What was your favorite experience while concentrating in the UM Psychology Department?
Project Outreach. This class gave me my first practical, hands-on experience with children in a psychological setting. The experiences I had in Project Outreach included working directly with children in the classroom to help address behavioral, emotional, and academic struggles. The class was a real eye-opening experience as to the possibility of a career in psychology, and helped to fuel my interests in pursuing a career in child psychology. It was also a lot of fun!
Favorite Psychology class & why
Child Psychopathology taught by Professor Al Cain. Dr. Cain was a phenomenal professor, and this class helped me begin to apply my interests in abnormal psychology to my interests in child development
What was your first step after undergraduate graduation & how did it impact your career path?
After graduation I took two years off and worked as a research assistant. My first experience was as a research assistant in an empirically-based summer treatment program for children with ADHD. This experience reaffirmed my interests in studying and working with children with ADHD, and introduced me to the possibilities of treatment-outcomes research. Following this experience, I worked for two years as a Research Assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, which furthered my research training and my commitment to pursue scientific research in psychology.
What are you doing today?
I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville. My job consists of teaching and research, with a specific focus on child psychopathology.
What inspired you to enter that field/job/profession?
My experiences at Michigan both as a psychology major and as a student working in the community. My training at Michigan awakened my interest in the science of psychology and helped train me to the point where I was able to consider psychology as a career. Furthermore, I was able to benefit from some excellent mentors, including Drs. Al Cain and Jennifer Myers. My experiences working in the community as a U of M student inspired me to pursue work with children.
How do you use your psychology undergraduate experience in your work?
As a psychology professor, my undergraduate training has served as the foundation of everything I have accomplished. The training and knowledge I received as an undergrad was crucial to my ability to succeed in graduate school and beyond.
What excites you most about the future of your profession?
Psychology as a field continues to grow and be on the cutting edge of science. As we become increasingly aware of the pervasiveness, seriousness, and impact of child mental health problems, we are becoming better able to help children in need. Our understanding of children's cognitive, emotional, and social development offers us the opportunity to substantially improve the lives of children worldwide.
What advice do you have for students getting a Degree in the UM Psychology Department or considering your profession?
I would strongly advise students interested in pursuing a career in psychology to take some time off following college to get some training in the field. Clinical and research experiences can be quite challenging and intense, and it is very beneficial to have experienced these settings first hand before committing to a career in psychology. Additionally, the training that can be received by serving as a clinic or research assistant provides a foundation of skills that will serve well in graduate school and beyond.