Faculty Spotlight: Ralph Eugene Cash

Gene Cash, NCSP, associate professor of psychology at the Center for Psychological Studies, doesn’t use his first name, Ralph, but he signs his name R. Eugene Cash. When asked why, he said that the signature forms a question: “Are you Gene Cash?”

This is an example of the humor Cash brings to his job. Cash tries to find and add humor to the things he does.

“Like, the name of our clinic is the School Psychology Assessment and Consultation Center and so we call it SPACEY and the practicum students there are SPACEY cadets,” Cash said. “And we have a didactic portion of our supervision that we call Enhancement of Intensive Evaluation Intervention and Obser-vational Skills or EIEIOS. I love acronyms. I love to bring humor to the process because I believe you learn better if you’re having a good time.”

Cash grew up in a family, which he said was “so poor that the church mice moved out of our house and back into the church.” Only one person in his family had gone to college. However, Cash enrolled at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville as a chemistry major. He later made an impulsive decision to change his major to psychology when he decided that he would rather work with people than chemical calculations. This love for working with people shows in Cash’s teaching style.

He incorporates his philosophy of life into his teaching, telling students that getting a degree takes persistence.

“I tell them that it’s really important to be a good person in order to be a good professional,” Cash said. “That it’s very important to go into psychology not because you want to make a lot of money. Go into psychology because you really want to help people.”

Cash has been a professor at NSU since 2003 and was nominated for a Student Life Achievement Award in 2007 for co-curricular advisor of the year. He was the Student Government Association Specialist Professor of the Year for 2004-2005 and 2005-2006.

Outside of NSU, he has been the president of the National Association of School Psychologists and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Association of School Psychologists, of which he was also president.

But Cash’s hobbies extend well beyond psychology.

Cash loves to sing and was a member of the Nova Singers for a few years. He is an amateur actor, plays guitar and enjoys going skiing, scuba diving, boating and skydiving. Cash has visited every continent except Antarctica, which he plans to visit soon.

“Traveling is a passion of mine, not just a hobby,” Cash said. “I travel as often as I can. I try to get introduced to other cultures and other people as often as I can.”

Cash’s enthusiasm for life is contagious and the way he follows his passion mirrors the advice that he gives to others.

“Do what you love,” he said. “Follow your passion the very best that you can and other things will come — money, fame, if that’s what you want. Whatever it is that you hope to achieve will come about as a result of doing what you love and doing it the best that you possibly can.”

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