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Alumnus profile: Wayne Weiten, psychology professor and textbook author

Wayne Weiten

A quick Google search for Bradley University psychology graduate Wayne Weiten yields around 2,600 sites devoted to or mentioning him and his work. Since earning a Bachelor of Science in 1972 and a Master of Arts in 1973 in psychology from Bradley, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1981, Weiten has become a best-selling author of psychology textbooks, as well as a college professor, researcher, speaker, and leader in the teaching of psychology.

It all started in Peoria, or perhaps more accurately, East Peoria. While earning his master’s degree at Bradley, Weiten had the opportunity to teach introductory psychology across the river at Illinois Central College. This is when he learned how much he enjoyed teaching. What followed were 20 years of teaching psychology in the Illinois community college system.

During this time, he began a second career as a textbook author, publishing Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 80s in 1983. The 10th edition of this text, now called Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment at the turn of the century, co-authored with D.S. Dunn and E.Y. Hammer, is coming out next year. 

Many Bradley psychology students are familiar with Weiten’s other textbook, Psychology: Themes and Variations (either the full or “briefer” version used in our introductory psychology course for many years). The eighth edition of Psychology: Themes and Variations – Briefer edition was used this year in PSY 104.

In addition to teaching and writing textbooks, he has become an active scholar of the teaching of psychology. He has published chapters and articles on teaching in scholarly books and journals, and has given nearly 60 presentations related to teaching in the discipline.

The Bradley alum is an active member of numerous psychological organizations, including the APA Division 2, Society for the Teaching of Psychology. The Society for the Teaching of Psychology named a teaching award for outstanding psychology teachers at two-year schools in his honor.

In addition to being named the recipient of an Outstanding Young Graduate Award from Bradley University, he has won an Award for Teaching Excellence from the College of DuPage and an Outstanding Teaching Award from APA Division 2. In spring 2010, he was elected the next president of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association.

Weiten grew up in Aurora, Illinois, where he went to Aurora East High School. His wife of 30 years, Beth Traylor, is a physician. They were married in Geneva, Switzerland, Weiten said, because “we thought it sounded cool and romantic – and it exceeded all expectations.” Their son, TJ, is a senior in high school.

His previous hobbies were basketball and tennis, but now he and his wife focus on travel and restaurants.

The Department of Psychology said, “Wayne Weiten, we are proud to call you a Bradley psychology graduate.”

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