Dr. Mark Maluga joined the CPSY faculty as a as a part-time Assistant Teaching Professor of Counseling Psychology

Where is your hometown?

I grew up in Burnham, IL., a small town just south of Chicago.  Its so close to Chicago that it has a Chicago zip code.  Before my time, Al Capone lived in Burnham. It was said that there were tunnels going from his house to other houses in Burnham close by.  I had a friend who lived two doors down from the house he lived in.  The hearsay was true.  There had been a tunnel connected to my friend’s home from Capone’s house that had been blocked.

Tell us about your educational background.

I have a BA degree from Northern Illinois University (NIU) in Dekalb IL. My major was communication studies with a minor in psychology.  DeKalb has a couple claims to fame, most notably that barbed wire was invented there.  I did a MA degree at DePaul University in Chicago IL in Human Services and Counseling. I completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara CA.

What first interested you in psychology?

I suspect that that those who are drawn to psychology are interested in what makes people tick.  I wanted to understand how the mind worked and what  was at the core of how people treat each other. I also wanted to understand myself (thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behavior) and others.  As my training and education unfolded, my interests in psychology became more refined to the clinical/research interests I have now.

What brought you to Ball State?

I saw a position that interested me in the Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling Department.  I would say my goal to teach counseling and psychology courses and train graduate students in counseling brought me to Ball State.

Please describe your role within the department.

In the department, I teach undergrad and graduate courses. I provide supervision to counseling students in the graduate programs.  I participate on the Wellness and Diversity committees.  I assist the department as needed with administrative and event hosting duties.

What are your research and teaching interests?

My research interests tend to extend from my doctoral training, clinical work, and areas of specialization.  My research interests include Health Psychology, LGBT Health, mind/body interventions, and parapsychology.  My teaching interests are related to counseling and psychology topics that I have experience with through my work in various clinical settings. This includes teaching counseling skills and core courses in counseling and psychology.

Outside of academia, what are your favorite hobbies?

Oddly, I would say I had to think about this very question during COVID.  My hobbies are working out, running, walking, reading, singing, theater/movies, and, as a result of COVID, streaming my favorite TV shows.  I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I also started walking on local trails during COVID and continue to do so now.

What food could you not live without?

I’m Italian. So, coffee (cappuccino), pizza, and pasta I consider to be major staples in my diet.  I also am a big cheeseburger and fries aficionado.  I’ve not found the best burger place in Muncie yet.  Any recommendations?

What’s something about you that people would be surprised to know?

Prior to being a clinician/professor, I was a journalist.  I worked for several public relation firms and wrote for publications.  One assignment I had was to review a new restaurant in downtown Chicago owned by Oprah Winfrey.  At some point during the event, Oprah’s press people asked all the journalists to stand together to ask her questions.  The other journalists began  screaming questions at Oprah. I was annoyed by the screaming and stood there quietly waiting for her to start taking questions.  Oprah got a tad frustrated at the screaming journalists and decided to do interviews 1:1.   She pointed at me and said “You, the quiet one in back, come on!”  I got to interview Oprah as part of my review. Cheers!

How do you practice self-care?

My canned answer would be “the best way I can in the moment.”   My primary self-care activities are working out, walking, meditation and QiGong/Yoga.  I figure that I need to walk the talk if I am talking to students regarding self-care, which is a crucial part of managing burnout when working as a clinician or any other provider in healthcare.