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Retirement Celebration for Dr. Carol Mills

Release date: September 10, 2008

Written and presented by Dr. Ann McKim at the College Center


In thinking about Carol Mills and her career as psychology professor at Goucher College, the very best word to describe her as a person and as a psychologist is the word, Inspirational. 


Carol has been a true inspiration for students, for psychology department members and for her colleagues throughout Goucher.  While we will miss her in so many ways, we are grateful for this opportunity to express publicly how much we appreciate all she has done for us individually, and for Goucher College as a whole.


I realize I don’t have time to include all of Carol’s amazing accomplishments at Goucher so I will highlight just a few.


Carol Mills came to Goucher College in 1986—22 years ago.  When she was hired she was one of 4 psychology professors.  Through the years her career and her reputation blossomed.  In 2005 she received the highly prestigious Bruckerl Award from Goucher for her outstanding performance in teaching, service and research.


Carol is known far and wide for her love and her skill in conducting research.  She has given her heart and hard work to showing students how to conduct research.  The result has been 27 presentations of research she has coauthored with students by way of both peer-reviewed publications and poster presentations at professional meetings. In all 44 Goucher students have been coauthors on research presentation with Carol and some of them more than once.  Carol has had two major research projects spanning years and also dozens of smaller projects.  Tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Carol conducted research on Flashbulb Memory of this event—data collected just after the events occurred and again a year and a half later from the same participants.  Flashbulb memories are the vivid, fresh memories that can result for experiencing an event that is both unexpected and shocking.  Carol is also well known on a national and international level for her research on synaesthesia—the blending of senses that can occur in people and is very rare but interesting because it illuminates how the brain works.  An example of synesthesia is seeing colors when hearing numbers.  Through the years Carol set up research paradigms to scientifically study this phenomenon to learn more about the cognitive processes involved and thus earned her reputation in this area.


Carol Mills is known for her teaching skill—over the years at Goucher she has taught 8 different courses (excluding intro of psych) and she estimates she has had 1,450 students in her 200 and 300 level classes.  Among the 5 courses that Carol developed are Human Learning and Memory, Cognitive Psychology, and Applied Psychology.


Carol Mills was chairperson of the psychology department for many years—our intrepid leader.  She was also Director of Cognitive Studies.  In 1991, Carol started a local chapter of Psi Chi—a national honorary---at Goucher which has grown and thrived.   


Carol has a charming personality and she is noted for her quick wit.  She is highly intelligent and is hardworking to a fault.  If gold medals were awarded for academics, Carol deserves to have a whole row of gold medals around her neck.  Well, in our hearts she is a gold medal winner without doubt and we will miss her sorely.  But we also wish her every happiness in retirement.