Instructor not a to-do list writer

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Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 - 12:00am

"I think I'm pretty organized, I just don't appear organized," admits College of Eastern Utah's new psychology instructor, Heath Earl while 14 piles of paper are stacked on his desk.

He said he's not a to-do-list writer, "I fly by the seat of my pants."

Forty years old, married with four kids, and two under the age of 2 years. "I don't do relaxation. Not enough time ... The 'time-out' chair is a great place for me to go when my kids are out of hand." However, he says he still feels "good, even 35."

While talking about food, he said, "I don't like my food to touch. Food needs to be where it's supposed to be. You know, syrup on your eggs ... that's not where it goes. Food needs to be how it's supposed to be."

When asked about his job as a clinical neuropsychologist, he said, "I don't think I would want to be a full-time therapist or clinician, but I love to work with clients ... I like working with kids and families ... It's pretty fulfilling to see them improve ... With brain damage and working with those cases ... to me they're just fascinating."

"Probably my most interesting case was a forensic case, which means it's law related ... with a special education teacher who decided to engage in inappropriate weird sexual behaviors with her students. It was a very interesting case. It was on national television, made Winnemucca in Nevada famous."

"I really enjoy the people I work with. My most favorite case recently was this sweet little girl born with brain damage in ... I think it was in Romania, adopted and came here to the United States. She was misdiagnosed for 16 years. Everybody kept telling her she was fine even though her medical records indicate she has brain damage. It was just great to work with her because she had such a great attitude and we were able to pinpoint what her problems were and finally get her some help. That was a good case. And every time she sees me, she gives me a big hug. She's way sweet."

While talking about his family, he said, "My boy and I like go and hang out, especially in the summer and lie in the grass or on the tramp and check out the stars. Stars and the moon."

He said he likes going outside in thunderstorms to watch the lightning. "Absolutely ... dangerous. Live on the edge, I love it. I love storms, pretty much. I love to drive when it's snowing. I think that's so cool. Driving in the snow is fun. I like to play in the rain. Yeah, I like that."

Want to know what's in his fridge or freezer? He said, "two bags of leftover Popsicles from the summer, they're really stale and nasty right now and my kids eat them every once in a while ... we always have tons of milk ... um, eggs, we go through eggs like crazy in my family ... is that three so far? You usually can find some version of ice cream and then, in the back, there's something that's unidentifiable. There's at least two or three of those things. They're green and furry."

"I watch hardly any television, but do like to watch some of those CSI shows. They're kind of morbid and gross. So we'll just say CSI: Las Vegas. Recently I watched Mr. & Mrs. Smith. That was a good show. I liked it a lot. It was pretty cool."

"On Saturday, I spent way too much money buying games for my kids for Christmas."

He started his higher education in 1988 in Ogden at Weber State University, where he earned his bachelor's of science degree in psychololgy and was vice president of the Psi Chi National Honor Society.

In 1994 he moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico to earn his master's of science degree in clinical psychology at New Mexico Highlands University and was president of the Psi Chi National Honor Society again. While there, he was a teaching assistant under the supervision of Carlton Cann, Ph.D. for statistics and computer-aided statistics and also under Arlene Horne, Ph.D. in learning theory.

In 1996 he moved back to Utah to attend Brigham Young University and started his specialization in behavioral neurobiology and cognitive neuroscience. While there, he earned his doctorate of philosophy in clinical psychology while assistant teaching eight classes under the supervision of Erin Bigler, Ph.D.; Bruce Brown, Ph.D.; Hal Miller, Ph.D.; Donovan Fleming, Ph.D. and Dawson Hedges, MD.

His research experience includes eight publications and 34 presentations on different topics of research. He received the Psi Chi Regional Research Award for a paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Convention in April '99 on the effects of exercise, L-tryptophan, and pindolol on central serotonin turnover in rats. He also received the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Student Paper Award for the same paper.

In September '01, he interned at Valley Mental Heath in Salt Lake City and was there until September '02. Before he left, he was hired at Cedar Diagnostic Clinic until July of this year. While there, he started as a child psychologist/early childhood specialist at Southwest Center in Cedar City and was there until January of '05. During most of this time, he has been and is still running private practice.

Before he was hired at CEU, he was a full time, tenure-track position assistant professor of psychology at Southern Utah University.

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