Annette L. Stanton is a distinguished professor and the department chair of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on how people adjust to health-related hardships and identifying the factors that help them through the process. Sitting in our new green room at the ASU California Center at the Herald Examiner, the “How Do We Begin Again?” panelist spoke about passion fruit, her favorite place to go on UCLA’s campus, and the way she deals with stress.
Where was your favorite place to go growing up in Kansas?
There’s a place called the Konza Prairie that has big rolling hills. Some people would think of it as sort of stark, but I think of it as a really stark kind of beauty.
What is your favorite food?
I like so many foods. Today I am going to say passion fruit, because it's what's here right now [Annette gestures to her agua fresca, which was provided by OaxaCalifornia for the event].
You’ve received numerous awards for your undergraduate teaching and graduate mentoring. Did the way you approach mentorship change at all with COVID?
I'm not sure that it's changed a lot. But I would say with COVID checking in on how people are doing is important. And so I try to be very aware of [that]; asking how my graduate students or undergraduates in my lab are doing.
Your research tests theories of stress and coping. How do you deal with stress yourself?
One of the things that I do in my research is try to understand how people deal with emotion, and so one of the things that we found is that writing about whatever's going on with you seems to be important in terms of helping people through difficult times. And so I also do that myself—not even close to every day, but every few months or so, I take time to write and reflect. There's something about writing that does something more than just thinking [does].
Where's your favorite place to go on UCLA’s campus?
Probably the sculpture garden. There's a particular sculpture by Deborah Butterfield. It looks like it's made out of driftwood but it's actually made out of bronze. Part of why I connect with it is that my husband's a high school teacher, but he also, in a period of his life, worked in bronze and does some shapes [inspired] from nature that I also really love. So that’s a connection to it too.