Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I sought a doctoral program with rigorous research and excellent clinical training in health psychology. The Clinical Psychology PhD program at IUPUI encompasses these qualities of a strong training program and affords students opportunities to get both specialized and diverse training, with access to several nearby medical centers for both research and clinical training. Moreover, IUPUI is home to many faculty members who value both productivity and mentorship, two additional aspects of training that are invaluable to me. For these reasons, I chose to join Dr. Jesse Stewart’s Cardiometabolic Behavioral Medicine (CBM) Lab.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My first two years as a graduate student have been characterized by ambition. Thus far, I have written two first-author manuscripts and given two oral presentations, in addition to collecting data for and defending my master’s thesis. I am grateful for these opportunities to identify and develop my program of research.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
As a West Michigan girl, Indianapolis feels like home...but without my beloved Great Lakes. I love the Midwest hospitality and the access to nature, sports, and Meijer stores.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
My interest in cardiometabolic behavioral medicine has narrowed to the role of depressive symptoms on health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes. These interests are evident in my recent research projects: I conducted data collection for my master’s thesis on the association between depressive symptoms and food attentional bias—a cognitive tendency to notice food cues over other cues in one’s environment, which could lead to food consumption and obesity. Additionally, I have given two oral presentations corresponding to two first-author manuscripts: the first on depressive symptoms and behavioral weight loss attendance in a sample of primary care patients with obesity, and the second on depressive symptoms and insulin resistance in a sample of primary care patients with depression. In addition to my research endeavors, I have enjoyed honing my clinical skills in a primary care setting. I desire that my research will elucidate important psychosocial treatment targets to prevent and manage cardiometabolic diseases.