By HEATHER TURNER
Michael Babula is an American born and British educated psychologist, political scientist, business scholar, and author. Dr. Babula is the author of the forthcoming book, Motivation, Altruism, Personality, and Social Psychology: The Coming Age of Altruism. Dr. Babula’s research has previously appeared in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, The Unlikely Samaritans (2013) and PS: Political Science and Politics, Political Values in a Threat Environment (2007). He currently serves as a Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Techniques (Lead Faculty) at the University of Greenwich.
Dr. Babula (born June 2, 1977) is the youngest of five children and grew up in western New Jersey. When Babula was age twelve, his father, Raymond Babula, an electrician and a United States military veteran, died from lung cancer. His mother, Ann Babula, who had served as an elected school board member and worked as a real estate agent, encouraged him early on to pursue higher education.
In 1996, Dr. Babula started his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, majoring in political science and earning a minor in history. He followed a broad social science curriculum under instructors including, Emeritus Professor Philip Graven, Professor Hiroshi Obayashi, and Professor Norman Markowitz. It was while at Rutgers University that Dr. Babula developed his passion for the study of pro-social behavior and ending structural violence.
Dr. Babula decided to pursue an MBA at Seton Hall University. It was during this general time period that students emerging from the economic growth decade of the 1990s were encouraged to study business. Dr. Babula took a keen interest in studying the works of influential thinkers, such as, W. Edwards Deming and Robert Greenleaf. He was also heavily influenced by his instructors, including, Richard Smith, former CEO of Chubb Insurance Company, on the need for more corporate social responsibility in order to secure the transparency of America’s financial markets.
Dr. Babula graduated from Seton Hall University in 2001 and took up a position as a financial analyst. Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Dr. Babula became intrigued to learn that blood banks were turning donors away because too many people had volunteered to give blood. This inspired Dr. Babula to devote his spare time to developing a PhD proposal that would expand upon the pro-social theories that had become the cornerstone of his undergraduate and graduate research. He submitted his proposal, which focused on the pro-social behavior exhibited by his students, to the University of London. Dr. Babula was admitted to study under the supervision of the political science and psychology departments under the supervision of Professor Carl Levy and Emeritus Professor Herbert Blumberg.
Upon his acceptance, Dr. Babula demonstrated advanced quantitative methodology skills and was also hired to teach at Goldsmiths College’s generic research training unit, where he conducted quantitative research for the Goldsmiths’ education department. In March 2006, Dr. Babula undertook a series of teaching positions in the United States and United Kingdom.
Dr. Babula began teaching upon completion of his MBA studies. His first position, in 2002, was as an adjunct faculty member teaching algebra to students at Warren County Community College, New Jersey. When he entered the University of London as a PhD student, his professors hired him to teach political economy and quantitative research methods. In October 2002, Dr. Babula also took a position teaching for the political science and generic research training departments at Goldsmiths College. Dr. Babula also gained valuable experience in the classroom through a series of part-time teaching posts.
After completing his PhD in 2006, Dr. Babula returned to the United States. He took up several part-time faculty positions teaching forensic social psychology at Marymount University and statistics at the University of Baltimore. He was then appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola University, where he conducted an experiment that would became the topic of the article titled The unlikely Samaritans. Dr. Babula’s supervisor, Rev. F. Hank Hilton, supported his research initiatives.
Dr. Babula’s academic career continued to progress. He served as Director of Education at South University, and later, became Vice President for Academic Affairs at American Intercontinental University. Dr. Babula would later tap into his experiences as a university administrator to develop his groundbreaking work: Motivation, Altruism, Personality & Social Psychology: The Coming Age of Altruism. Dr. Babula challenges the extrinsic reward systems promoted by for-profit universities and recommends, in Chapter 13, specific measures that will make significant improvements to America’s education system.
Dr. Babula is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Although Dr. Babula has at times been involved in public life, little is known about his beliefs other than that which can be inferred from his publications and news articles written about him. At age 21, he ran as a Republican Party candidate for mayor of Flemington, New Jersey and was endorsed by former President Gerald R. Ford who wrote, “With your fine family background, your dedication to hard work and discipline, your educational ambition at Rutgers University, and your fiscal and social policies, you are on the “right track” in the political arena. I commend your outstanding desire to serve with integrity and common sense. You have my compliments and support as the Republican nominee for Mayor of Flemington.”
Dr. Babula had described himself as a Lincoln Republican and ran on a platform that promoted equal rights and addressed the concerns of the poor, amongst other more progressive initiatives for his hometown. While he did lose the election, Dr. Babula recollects that the loss enabled him to dedicate himself to his pursuit of higher education.
Dr. Babula’s classes are very popular and well attended and he continues to conduct cutting-edge research in psychology, politics and pro-social behavior. Although he has a grueling schedule and leads a large course team at the University of Greenwich, Dr. Babula still finds the time to travel internationally.