Kayla Crook

What are you doing now?

I earned my master’s in behavior analysis and therapy from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Currently, I am a doctoral student at the University of Georgia under the supervision of Dr. Joel Ringdahl.

How did UTM Psychology Program help you achieve what you have become?

Even though Psychology 318 was definitely stressful and challenging, it has undoubtedly helped me the most. I am currently enrolled in a graduate level ANOVA class and thank Dr. MacKewn silently every class because I am so much more prepared than some of my classmates. I also would not be where I am today had it not been for Ms. Connell’s ABA class (which I decided to take randomly because I needed another elective). Sometimes it can be the unexpected classes that influence your future more than you could ever have expected.


Dr. Merwin, Dr. MacKewn, and Ms. Connell have all inspired, mentored, and stressed me out in more ways than I can explain. They inspired me to continue my education and follow my dreams and work towards my passions. They mentored me when I decided I did not want to go to Occupational Therapy school but instead wanted to jump right into Behavior Analysis. Their advice and leadership taught me that sometimes making a life changing decision just months before graduation is actually the best thing a student can do. Finally, the stress that their classes gave me, taught me study habits, time management skills, and stress management skills that I continue to use after years of being away from Martin.

What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming UTM psychology majors?

My advice would be to take advantage of the professors in the department. Ask questions! Honestly, I did not become involved in working with Ms. Connell until my final year at Martin. This is because I just was not aware of the opportunities that were available because I did not ask questions! Many of the professors will not openly recruit students, students should take the initiative! Yes the course load can be stressful, but the courses are designed to be challenging and prepare you for either the work force or graduate school. Look at the challenging courses as learning and growing opportunities and I promise the stress will not seem as bad.

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