Program director of psychology, Professor Greg Benson-Florez

Hobbies outside of Work
Spending time with my family especially my spouse and our 3.5-year-old son. We enjoy traveling to visit family in Latin America as well as international travel in general and outdoor activities. I enjoy visiting cultural museums and learning more about diverse cultural groups. In addition, practicing self-care through exercises such as jogging and family walks in the parks.

Who is someone that inspires you?

Rigoberta Menchú for supporting and promoting indigenous rights internationally and her activism in Latin America. Nelson Mandela for his social justice involvement in helping to deconstruct apartheid and racism in South Africa and globally.

Motto that you live by

A few include the following: Dolores Huerta-Civil rights and women rights activist- “Si Se Puede”. Nelson Mandela- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. If you could recommend one book to your students, what would it be? I would recommend that they read many books and a few classics including the following: “Open Veins of Latin America/las venas abiertas de
america latina” by Uruguayan writer and poet Eduardo Galeano to better understand the entire history of the Americas. Also, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. This book highlights the term conscientização, meaning consciousness-raising that provided a foundation
for Liberation Psychology which emphasizes critical consciousness. A recent book that I encourage all students to read but especially those in my Cross-Cultural Mental Health class is “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson focused on institutional racism and discrimination.

If you could have lunch with any historical figure, who would it be?

The Dalai Lama- Tenzin Gyatso, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. His emphasis on compassion, empathy, nonviolence, and finding harmony within oneself and with others resonates with my worldview and also as a Psychologist.

Final Thoughts

It is a privilege to interact with excellent and motivated students here at St. Augustine College. In the Psychology department, we are dedicated to helping students attain and expand their educational and professional pursuits