After beginning her career as a professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) in the fall of 2002, Associate Professor of Psychology Cynthia Koenig, Ph.D., is retiring at the end of the spring 2019 semester.
Throughout her time here, Koenig has enjoyed teaching various courses in the Psychology Department, including Introduction to Psychology, Special Topics: Death, Dying and Bereavement, Lifespan Development, Adulthood and Aging, Cognitive Psychology Lab as well as Firstyear and Senior Seminars.
When asked what she will miss most about SMCM, Koenig remarked that there are many people and events she has treasured in her time here, for example, her fellow Psychology colleagues. “I work in a great department,” explained Koenig. “I love spending time with my colleagues. We all get along really well together.” Koenig stated that she will also miss interacting with college students. “From early on, I realized how much I like this age group,” she mentioned. “It’s a really important stage of development, and generally students are pretty optimistic about their futures with all of the possibilities.”
In addition to missing her SMCM co-workers and students, she will also miss many of the events put on by the campus. For example, she mentioned that she has always enjoyed attending the dance shows at SMCM, and has greatly enjoyed watching her students perform outside of the classroom setting. She also will miss the walks around campus and Historic St. Mary’s City. She explained, “I like to exercise a lot. I love Historic St. Mary’s City and have lots of good memories of walking with different people.” Another one of her most fond memories was taking a Philosophy class at the college with the late Professor Alan Paskow at SMCM. She explained that it was phenomenal to switch roles and become the student, all the while being taught by one of her friends.
Although she will miss her colleagues and students at SMCM, Koenig is looking forward to many exciting things in her retirement. The first thing on her list is the Greece Study Tour put on by Philosophy and Religious Studies Professor Michael Taber. This will be Koenig’s first study tour, and she is excited to spend time in a different country with SMCM students and faculty. Koenig stated that she is hoping to be able to travel both domestically and abroad in her free time.
Along with traveling, Koenig is looking forward to being able to spend more time with all of the people she loves, especially her two grandsons. She is excited for the opportunity to help her daughter as much as she can with her young children, and to be able to watch them grow. She is also excited to have more time to read for pleasure, and hopes to be able to pick up some new hobbies. One of the most exciting aspects of retirement comes from the opportunity to sleep in, as Koenig indicated that it will be extremely nice to not have to wake up at 5 a.m. each weekday.
Volunteering has always been an important part of Koenig’s life, as she used to be involved with Meals on Wheels and other programs. The free time provided by her retirement will allow her to engage in more volunteer-based activities, as she stated, “When you’re an academic, you just don’t have the time to do that kind of thing.” She is hoping to once again volunteer with Meals on Wheels and possibly a program in Alexandria for which she has volunteered before with her son.
Koenig wishes to leave her students with the advice to treasure every second here on this beautiful campus. “This is the most special time [in a person’s life],” Koenig stated. “The opportunity to take classes in areas in which you are not familiar will not be available as often.” She wishes for her students to take advantage of all of the opportunities provided by the school and to cherish their years here. She went on to say that this is the perfect place to try new things, with great students and staff serving as a strong support system.
SMCM has been fortunate enough to have Koenig since 2002, and will greatly miss her. Anyone who was lucky enough to take a class with her was able to experience her vibrant, enthusiastic personality and her genuine love for the subject she teaches. She will be greatly missed by the students and staff, and everyone at SMCM wishes Koenig the best in her retirement.