1. What are you doing now?
I am currently working on my Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Western Kentucky University, where I am studying personality factors associated with muscle dysmorphia under the supervision of Dr. Rick Grieve. After completion of this program, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with the hopes of obtaining a career in academia.
2. How did UTM Psychology Program help you achieve what you have become?
I strongly feel that the Psychology Program at UTM is an excellent program for those looking to pursue further education in graduate school. The variety of courses, exposure to different teaching styles, research opportunities, and extracurricular activities provided me with a solid foundation for my graduate training. The course that originally inspired me to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology (as well as one that has proven to be extremely beneficial) was Abnormal Psychology with my advisor, Dr. Susan Buckelew. Personality Theory with Dr. Michelle Merwin has also been of great assistance in regards to personality assessment and testing.
The Psychology Program at UTM provides a number of opportunities to gain valuable research experience, as well as to become involved in extracurricular activities. I feel that my work with Dr. Buckelew as a member of her research team has served me very well in my graduate training. Furthermore, conducting and presenting my own independent research under her supervision provided me with a unique and highly beneficial experience that many of my cohorts did not have during their undergraduate training. Also, my experience as a supplemental instructor for Dr. Buckelew was of particular importance to me as it solidified my desire to pursue a career in academia. Furthermore, it provided me with an opportunity to share my passion for psychology with my peers, while at the same time allowing me to gain vital teaching experience, which has served me well in my current position as a teaching assistant. In addition to these experiences, the extracurricular activities, such as Psi-Chi and Psychology Club really helped me to learn more about opportunities within the field, as well as gain hands on experience within the community.
In summation, I strongly feel that the Psychology Program at UTM prepared me incredibly well for my graduate training. I am forever grateful for all of the supervision and mentoring that I received from the entire faculty. They are passionate about what they do, which in turn provides an optimal environment for students to learn and grow in a nurturing but intellectually stimulating setting.
3. What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming UTM psychology majors?
A degree in psychology is one that is incredibly versatile and can be applied in any number of professional settings. If you have an interest in psychology, this is definitely an excellent program in which to pursue those interests. For those who choose enter into this program, my word of advice: get involved; get to know your fellow students, as well as the faculty. Not only will this make your undergraduate experience more enjoyable, but it will help you significantly when you begin to apply to graduate schools or prepare to enter the workforce.