Recent NewsMay 25, 2023
Student Spotlight: Alexander Caton '25 (Psychology)
“Since I’ve got here, Roberts has become a dream school for me.”
Alexander Caton '25 (Psychology) has fallen in love with Roberts as the university evolves. Now, he's working to serve others using his gifts.
What’s your calling?
To be perfectly transparent, I am not sure of my calling, but I know it has to do with the servitude of others. I believe that I was given strengths to be used for the good of the whole of humanity – especially those who do not have the ability or opportunity themselves. Before my career is over, I would like to continue my education and receive my doctorate.
What drew you to Roberts?
Since I’ve got here, Roberts has become a dream school for me.
At first, I picked Roberts due to financial and COVID-19 related reasons. However, with the introduction of a men’s volleyball team this coming year and my acceptance into the Honors Research Program, the university is beyond something that I could have hoped for in high school. Studying at Roberts has enabled character development by the wonderful professors that I have been exposed to and the students who are dedicated to their prospective crafts.
Do you play any sports on campus?
Yes -- I just signed to the men's volleyball team! Signing at Roberts and being given that opportunity was the completion of something I have thought about every day since my senior club season was canceled due to the pandemic. I watched all of my teammates throughout the year commit to powerhouse programs while I felt on the sidelines. I have always been a competitive individual and this opportunity allows this part of me to be expressed again in a form that is not only academic.
I greatly look forward to getting on the court with my fellow recruits and students from Roberts that signed with me. I would like to personally thank Mr. Doug Porterfield (especially), Mr. Bob Segave, and our superior president, Dr. Deana Porterfield for making this possible and for making it a memory that I will never ever forget.
Do you have any pets?
Here’s a photo of my dogs.
Gem is the golden retriever, Dickens is the Shetland sheepdog, and Dixie is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Who is your favorite professor and what’s one way they’ve helped you?
All the professors I have had have helped me grow as a student, a person, or both. Since it is impossible to confine this title to one professor, I will name two who have been more affluent than they realize.
First, Dr. Linda Quinlan. Dr. Quinlan reminded me what it is to enjoy a subject even if it is not for one’s own major. She also reinvigorated a love of mine that I have become asstraged with since going back to school – that being literature.
Then, Dr. Nicholas DiFonzo. Dr. DiFonzo has forgotten more about psychology (let alone mathematics and engineering) than I will ever know. He is an example of the type of person and professional that I would hope to be. He has helped me more than words can say.
How do you serve others? Attempting to serve others, I would like to say that I put others before myself. I know that I do fall short on this, but I fervently believe that this process begins with placing priority on the needs of others, as opposed to oneself. This begins with something as simple as holding the door for the person behind me or offering an individual in need a smile.
What's the story of the first men’s volleyball open gym?
A few months ago, after the announcement of the NCAA Men’s Volleyball team at Roberts, myself and a number of interested students began meeting to get gym time in the gym. We met a few times in the evening. I am quite invigorated to see the level of interest already in the sport and the level of play that we have been able to achieve with all our different game experiences.
What academic or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Some academic accomplishments that I am most proud of are my first three semesters to which I have been named to the Dean’s List Highest consecutively (fingers-crossed I did not jynxy myself). Also, I am honored to have been accepted into the Honors Research and Leadership program for my junior and senior year.
If you could help everyone understand one thing, what would it be and why?
Intelligence is elasticity. I would make the assertion that today – more than ever – we have forgotten the meaning of this word all together. It is not that one is able to memorize facts or various literature that makes them intelligent, but the ability to think critically, problem solve, and remove oneself from an issue to gain insight into it.
What is your favorite quote or verse?
Semper Anticus: Always foreword.
A great deal of the time, I struggle with the past whether it be things I regret, things I wish I did differently, or things that I want to escape back to. However, I have not found this to be helpful nor sustainable in any way. One day at a time, always moving forward must be the goal.
Alex’s strengths include careful insight and kindness toward others. His writing reflects a willingness to engage with ideas and look beyond the surface issues. The practice of psychological research and learning is in many ways deeply conversational, and Alex has displayed a good aptitude for such good (authentic, insightful, dialogical, empathetic, humble) conversation; this will serve him well in the future, whatever path he follows.
Nicholas DiFonzo, Associate Professor of Psychology
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