Morgan Taylor ’15, Loyola University

Morgan-TaylorFor my Princeternship experience, I shadowed alumni Alison Papadakis, Ph.D. ‘97, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University in Maryland. For three days, I attended classes, spoke with professors about their research, and learned more about the university’s Psy.D. program.

Day 1

Dr. Papadakis and I met in her office at 8:30 am on Monday, January 27th. After some brief introductions, we walked across the quad to her 9 am class—Research Methods in Clinical Psychology. This course is designed to help second year graduate students prepare their dissertation proposals. For the first hour, Dr. Papadakis discussed organization and time management techniques. She then dismissed Chelsea (a fellow Princetern) and me so we could travel to the Loyola Clinical Center (LLC). There, we received a tour of the facility from Dr. La Keita Carter, the LLC Psychology Division Director. The LLC specializes in four main areas: psychology, speech-language pathology, audiology, and pastoral counseling. Graduate students in the Psy.D. program have the opportunity to train there under supervision and receive detailed feedback on their clinical techniques. We ended the tour in Dr. Carter’s office and asked her more about the training opportunities the Psy.D. program offered. After some free time, we met four first-year graduate students (i.e. Psy.D. candidates) for lunch. They shared their experiences as grad students, detailing everything from the application process to their day-to-day schedules. My impression was that the first year or two in the program was very similar to the undergrad experience—lots of time in class and a minimal amount of time in the field. I like how the program doesn’t force your clinical experience; it offers it to you in manageable chunks and allows you to gradually acclimate yourself to meeting with clients and creating an action plan for treatment. Chelsea and I ended the day by attending an undergraduate course called “The Psychology of Women.” We talked about gender vs. sex and the outside influences that determine our personal view of men and women.

Day 2

After briefly checking in with Dr. PapadakisPrinceternship picture in the morning, Chelsea and I attended “Introduction to Counseling,” an undergraduate course designed to introduce students to the roles and practices of a clinician. We discussed how counseling is a collaborative work process between the counselor and client. The counselor should be in the middle of a spectrum that spans from directing the client’s life on one extreme and leaving the client to work out their problems alone on the other. Next, I met with Dr. Matt Kirkhart, an associate professor of psychology. He talked about his career path and how over the past few years his interests have shifted from doing research and clinical work to teaching. He felt that it was a natural progression and is very content with his current position. After that, Chelsea and I had lunch with one third-year and two fourth-year graduate students. They, of course, were able to offer a very different perspective of the program. In these years, the students apply to externships at clinics and hospitals not affiliated with Loyola University. They still check in with their advisers and may take a class or two, but most of their work is independent. The fourth-years are currently applying to internships for next year—jobs that will place them in the field full-time. Once you successfully complete your internship and dissertation, you are rewarded with your Psy.D. degree and can continue on to practice or go into teaching, depending on your interests. After lunch, I attended two graduate courses—“Principles and Practices of Psychotherapy” and “Introduction to Health Psychology”.

Day 3

On the last day, I had two more individual meetings with professors Dr. Marianna Carlucci and Dr. Frank Golom. The former is a forensic psychologist interested in the intersection of psychology and law and the latter is an IO (Industrial/ Organizational) psychologist. It was very interesting to hear about their experiences. As a prospective cognitive psychologist primarily interested in research, it was refreshing to hear about the other options that exist outside of academia. To end the day, Dr. Papadakis treated me and Chelsea to lunch. She discussed her experiences as a Ph.D. student and gave us more information about how that program differs from a Psy.D. program. She also reminisced about her time at Princeton and gave us advice about how to proceed with our education/career goals in the coming years.

Overall, this was a very rewarding experience. Talking with Dr. Papadakis and other professors really gave me some clarity about the graduate school process and the different ways I can use my degree once I obtain it. It was also useful to learn more about the Psy.D. program. Although, I am not currently considering going into the clinical field, it was nice to learn about alternative options to the Ph.D. I now feel that I have a more complete understanding of the different areas of psychology.  This knowledge is invaluable to me, especially considering my plan to attend graduate school within the next few years. I am incredibly grateful for this experience and encourage anyone considering any type of psychology to attend this Princeternship if it is offered again. Don’t limit yourself to only the things you think you are interested in—explore everything and you won’t regret it!

Chelsea Mayo ’14, Loyola University

Chelsea-MayoWhen fellow Princetern Morgan Taylor ‘15 and I showed Loyola employees the detailed schedule Dr. Papadakis had made us, they were impressed but not surprised by her attention to detail and careful planning. Dr. Alison Papadakis ’97 is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. For the past year I have been researching possible graduate programs in psychology and Loyola University is near the top of my list for Psy.D. programs, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that a Princeternship was being hosted there. I am a senior in the English department, however I have taken several foundational psychology courses with the intent to eventually pursue higher degrees in psychology and become a practitioner in the mental health field.

This was my second Princeternship, and one thing I love about the Princeternship Program is how much the alumni who participate are willing go out of their way to tailor the experience toward what would be most helpful for you. For this Princeternship I was not simply shadowing Dr. Papadakis in her day-to-day activities, but instead she provided me and Morgan with the opportunity for a personalized view of several aspects of Loyola University. Throughout January, Dr. Papadakis emailed us to get a sense of what we each might want to do with the Princeternship: which courses we would like sit in on, which department faculty we might want to talk to, etc. So, on the first day she handed us a full schedule for the three days consisting of psychology courses, both undergraduate and graduate level, meetings with grad students, and informational interviews with professors that she had coordinated for each of us.

My first day began a little harried for Chelsea Mayo photo 1me because of traffic and issues finding parking on the Loyola campus, but it quickly turned into a wonderful day. Morgan and I were given a tour of the Loyola Clinical Centers by Dr. La Keita Carter. It’s a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility where the first and second year doctoral students are responsible for intake, assessment, and therapy of the clinic’s clients, all under supervision by their fellow students and licensed supervisors through one-way mirrors and video-recording. Following this, Morgan and I had some free time for lunch (during which I feverishly scribbled down notes on all that I’d learned so far) next-door in Belvedere Square Market before we were met by four first-year doctoral students. As a prospective applicant to a Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program (and possibly this one), the chance to chat with Amy, Jacob, Maite, and Abigail was invaluable. They gave me their perspective on what it’s like being a student, juggling classes and working at the clinic, and tips for applying. I asked them every question I could think of. We had a similar experience the next day when Morgan and I had lunch with third and fourth-year doctoral students Val, David, and Diane at the student center. It was great getting the perspectives of students farther along in the program. They told us about their externships and the process of writing a dissertation at Loyola. All of the graduate students were very friendly, open and honest.

Chelsea Mayo photo 2

Beatty Hall – Loyola Psychology Department

In the interest of brevity, I won’t go into detail about every course I sat in on and every informational interview I had over the three days. What I loved the most was getting a taste of what attending doctoral level courses is like, and my one-on-one meetings with Dr. Carolyn Barry, Dr. Beth Kotchik, and Dr. Sharon Green-Hennessy were all enlightening. It is helpful to learn about the different paths those far along in the field have taken, as well as their viewpoints on academia, teaching, and practicing. Our last day, Dr. Papadakis took Morgan and I to lunch at the superb Miss Shirley’s down the street. She told us about her experience at Princeton and her path in psychology after Princeton. She also gave me great and frank advice about things to consider when applying for and choosing graduate programs.

Chelsea Mayo photo 3

Morgan Taylor ’15, Myself, Dr. Alison Papadakis ’97

This was an excellent Princeternship for me not just because it confirmed my interest in becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in the future but because it showed me that I can see myself doing, and enjoying, all the steps in-between that goal and now: building up experience for applications, applying to programs, taking doctoral courses, providing supervised therapy in clinics, doing externships, writing a dissertation, etc. etc. Though I still cannot be quite sure what path in and out of graduate school and the mental health field I’ll end up on, I feel highly equipped thanks to the insight and advice I received from Dr. Papadakis and everyone she graciously connected me with. A huge thank you to Alison Papadakis as well as to all of the faculty and students who took time out of their busy schedules to make this such an enriching and enjoyable experience!