Women’s History Month Feature: Maya Aloni

Maya Aloni is described by her students as an “awesome” professor, yet she constantly strives to get better.

“You can always improve,” she says. “You can always find new ways to do things. I really care a lot about my teaching. It is great to be part of a department that is so supportive. Having such a wonderful department makes it a pleasure to go to work each day.”

While teaching is her focus, research comes in a close second. She was recently named the recipient of the 2012 Award for Faculty Scholarship at MCC. It’ll be presented at a reception at the College on April 19. She’ll be honored along with Professor Claire Condie of Natural Sciences, who will receive the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Maya recently published an article with colleagues from her graduate program at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. The group, including Sandra Murray, Jaye Derrick, Sadie Leder and Briana Harris, studied how positive illusions help relationship satisfaction.

“It talked about how it is beneficial to the relationship to perceive your romantic partner to resemble your ideal partner,” Maya said. “What we found is that people are less likely to experience declines in their relationship satisfaction over time if they idealize their partner. Now, you’re not going to turn a frog into a prince. But let’s say your partner is somewhat stubborn, it could be beneficial to your relationship to put a positive spin on their faults by thinking, ‘they just have a strong personality.’”

Another of Maya’s interests is in advising Psi Beta, the psychology club.

“That has been a joy for me,” she says. “The students – led by the president, Roux Bedrosian – run the discussions. They are very interesting and I’ve learned things from them. The club is a fun experience for me and my students.”

The group heard from three speakers last semester, and plans to hold a panel discussion on careers in psychology this semester.

“My goal is to stimulate students’ curiosity about psychology and research and for students to learn what they can do with a major in psychology,” she said.


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