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Psychology News

Over the summer, Psychology major Isadora Fink had an extraordinary internship experience at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which is affiliated with the Human Research and Engineering Directorate in the Department of Defense. We interviewed Isadora so that she could tell us more about her experience.

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Psychology major Isadora Fink and her research poster

1. Where and when did you complete this internship?

First, I applied to the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) College Qualified Leadership (CQL) internship program. This program places student within Department of Defense Labs for a research experience. I was placed at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) within the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED). I was on site this summer from June 3rd till August 16th. I had heard about the program through a family member who had sent me a link to the internship.

2. There are so many internship opportunities out there. In what ways did this one stand out?

I would like to gain more experience within a professional research setting. More importantly, I would like to use this experience to get a better understanding of myself and what I want to do in the future. This amazing opportunity would allow me to work with researchers from various fields and as a result, be super helpful for me as I continue to figure out what type of graduate program I would like to apply to for next year.

3. What were your job responsibilities?

I have gained tons of research experiences! I was responsible for compiling data, analyzing and interpreting data with SPSS, developing research questions, assisting with equipment (e.g., equi vital system, eye-tracking equipment), putting together research study proposals, and carrying out research studies. The best thing about this internship was the connections that I was able to make with researchers from different fields. I was lucky to have an excellent supervisor who had mentored me along the way. I also got to work with interesting topics such as augmented reality.

4. What was a highlight of your experience?

All interns were required to present their work at the end of their internship and two student interns (one graduate and one undergraduate) were selected to represent a paper presentation. Among all the interns, I was the undergraduate student who was selected to present my work at the summer student symposium. Specifically, I presented my study titled “Using Augmented Reality in Mission Planning and Performance.”

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Among all the undergraduate interns, Isadora was selected to present her study at a symposium. Way to Go Isa!

5. Any obstacles that you have encountered during this internship?

I guess getting all the paperwork done before the internship was an obstacle! It also took some time to gain access to their computer system/network.

6. Lastly, how has this internship changed or enhanced your career goals?

Tremendously! It has helped solidify my ideas. It is clear that I am passionate about research and this is something that I definitely want to pursue after I graduate from Stevenson University.

One thing that makes our Psychology department at Stevenson University stand out is the amazing faculty that we have. In our department, we currently have seven full-time faculty members representing sub-disciplines such as Bio, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Social, and Sports. Our students often comment on how caring their Psychology professors are and the creative approaches they take in teaching. Did you know that a number of the Psychology professors have won teaching awards?

Dr. Bilgrave Dawson Award

Dr. Dyer Bilgrave, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, won the university-wide “Dawson Teaching Award” in 2004.

Dr. Elliott Dawson Award

Dr. Jeff Elliott, Chair and Professor of Psychology, won the university-wide “Dawson Teaching Award” in 2006.

Dr. Iannone Dawson Award

Dr. Virginia Iannone, Professor of Psychology, won the university-wide “Dawson Teaching Award” in 2017.

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Dr. Richard Metzger, Senior Lecturer of Psychology, won teaching awards from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Mercer University.

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Dr. Ryan Schurtz, Associate Professor of Psychology, won a teaching award from the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2018.

Dr. Wong dawson award

Dr. Maria Wong, Associate Professor of Psychology, won the university-wide “Dawson Teaching Award” in 2019.

Psychology faculty 2018-2019

The proud full-time Psychology faculty 2018-2019. Missing Dr. Colleen Spada, who joined our wonderful department in 2019.

My name is Lauren Cancila and I graduated from Stevenson University in May of 2019. I am now studying Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Stevenson’s Psychology program has definitely prepared me well for graduate school in a couple of significant ways.

Lauren Cancila

1. The knowledge and skills that I have acquired are highly applicable to my current position. Specifically, I am confident about my new graduate-level social work research courses because of my extensive experience with research (e.g., individual and group research projects) when I was at Stevenson. In addition, the many clinical courses that I had taken proved to be very helpful as I began working with clients from different walks of life.

2. The Psychology professors at SU are simply amazing. Among them, Dr. Metzger has made the biggest impact on me. He was always the first person I went to with good or bad news, and somehow he always had answers to my questions! He believed in me in times when I didn’t believe in myself and had pushed me to be the best student I could ever be. In addition, I had learned so much from Dr. Iannone. Her professional development sequence was so helpful and she had definitely helped shape me into who I am today. Last but not least, Dr. Tulloch and her course “Drugs and Behavior” literally changed my life. I remember that it was a service-learning course where students were required to volunteer at a non-profit organization that dealt with drug and alcohol treatment or prevention. Through her class, I started volunteering at a halfway house which I am still involved with today. Her class and the way she taught the material had opened my eyes to something that I am extremely passionate about: to work with people who are in the process of recovery from various addictions.

The Social Work graduate program at UMB requires students to work as interns. For me, I was assigned to intern at a community outreach center in Baltimore City where I will be doing case management to clients aged 55 and older. In the long run, my goal is to become a case manager at a drug and alcohol treatment center and maybe even establish my own halfway house! Thanks to the outstanding experiences that I had gathered at Stevenson, I received the Substance Use Disorder Intervention Fellowship. Because of this fellowship, I will have a more focused education in substance abuse as well as a secured second year internship at a treatment center of my choice.

Taken together, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Psychology program at Stevenson University. The students and faculty who I had met during my time there had blessed me with the skills, motivation, and knowledge I need to achieve my highest potential. The SU Psychology department will always be part of my family.

By: Lauren Cancila ('19 Psychology)

Check out this video: Dr. Wong brought her two daughters to demonstrate temperament in her PSY 108 Human Growth & Development class.

 

In this blog post, Psychology major Nya Medley described what she has learned at a recent job/career fair and reflected on her experience in planning her future internship experience.

As a freshman, I first did not know anything about internships. However, I quickly learned that not only is it important to obtain an internship, but also a requirement for Psychology majors. I confess, when I first came across the word “internship”, I found it to be a little intimidating.

Nya Medley

Nya Medley ('22 Psychology)

All my concerns dissipated when I attended last semester's Psychology and Human Services Career Fair. I was impressed how approachable and courteous all the employer representatives were. This fair has really created an excellent opportunity for me to engage in lively conversations with the professionals in my field. In the end, I had conversations with representatives from organizations such as: Kennedy Krieger, Trellis, Sheppard Pratt, TranZed, Target Community & Educational Services Inc., and Itineris.

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Part-time Job Fair held at Stevenson University in Fall 2019

One specific conversation that stuck out to me was learning about The Maryland School of the Blind (MSB). I had a great conversation with one of the administrators from MSB and it was both informative and educational. She explained to me that at MSB, they educate and cultivate young blind students. Similar to any of the nearby public schools, MBS has education, clubs, graduation, honor ceremonies, and even sport events! Recently, MBS’s Goalball team won a Guinness World Record for playing the world’s longest game of goalball ever! At that moment, I realized the importance of schools that are dedicated to serving children with disabilities. For my future internship, I would love to work at a place like this!

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"Verbal Beginnings," one of the organizations participating in the job fair this semester

Internships are not really about checking yet another box or putting another line of experience on your resume. Instead, internships are great opportunities for us to learn and make an impact that can change someone's life forever. In a way, internships are like a box of assorted chocolates. You never know the joy that each one could bring, until you try each of them for yourself.

By: Nya Medley (’22, Psychology)

 
 
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