delight family and friends. My garden is a haven of peace where I can connect with nature and unwind. I also enjoy capturing life’s simple moments through photography, a hobby that dovetails nicely with my interest in watching travel and cultural videos, allowing me to explore the diverse tapestry of human experiences from the comfort of my home. Reading non-fiction, especially real-life stories, further fuels my curiosity and offers fresh perspectives on the world.
- What food could you not live without?
As a vegetarian, my diet is very important to me. I truly couldn’t live without home-cooked food. There is something incredibly comforting and nourishing about a meal prepared at home, be it a simple dish or a lavish spread. For me, it is not just about the freshness and the flavor, but also the love and effort that goes into preparing a meal. It’s a symbol of warmth, love, and togetherness, connecting me to my roots and the cherished traditions of family dinning. Whether its family recipe handed down through generations or a new recipe I’m trying out, the experience of enjoying home-cooked food is irreplaceable.
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I have always been fascinated by the rich cultural history and the technological advancements of Japan. From the serene beauty of its traditional garden and ancient shrines to the bustling, high-tech metropolis of cities like Tokyo, it seems to be a place where tradition meets modernity in the most harmonious way. It’s definitely at the top of my travel bucket list!
- What’s something about you that people would be surprised to know?
People might be surprised to know that I have a personal connection to the events of September 11, 2001. On that fateful day, I was traveling alone with my small children on a United Airlines flight that was approaching its landing at Newark airport when the attacks occurred. This was our first time flying and that too across the globe from Delhi to NYC. Our plane was diverted, and we found ourselves hovering over the Atlantic for a while before eventually landing in Halifax, Canada. It was a moment of great uncertainty and fear as I suddenly found myself in a foreign land with my two young kids just trying to survive. Three days later, our flight finally landed in NYC being the only passengers at the Newark Airport when it reopened on September 14th. That experience not only marked a significant moment in history but also had a profound impact on my personal life, emphasizing the importance of resilience and unity in the face of adversity.
- How do you practice self-care?
My approach to self-care is holistic, starting with a disciplined morning routine where I dedicate time for yoga and meditation. This practice not only revitalizes me but also equips me with mental clarity to face the day’s challenges. In addition to this, I prioritize a nutritious diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, to nourish my body and maintain optimal health. This combination of physical activities and mindful eating ensures that I remain energized and focused, ready to give my best in other areas of my life.