Marshall professor lectures on transforming frustration into beauty


Aaron Dickens

Marshall psychology professor April Fugett-Fuller discussed how frustration can be transformed into beauty during a lecture in Drinko Library Nov. 14.

Frustration can be a frequent occurrence throughout not only student lives, but professors’ lives as well. But as students and professors progress throughout their classes, this frustration can be transformed into beauty, psychology professor April Fugett-Fuller said Thursday at an open lecture in Drinko Library. 

“There’s many things, such as the student loan crisis and college dropout rates,” Fugett-Fuller said. “All of these things are negatively impacting our students and our environment. These topics are a part of our conversation that is constantly being talked about it. It is a constant cycle of negativity breeding negativity.”

One of the ways professors can help students overcome negativity is by helping them meet their basic needs, Fugett-Fuller said.

“Believe it or not, many students will not eat dinner tonight,” Fugett-Fuller said. “Students have to meet their basic needs before they can bloom.  Students cannot learn until they have their basic needs met.”

Another way to get out of a cycle of frustration is by letting go of the things that one hates and pursuing the things that people love, Fugett-Fuller said. She said to be mindful, take a breath and think.

“You have to let something go if it does not meet the needs you want it to,” Fugett-Fuller said. “Because when you let go of the things that make you miserable, you have a lot more time for the things that make you happy.”

Focusing on the positives can help professors and students rather than focusing on the frustrations in their lives, Fugett-Fuller said. She used the example of not talking about needing to go to five meetings at work in one week, but instead focusing on the students that received help that week. 

The message Fugett-Fuller said she wanted to convey was to help teachers and students find hope and beauty inside their classrooms. Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert said everyone should hear her ideas. 

“I thought it was an inspirational account of a faculty member’s love of her job as a teacher,” Gilbert said. “Her approaches to interacting with students and interacting with the learning process was something everyone should hear.”

Gilbert said it is wonderful to have teachers that care for their students.

“That was the way I felt when I was a professor,” Gilbert said.  “So, it is very heartwarming to hear that teachers care for their students, interact with them and want to help them. 

English major Thomas Lawrence said the lecture was emotionally impactful for him. 

“It is so important to socialize with your students and understand them,” Lawrence said. “It is more than just someone that you give your grades to.” 

Aaron Dickens can be contacted at [email protected].