How/Why Research? During my sophomore year, I took a Research Methods course in Psychology and fell in love with the research process. Being able to develop and answer your own intellectual curiosities was so fascinating to me. Through encouragement and guidance from various mentors, I began looking into different psychology-related research opportunities both at UNC and at other institutions. As a member of the nonprofit organization Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS), I learned how important it is for research to be disseminated to the public and to academics. Research has the ability to explore new truths and advance the understanding of the field. Through my work in both the Penn and Mood, Emotions, Clinical, and Child Assessment labs, I have gotten to firsthand experience the importance of research.
Research Experiences: I first began working in the Penn Schizophrenia Lab. The lab’s research focuses on social cognition and psychosocial treatment for schizophrenia. My role has consisted of listening to recorded therapy sessions, rating the therapeutic alliance between client and clinician, and assisting with data entry. This past summer, I completed a summer research internship at the Florida Mental Health Institute. In collaboration with a local Family Dependency Treatment Court, I was able to evaluate their effectiveness by analyzing the frequency and determinants of case outcomes. I was able to immerse myself in the court process by witnessing hearings and intake interviews. As a member of the Mood Emotions, and Clinical Child Assessment Lab under Dr. Youngstrom, I have engaged in discourse related to mood disorders, while also completing literature reviews on lab-related topics. I have also been working on my own independent research on psychosocial determinants of recidivism in adolescents.