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Former Master's Students: What are They Doing Now?

 

Sheila Brassel

 

Sheila Brassel
1st year Ph.D. Program
Michigan State University
Lansing, MI

Sheila received her M.A. degree in 2015.  She is attending the Social/Personality Psychology Ph.D. program at Michigan State University.  Her research interests are broad, but involve prejudice and discrimination at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race.  Her thesis research examined factors that predict transprejudice.

Her advice:  "Get involved in as many research projects as possible - including those outside of your primary research interests.  This will not only expand your abilities as a researcher, but will also prepare you for more interdisciplinary work."

 

Bing Chen

 

Bing Chen
3rd year Ph.D. Program
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI

Bing received her M.A. in 2013.  She is a third year doctoral student in the Behavioral Science Program ( in psychology department) at the University of Rhode Island.  Her general focus areas include health psychology and multicultural psychology.  Specifically, she is interested in research on HIV/Sexuality, LGBTQ health, sexual prejudice/transprejudice, and health promotion.

 

Wayne Hawley

 

Wayne Hawley
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA

Wayne received his M.A. degree in 2008 and his Ph.D. from Tulane University.  He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he teaches courses such as Biopsychology and Human Sexuality.  Working with rats as a model, his current research projects are dedicated toward determining whether specific neuromodulators mediate the effects of the hormones testosterone and estrogen on sexual behaviors and learning and memory.

His advice:  "...teach a class if the opportunity arises and get involved in research as soon as you can, it takes time to generate a thesis and you only have a couple of years.  In addition, take advantage of other opportunities if they arise.  Sit in on a faculty search committee as a student representative or take an internship in the private sector.  By doing so, you will get a taste for what it is that you might want to do after ISU, like become a faculty member.  Lastly, enjoy your time as ISU.  What else could be better?  You get to talk about fascinating concepts with supportive faculty members and other students, generate research questions, design studies, execute them, and write about what you found."

 

Greg Johnson

 

Greg Johnson
Research Associate in the Office of Planning, Research and Assessment
University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, IN

Greg received his M.A. in 2011.  He is currently a Research Associate in the Office of Planning, Research, and Assessment at the University of Southern Indiana.  His primary function is to extract data from the student record system, conduct analyses and report his findings to various institution offices from the President to Department/Program Chairs.  In addition, he has mentored students for a research assistantship, designed the university's assessment plan for the new core curriculum, and worked with faculty on designing original research projects and analyzing their data.  He also teaches Biostatistics for the Department of Health Services and works as a statistical consultant/freelancer for hire.

His advice:  "Make full use of your thesis chair's (or any other faculty members') knowledge and experience.  Yes they have a teaching load and are working on their research, but you are part of their responsibilities too.  Good grades are a must, but that's only a third of where your focus needs to be.  Don't neglect your research or assistantship.  Do find time to unwind and take care of yourself.  Develop and use your support network.  You will find yourself discouraged from time to time in the program, so having people there to support you is a must.  Avoid competition and petty prejudices towards others in the program.  Be prepared to do a lot of self-driven learning.  You will likely encounter a situation where you will need to perform some task that was not covered in class or a part of your formal learning.  This is where real learning occurs."

 

Ann Jones

 

Ann E. Jones
2nd year Ph.D. Program
University of Nevada-Reno
Reno, NV

Ann graduated with her M.A. in 2014.  She is currently a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Nevada-Reno.  Her research interests involve examining shattered world beliefs as related to sexual assaults.  She will specifically be investigating racial differences and sexual orientation.  For example, are there differences in the extent of the effects of a shattered world belief for a heterosexual woman that was assaulted by a man compared to a homosexual woman that was assaulted by a man?

Her advice:  "Learn all of the statistics you can!  Statistics can be a key to your future and they will definitely give you an edge.  Also, it is imperative to have a properly designed study - remember:  crap in, crap out.  And don't sweat the small stuff; remember to look at the big picture."

 

 

Mickeal Key

 

Mickeal Key
1st year Ph.D. Program
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Champaign, IL

Mickeal received her M.A. in 2014.  She is currently completing lab rotations in doctoral Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign.  Her concentration areas are cognitive and behavioral, neuroendocrinology and neuroimmunology, and developmental genetics and molecular neuroscience.

Her advice:  "If I could offer any words of wisdom to incoming students, it would be to always be flexible.  This is especially true when it comes to time management.  You probably have great time management skills already, but they will be tested and you many have to approach it differently than you have previously."

     

Rachel Rasley

 

 

Rachel Rasley
Adjunct Instructor
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN

Rachel received her M.A. in 2012.  She currently teaches as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Psychology at Indiana State University.  She has also developed online versions of courses, including introductory research methods and developmental psychology.  She presented a poster about her thesis research at the 2015 Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference.  In the future she would like to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology.  She is especially interested in evolutionary and developmental psychology, with a focus on romantic jealousy.

Her advice:  "...stay as active in research as you possibly can.  I know that graduate-level courses are demanding, but it's important to begin your thesis research early and to stay diligent.  Ask lots of questions, study the current ethical principles, read lots of articles, and discuss your ideas with faculty and fellow students.  Knowledge is power!"

 
   
Felix Thoemmes  

Felix Thoemmes
Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Human Development and the Department of Psychology
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Felix received his M.A. in 2005 and received a Ph.D. from Arizona State University.  He is currently an Assistant Professor at Cornell University with a joint appointment in the Department of Human Development and the Department of Psychology.  His research is focused on the development, evaluation, and communication of quantitative tools for social science research.  Particular research interests are causal inference, (e.g., propensity score models), problems of missing data, and advanced structural equation models, including mediation analysis. 

His advice:  "...have a good relationship with your mentor.  Your mentor, as a senior faculty person, knows from firsthand experience how students can best be helped to progress through the program.  Fortunately, at ISU faculty mentors are very interested in your as a person and your academic development, so you are in good hands."

 

 

 

Department of Psychology