A Farewell Feature for Dr. Elizabeth Stroot

Michaela Schmitz, Staff Reporter

Dr. Elizabeth Stroot is an incredibly well-loved and irreplaceable member of the community at Lakeland University. Throughout the course of her career at Lakeland, Stroot has impacted hundreds of lives and inspired them to pursue a career out of their passion for helping others and their love for psychology.

While many people are aware of how passionate Dr. Stroot is about Psychology, several have very little insight into why she decided to dedicate her life to this particular field. She says, “I understood the nature and nurture controversy from the time I was a little kid. I began to understand very quickly that people are a product of their environment and products of their genetics. That always fascinated me! I like to understand how different people could view the same event through different eyes. And so I loved psychology and was fascinating with psychology before I even knew what it was!”

Originally, Stroot was going to school to become a lawyer until she happened to take a psychology class, and it completely changed the course of her future career. Very quickly she realized that her dream involved a career in Psychology, and everything came together beautifully with an extensive amount of handwork and dedication. “I switched my major to psychology and then did the whole graduate school routine, and my dream job was to be like one of the professors that I had. To have an office and talk about psychology all the time and the people I would be around could all share our love of the discipline, and we could work with the students, it just was the ideal life for me.” Stroot has definitely succeeded in sharing her love of the discipline with not just her colleagues, but with her students and the Lakeland community as a whole.

Michaela Klein, a senior in the undergraduate psychology program, had this to say, “I consider myself very lucky to have Dr. Stroot as a professor and advisor. Within her classes, she shares her inspiring amount of understanding, creating a vivid and truly impactful learning experience. Through her guidance and dedication, she uplifts students in every interaction. She has changed so many lives through her role at Lakeland, including mine. I am certain she will continue to do so throughout her retirement!”

Another senior that has had the opportunity to have Dr. Stroot as their mentor and advisor is Maddeline Ivy. She says, “Dr. Stroot gave me so many opportunities like my first internship. Dr. Stroot has, and always been a loyal and trusting mentor, she has fueled and supported my love for psychology. Dr. Stroot has always supported my ideas, thoughts, and curiosities within psychology. She is someone I can count on and is always pushing me to broaden my horizons. By her sharing her passions with me, she has been someone I can look up to, count on, and know that she is always in my corner. I can never thank her enough.”

Elizabeth Randa equals these sentiments by saying, “Dr. Stroot has been my mentor throughout my entire psychology journey at Lakeland. She has pushed me to be better at every turn while also reassuring me that I am good enough even when I doubted myself. She cares about my well-being as well as my education. She has given me more support and advice than I could have hoped for and I could not have asked for a better advisor and mentor. She truly is one of the reasons I have achieved the success I have today, academically, professionally, and personally. She has helped me grow more than she knows and I am forever grateful to her for that.”

Another student who has had the opportunity to know Dr. Stroot both professionally and personally is, Jasmine Clark. She says, “I’ve known Dr. Stroot since I’ve been young (literally first grade). I never expected her to be my advisor at Lakeland because I didn’t think we would cross paths in life again, but I am glad we did. Through my four years at Lakeland, Dr. Stroot has been my advisor, professor, and an ear when I have a problem and need advice. She has a way of educating without being intimidating, and being a very inviting, open, and gentle person when you need someone to talk to about grades, classes, or even personal issues. She always has her student’s best interest and success in mind and helps relate to us by assuring us that she’s been a stressed-out college student as well and she knows what it’s like. Dr. Stroot’s guidance in class advising and being there whenever I needed help for a difficult assignment has definitely helped in me now being a senior psychology major.”

Several other students equal these sentiments mentioned above by Olivia Kasper, Remington Hanson, and Lydia Iwanski all spoke out about how impactful their experience with Dr. Stroot has been. Olivia Kasper’s said, “Dr. Stroot was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had! She not only cared about the class material, but her students and their learning. She made it a point to check in with her students at the beginning of classes and stay after if anyone needed help. I am so sad that she is retiring, but amazingly glad that she is able to retire. I hope she knows how thankful I am for everything she has done for me!”

While Remington Hanson also said this, “When I decided to switch my major to Psychology my junior year, Dr. Stroot agreed to become my advisor. She immediately put me at ease with my decision. She’s a great professor because she truly cares about her students by encouraging their success, looking after their well-being, and setting a great example for the future psychologists at Lakeland.”

Lastly, Lydia Iwanski talks about the career opportunities and positive influence Stroot’s teaching has had on her life. She says, “Dr. Stroot impacted my experience in psychology by opening me up to many opportunities and career paths to choose from within the field. She has shown compassion and a commitment to her field, teaching, and students that has inspired me immensely.”

Stroot has inspired so many students to continue and chase after whatever dreams they have, while pushing them to consider reality alongside their dreams. She has been a bright light in the midst of the many challenges the Lakeland community has had to overcome over the years. No matter where she goes, that light is bound to carry with her and will be missed by everyone here at Lakeland.

To read more about the many accomplishments Dr. Stroot has had in her career, please go to https://lakeland.edu/post/psychology-professor-elizabeth-stroot-announces-retirement-2022-03-24