Analyze situations, gather evidence, and think deeply. 

Professor Toby Marx knows Union County College (U.C.C) like the back of her hand, which is no surprise since she’s been teaching at U.C.C since 1980. A lifelong learner, Professor Marx loves sharing the excitement of discovery with her students in classes such as General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Social Research Methods, Psychology of Personality, and Group Dynamics.

Earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, Professor Marx continued to earn two master’s degrees - the first in Human Services from a small college in Los Angeles and the second in Academic Psychology from Vermont College.

When Professor Marx is not teaching, you are likely to find her in the Commons or the Roy Smith Theater attending events with students or in her office, H-210, chatting with students or tutoring them during office hours or at random times when they stop by. Always seeking to help students become “better thinkers” who can “analyze situations, gather evidence, and think deeply,” Professor Marx is constantly searching for new tools - news articles, stories, images, videos, activities - that can help convey psychological concepts to students.

The second time around, she found her passion.

When asked to recall some of her favorite student memories, Professor Marx recalled, “While I have many positive memories about students and classes, two jump to mind. One involves one of my most successful students, who graduated from U.C.C. with honors and awards. In one class, she was talking about the challenges of returning to school after being away for about 10 years. Her classmates did not believe her, since she was clearly so smart and such a good student. She countered that this was her second attempt at college. As an 18-year-old, she had come to U.C.C. unprepared and unmotivated. She failed classes and dropped out. The second time around, she found her passion and, as I have said, worked to become one of our best students.”

“The second student had a business career for a number of years and returned to school to study psychology. She took several courses with me and participated in a Gerontology class in which the students helped to conduct a needs assessment for older adults in the county. When she left to transfer, she said that she would continue her education through the PhD level and come back as a professor, which is exactly what happened. She is now a colleague, Professor Mindi Norelli, involved in American Honors and working on her dissertation.”

Reflecting on her time at U.C.C, Professor Marx said, “When our previous honors program ended, I was very disappointed. American Honors has given us another opportunity to attract more highly qualified and motivated students to U.C.C. and to give them the background and experiences that they need to succeed as they continue their education and become our future leaders. I am thrilled to be a part, however small, of their journey.”

Authored by Ruthana Seng

Ruthana helps high-potential students achieve their dreams. She writes about the college application process, from how to pay for college to how many schools to apply to in the first place.