Professor Spotlight: Dr. Timothy Klitz

Dr. Timothy Klitz has been a psychology professor at Washington & Jefferson College for 16 years. He grew up in Chesterland, Ohio and went to Northwestern University to receive his undergraduate degree. He then attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota. At Northwestern, Dr. Klitz was a part of a group called the “Integrated Science Program” which involved all the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and more. He came to love psychology when he was channeled into taking an introductory psychology course. He was fascinated by the concept that he could use his science background to apply to people and how they think and behave. After taking more psychology classes, he decided to pursue it and followed the traditional path to a psychology undergraduate degree.

As Dr. Klitz headed into graduate school with a career of research in mind, he never expected to have a change of heart for teaching. His father was a high school physics teacher, so there was always an educational influence in his life, but he did not decide to teach until graduate school. Dr. Klitz said, “I chose teaching because I was a teaching assistant in grad school. I enjoyed the interactions with students.” His favorite part of being a professor at W&J is being able to form relationships with students. He appreciates how they live in and out of the classroom, as many students are involved in sports, theatre and other personal interests. Dr. Klitz is involved in many ways around campus. He is the school’s NCAA faculty athletics representative, which means he facilitates the communication between faculty, students, coaches, trainers and the administration. He is part of the “Middle States,” which verifies that colleges are accredited and are following proper education rules. This committee at W&J reports what we are doing to accomplish national educational goals.

Dr. Klitz is very involved with the W&J women’s soccer team. He is the team’s faculty mentor, helping the girls with anything they need academically, educationally or personally. When the faculty mentor program started in 2007, Dr. Klitz joined with the women’s soccer team immediately. A past student told him he had to catch a soccer game, so he did and it had a massive impact on him. “I fell in love with the way women’s soccer is played,” he said about his experience at the game. He really enjoys how it is an organized way to get the chance to meet so many players and their families.

For anyone looking into a career of teaching, Dr. Klitz promises it is a rewarding profession. Many education students take his psychology classes, and he hears and sees that the highlight of their day is going into elementary schools and teaching the kids. For anyone looking to pursue psychology, Dr. Klitz would like it to be known that psychology can be clinical and counseling, but it can also take students into many career paths, as psychology can be applied to life in an endless amount of ways.