Employee Spotlight: Hope Cate
Hope Cate is an inspiring figure at CFCC, where she serves as a psychology instructor. Her journey to academia was a complex one. Initially, she attended college but faced family issues that forced her to put her education on hold. During this period, she embarked on a different path and became a massage therapist.
However, her passion for counseling never waned, prompting her to make a pivotal decision. Hope decided to leave her successful career as a massage therapist to return to school to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sport psychology.
Now a psychology instructor, Hope has found her true calling. She thrives in the classroom, sharing her knowledge and nurturing the minds of her students. The camaraderie she has developed with her fellow instructors at CFCC is invaluable to her growth as an educator. She wholeheartedly praises her department chair for his instrumental role in shaping her into a stronger and more effective instructor.
“Hope can be counted on to teach wherever she is needed, whether that is at the Wilmington Campus, North Campus, or even the Surf City campus,” shared CFCC Social and Behavioral Science Department Chair Thomas Massey. “Always sensitive to student needs, Hope takes the time to get to know her students and works hard to inspire them through her teaching of psychology. Hope has taught at CFCC since 2019 and aspires to start a student Psychology Club next semester with a strong focus on programs of mental wellness to benefit our students and enrich campus culture.”
Off-campus, Hope can be found nurturing her love for plants through container gardening, where she has cultivated a small oasis of greenery that brings tranquility to her surroundings. One of her mint leaf plants holds a special surprise—a dove’s nest with two eggs. Hope takes delight in observing the movements and behaviors of the dove family, and enjoying this small connection to the wonders of the natural world.
We caught up with Hope before the beginning of the semester. She was happy to share her experience at CFCC.
WHAT YEAR DID YOU START WORKING AT CFCC AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
I started in 2019. I had retired from a career as a medical massage therapist and went back to school for my master’s in psychology. I have always loved teaching and thought CFCC would be a good fit for me.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
Seeing that “light bulb” moment in a student’s eyes when the concepts really speak to them. I love hearing personal stories from my students when they recognize a theory being used in real life or were able to talk to a friend in need and use what they learned in class to help.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING, WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am an avid container gardener. I take photos of nature and love to draw and paint. I am a huge movie and tv buff and am fluent in movie quotes. And of course, driving down to the beach and soaking in that “salt therapy.”
WHO HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR EDUCATION AND/OR CAREER PATH?
B.F. Skinner and the theory of behaviorist. Nowadays we combine that with cognitive psychology and it makes sense to do this. But his theories were the first ones that rang true to me and helped me dig deeper into psychology’s many facets and apply them to daily life.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“Work smarter, not harder” and “Remember that no matter what the day holds, it is temporary in the grand scheme of things and the sun will rise again tomorrow to start it all over again.”
WHAT IS SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I am Buddhist. The philosophy of it flows right in with my view of living a good life with positive thoughts and positive actions. Also, I grew up in Florida until I was 14.
DEGREES & CERTIFICATES
B.S. psychology. M.S. in Sport Psychology. Applied Sport Psychologist.