1. What are you doing now?
I am enrolled in Vanderbilt's Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program concentrating in Forensics. Vanderbilt has many nurse practitioner specialties including family, women's studies, and pediatric. To be a part of their "bridge program," a degree in nursing is not required for entry. They accept any major, but require a few prerequisite courses, such as Anatomy and Physiology and Developmental Psychology. The accelerated program typically takes six semesters (including summers). After the first three semesters, a student is ready to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. After the next three semesters, a student earns a Master of Science in Nursing degree.
2. How did UTM Psychology Program help you achieve what you have become?
The Psychology Program at UT Martin is superb! The program offers numerous opportunities for research, enriching courses, and enjoyable extracurricular programs. In regards to the psychology courses offered at UTM, they were extremely interesting and relevant to the courses which I am currently taking in graduate school. Dr. Michelle Merwin's Introduction to Psychology course was the main reason I chose Psychology as a major. I further decided to pursue a degree in Neuropsychology because of the Physiological Psychology course that I took with Ms. Sherry Jones.
The psychology department offers numerous activities in which one can be involved. I was on a research team with Dr. Susan Buckelew. Through this opportunity, I was able to refine my research skills and get research experience that is crucial for graduate school admissions. I also attended and presented at SEPA, which gave me experience in writing, presenting, and displaying professional skills. I was involved in Psi Chi, which offered many opportunities for professional growth and involvement in the community.
In my current graduate program, I have quickly found the skills I obtained in the undergraduate program at UTM are invaluable. The challenging work I am now doing in graduate school is much easier because of the foundation that was laid in my undergraduate courses. Every faculty mentor in the psychology department is friendly, helpful, and wants his or her students to succeed!
3. What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming UTM psychology majors?
I believe that an undergraduate degree in Psychology is one of the most versatile degrees that one can obtain. One can attend many different professional schools or enter into the workforce with a psychology degree. I changed my mind numerous times about what I wanted to do with my life (from medical school to law school to graduate school), but never had to change my major.