Teacher Spotlight: Meet Professor Tony Perone

Dr Tony Perone teaches classes that handle psychology and human development on campus. He enjoyed classes in arts and languages in college and reminds students to be grateful for any journey your life is on. The Ledger had the opportunity to sit with Dr. Perone, and talk about his interest in his field, his time at UW Tacoma, and some fun facts about him outside of school life.

Where did you attend college?

“My bachelor’s degree is in Applied Language studies from Cornell University. My graduate work was done at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My master’s degree is in Education and my doctorate is in Educational Psychology with a concentration in human development and learning.”

When did you know you wanted to pursue your field of study?

“My favorite classes as an undergrad were in the arts and languages. I took many classes in acting, writing, literature/poetry, languages other than English, and linguistics. Two of these classes stand out and sparked a journey that I’m still on today. One was an introduction to acting class. This class was the first experience I have ever had in a formal learning environment where I was invited to explore my total, integrated self: physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual. The second one was an advanced Spanish conversation class where we made our own stories and filmed them in Spanish. It was such a powerful, fun course and one like I had never experienced before, especially in a language learning context. Both of these classes, and my undergraduate honors thesis on teaching and learning languages through drama, improvisation and movement, ignited my interest in play and performance as a revolutionary activity for teaching, learning and community building.” 

What classes do you teach?

“I teach introductory psychology and different courses in human development, such as lifespan development, adult development, culture and development and lifespan imaginative play.  I also teach a course in our graduate program in interdisciplinary studies.”

What do you like best about UWT?

“I love the diversity of programs and people here at UWT and I am honored and grateful to be a part of this community.”

What are your hobbies outside of teaching?

“Meditating, practicing yoga, and learning about Ayurveda and additional non-Western approaches to healing and wellness. Doing puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku. Co-creating arts-based activities such as improvisation and humanitarian clowning. I’ve played and clowned with amazing people from around the world and learned with/from Dr. Patch Adams. Singing with others in kirtans and improvised singing circles. Watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and attending drag performances.”

What advice can you give students?

Honor and be grateful for the life journeys you are on. Set the intention to listen to your heart and quiet the voice of fear or doubt. Be a builder with others of activities that serve our collective development and learning.”


  1. I love the many nicknames people offer/call me. Some of them include: Buddy, Dr. Avo, and Dr. P.
  2. In my 20’s, I visited 17 cities in 60 days via Greyhound and stayed in hostels and with friends around the USA. My favorite cities on that trip were Chicago and San Francisco.
  3. One of the proudest and most fun moments of my life was competing in the Illinois Regional Yoga Competition in 2013.
  4. I rarely need an alarm clock and I have a really good “internal Tony clock” that tells me “how long things take” and even “what time it is.”
  5. My spirit animal is a penguin.
Dr. Tony Perone teaches Psychology and Human Development on campus.