Dr. Cynthia Riccio retires after 23 years
Being an academic and teaching were not in her original career plans, but Dr. Cynthia Riccio found her greatest satisfaction in teaching and supporting others. Now, after 23 years in the Department of Educational Psychology, Riccio is retiring.
Riccio received her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Georgia and spent three years teaching at the University of Alabama before moving to College Station in 1997.
“What most impressed me was the sense that ensuring rigorous training and supporting students, inevitably would benefit everyone and ensure recruitment of strong students,” said Riccio.
While she has been recognized by peers at the college, university, state and national level, Riccio’s proudest achievements are the students she has worked with and their successes after graduation.
She still has several students in the final stages of their degree and will continue working with them. She also shared a bit of advice for her students.
Balance taking advantage of all the opportunities available with self-care. Think of challenges as a means to stretching your capabilities to the next level. Develop relationships with your peers. They will not only be your supports while you’re a student but as you move forward in your career,” said Riccio.
Riccio said it is also important for faculty to build relationships with their peers in the college and across the university. She always made an effort to collaborate with her colleagues, despite a climate, she said, that did not always reward the activity.
“Getting to know each other reaps benefits. Working and playing well with others is important for climate and a sense of belonging,” said Riccio. “I’d tell new faculty to find a way to bridge research, the courses you teach and your service activities without fencing yourself into isolation. Recognize that it is your responsibility to keep learning and engage in lifelong learning.”
She hopes to see more interaction among faculty and more commitment to programs as well as individual faculty projects. While concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on isolation within the college, she hopes faculty, staff and students will come together to address issues facing the college and community.
“Don’t limit yourself to what you’re comfortable with, but recognize just as students will learn from you, you can sometimes learn from them. Be flexible and know when to bend and when to stand your ground. That’s the hard part,” said Riccio.
Aside from continuing to work with a few students nearing graduation, Riccio and her husband have a long bucket list of travel activities. She also started writing fiction a few years ago and plans to dedicate more time to writing along with her love of dancing.
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