Your Graduate Training in Psychology: Effective Strategies for Success

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Edited by: Peter J. Giordano, Stephen F. Davis & Carolyn A. Licht

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Dedication

    To Jan, Nicholas, and Michael, who have brought more joy to my life than I can describe.

    Peter J. Giordano

    To my SMU professors, Virginia Chancey, Al North, and Jack Strange, who made graduate school an exciting and productive experience.

    Stephen F. Davis

    To Daniel White, who gives me the courage and inspiration to keep reaching for the stars no matter how far away they seem, and to my Fordham University mentor/professor, Warren Tryon, who saw my potential and taught me that failure only exists when you stop trying.

    Carolyn A. Licht

    Copyright

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    Preface

    Each year, thousands of students are accepted into graduate training programs in psychology. After the excitement of this initial acceptance, however, these students are typically faced with a number of questions and concerns. These students are likely to confront questions like “How will graduate school differ from my undergraduate training?,” “What is the best way to get off to a good start?,” “How can I develop all the new skills I will need to be successful in graduate school?,” or “What are comprehensive exams and how do I prepare for them?” The initial exuberance of gaining admission to graduate school can give way to feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and possibly despair.

    “We’ve written this book to answer these questions and many more that students face after they enroll in graduate school. Many books target issues of admission to graduate school, but few are directed toward students who have been accepted to or are currently in graduate training programs. We have selected authors with experience and expertise in the topics of each chapter. Students will find that the chapters directly address the major issues confronting them, both master’s- and doctoral-level students, during their graduate training in psychology.

    This book is designed to illuminate the broad range of processes, practices, and procedural issues that face graduate students in psychology. Ordered chronologically, from the first year of graduate school (“Settling In”) to what students need to know as they finish (“Winding Down and Gearing Up”), students will learn the key skills needed to succeed in all aspects of their academic and professional careers while in school and after beginning a professional career. The chapters are designed to offer practical advice from authors who have “been there and done that.”

    One of the challenges of graduate training is that many of the rules for success are not written down in a manual. Students have to learn by observation and deal with the hard knocks of real life in graduate school. Our aim is to help students understand some of the unwritten rules for being successful. Such knowledge will benefit both students and faculty. Students benefit because, by taking the advice in this book, they will be more likely to complete their graduate training in a timely fashion and then successfully launch into rewarding professional careers. Faculty benefit because their students will be better equipped to successfully navigate the challenges during the various developmental stages of graduate training. In addition, during the middle phase of graduate school, what we have called the “Developing and Maturing” phase, graduate students must master specific skills that are complex and challenging. For example, students may begin teaching for the first time or must now prepare for comprehensive exams. Also, students will be devoting more and more time to research and writing. This middle portion of the book directly confronts these issues, and the chapter authors offer sound advice for advancing in these important domains. To augment the practical advice and suggestions for skill development, each chapter ends with a section called “Suggestions for Further Exploration.” These sections give students some follow-up resources for their continued professional development.

    This book is intended for graduate students enrolled in graduate psychology programs (both master’s and doctoral programs) as well as faculty who are teaching and mentoring students in pursuing their graduate degrees. Faculty may want to assign this book in courses such as professional development seminars or seminars designed to orient graduate students to their graduate training program. The students should keep the book and refer to it throughout their graduate school experience because certain chapters become more relevant at specific junctures in their training.

    If knowledge is power, then we hope this book will empower psychology graduate students to be extremely successful through all phases of their graduate training experience and beyond!

    Peter J.GiordanoStephen F.DavisCarolyn A.Licht

    About the Editors

    Peter J. Giordano is professor and chair of Psychological Science at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A past recipient of the CASE Tennessee Professor of the Year Award and past National President of Psi Chi, he is a frequent workshop presenter on pedagogy in psychology and on student professional development issues. Contact: pete.giordano@belmont.edu.

    Stephen ΕDavis is Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Emporia State University. He served as the 2002-2003 Knapp Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego. Currently, he is Distinguished Guest Professor at Morningside College. In 2007, he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Morningside College. Since 1966, he has published more than 315 articles and 30 textbooks and presented more than 900 professional papers; the vast majority of these publications and presentations include student coauthors. Among his research specialties are academic dishonesty and learning styles. Contact: davis122@suddenlink.net.

    Carolyn A. Licht is currently working as a Supervising Psychologist/Coordinator of Psychiatric Residencies for the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services at Fordham University in New York. Previously, she served as a staff psychologist in the Family Care Center at Harlem Hospital, working in the pediatric and adult infectious disease medical clinics specializing in the care of individuals infected and affected by ΗΓν, substance use, and trauma. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a child and family specialization from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Bronx, New York, in 2007, and was licensed in New York State in 2009 after completing her predoctoral internship at Jacobi Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship with Columbia University Medical Center working at Harlem Hospital. Contact: calicht@msn.com.

    About the Contributors

    Jonathan B. Banks is a doctoral student in the experimental psychology program at the University of North Texas. His research interests include the impact of stress on cognition and the relationship between working memory and mind wandering. Contact: jonathan.banks@unt.edu.

    Jeffrey S. Bartel is a visiting assistant professor in the psychology department of Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. His primary research interests are in adolescent social development, especially prosocial and gender role development. Contact: jbartel@washjeff.edu.

    Bernard C. (Barney) Beins is professor and chair of psychology at Ithaca College. He received his doctorate from City University of New York in experimental psychology. He is author of about 150 articles, chapters, books, and pedagogical material and has given about 200 presentations. He recently received the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award from the American Psychological Foundation. Contact: beins@ithaca.edu.

    Victor A. Benassi is professor of psychology, professor of college teaching, and faculty director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of New Hampshire. He has taught courses in college teaching and supervised graduate students’ teaching of psychology since the early 1980s. His research has addressed a variety of topics related to teaching and learning, judgment, superstitious belief, and perceived control. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the City University of New York. Contact: vab@unh.edu.

    Christia Spears Brown is an associate professor of developmental and social psychology in the Children at Risk Research Cluster at the University of Kentucky. Contact: christia.brown@uky.edu.

    Robert Bubb is a teaching fellow and doctoral candidate in industrial and organizational psychology at Auburn University. He received a master’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University in 2008. His current research focuses on the efficacy of digital learning products in the classroom. Contact robb.bubb@auburn.edu.

    Susan R. Burns is the associate dean for academic affairs at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. She is a graduate of Emporia State University (Emporia, KS) and Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS). She has presented and served as faculty sponsor for more than 150 presentations at the local, regional, and national levels and has authored more than 20 different scholarly publications. She recently coauthored a textbook, Human Relations for the Educator: Meeting the Challenges for Today and Tomorrow, and currently serves as the managing editor for the journal of Psychological Inquiry. Contact: burns@morningside.edu.

    William Buskist is the Distinguished Professor in the Teaching of Psychology at Auburn University and a faculty fellow at Auburn’s Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. His primary responsibilities at Auburn center around preparing graduate students for academic/teaching careers. Contact: buskiwf@auburn.edu.

    Radha G. Carlson is a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a staff psychologist at Central Regional Hospital. Contact: radhacarlson@gmail.com.

    Erica M. Chin is a clinical psychologist and assistant clinical professor of medical psychology (in psychiatry) at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Chin also serves as the director of assessment and senior psychologist at the pediatric psychiatry department for New York Presbyterian Hospital. Contact: chineri@childpsych.columbia.edu.

    Kimberly Christopherson is an assistant professor in the psychology department at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Her research interests include how to best use technology in the classroom and teaching, learning, and curriculum in higher education. Contact: christopherson@morningside.edu.

    Daniel Corts is an associate professor of psychology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. His research covers diverse topics from language comprehension to college student development. Dan is coauthor of the forthcoming textbook An Introduction to Psychological Science. Contact: DanielCorts@augustana.edu.

    Stephen F. Davis is Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Emporia State University. He served as the 2002-2003 Knapp Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego. Currently he is Distinguished Guest Professor at Morningside College. In 2007, he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Morningside College. Since 1966, he has published more than 315 articles and 30 textbooks and presented more than 900 professional papers; the vast majority of these publications and presentations include student coauthors. Among his research specialties are academic dishonesty and learning styles. Contact: davis 122@suddenlink.net.

    Leah Skovran Georges is a doctoral student in the psychology and law program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Contact: lskovran@gmail.com.

    Gary S. Goldstein is associate professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. He has 30 years’ experience teaching in the college classroom and is a past winner of the UNH Manchester Excellence in Teaching Award. His research, which focuses on various dimensions of college teaching, has appeared in The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, Research in Higher Education, College Teaching, and Teaching of Psychology. Contact: gsg@cisunix.unh.edu.

    Valerie M. Gonsalves is a postdoctoral resident at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Clinical Psychology program. Contact: vmgonsalves@yahoo.com.

    Regan A. R. Gurung is the Ben J. and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. His primary research interests involve scholarship on teaching and learning. Contact: gurungr@uwgb.edu.

    G. William (Bill) Hill IV is professor emeritus of psychology and former executive director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Kennesaw State University. His professional interests and research focus on faculty development and effective teaching. He can be reached at bhill@kennesaw.edu.

    Matthew T. Huss is a professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also is a graduate of the University of Nebraska law and psychology and clinical psychology training programs. He is the author of more than 50 different scholarly publications, including a textbook on forensic clinical psychology. Contact: mhuss@creighton.edu.

    Jared Keeley is an assistant professor of psychology at Mississippi State University in the clinical psychology master’s degree program. In addition to clinical interests, he is actively involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning and is an advocate for graduate student training. Contact: jkeeley@psychology.msstate.edu.

    Jason P. Kring is an assistant professor in the human factors and systems department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is president of the Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments and codirector of the Team Simulation and Gaming Laboratory at Embry-Riddle. Contact: jason.kring@erau.edu.

    Christina M. Leclerc is an assistant professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Oswego. She earned her doctorate from North Carolina State University studying lifespan developmental psychology. Her research interests lie in examining the age-related changes in the neural mechanisms associated with the processing of emotional information. Contact: christina.leclerc@oswego.edu.

    Michael J. Lee is administrative director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of New Hampshire, where he directs the program in college teaching. He earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of New Hampshire, where he also taught American literature for many years prior to his current position. Contact: mjl@unh.edu.

    Laurie Reider Lewis is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Binghamton University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. She completed her child-clinical psychology internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital—Columbia University Medical Center, where she remains a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry. Beyond her doctoral training in clinical psychology and applied experience, Dr. Lewis is a former elementary and middle school teacher and school counselor with a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. Contact: drlaurierlewis@gmail.com.

    Carolyn A. Licht is currently working as a Supervising Psychologist/Coordinator of Psychiatric Residencies for the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services at Fordham University in New York. Previously, she served as a staff psychologist in the Family Care Center at Harlem Hospital, working in the pediatric and adult infectious disease medical clinics specializing in the care of individuals infected and affected by HIV, substance use, and trauma. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a child and family specialization from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Bronx, New York, in 2007, and was licensed in New York State in 2009 after completing her predoctoral internship at Jacobi Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship with Columbia University Medical Center working at Harlem Hospital. Contact: calicht@msn.com.

    Janet R. Matthews is professor of psychology at Loyola University New Orleans. She is a past chair of the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, is licensed in Louisiana with specialties in both clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology, and is board certified in clinical psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology and in assessment psychology through the American Board of Assessment Psychology, for which she currently serves on the board of directors. She is the current president of APA’s Division 31 (State Provincial, & Territorial Psychological Association Affairs). Contact: matthews@loyno.edu.

    Lee H. Matthews has a private practice that often includes consulting in such diverse facilities as a rural public hospital, a state psychiatric hospital, an inpatient geropsy-chiatry unit, and a grief recovery center. He is licensed in Louisiana with specialties in both clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology, has board certification in clinical psychology (American Board of Professional Psychology) and assessment psychology (American Board of Assessment Psychology), and is listed in the National Register of Health Services Providers in Psychology. He currently serves on the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Contact: psycres@aol.com.

    Loretta Neal McGregor is the department chairperson and associate professor of psychology and counseling at Arkansas State University at Jonesboro. Her professional involvements include membership in the American Psychological Association, in which she is a member of Division Two, The Teaching of Psychology and in which she recently served as the associate director of society programming for the ΑΡ ΑProgram. She is also a member of the Southwestern Psychological Association. In this organization, she served as program chairperson, convention manager, and state representative. Contact: Lmcgregor@astate.edu.

    Catherine Overson earned her PhD in social psychology at the University of New Hampshire in Durham in May 2011. Currently, she is interested in individual differences related to judgment of performance in the academic setting, with research aimed at identifying theoretically based individual differences in self-efficacy and study behaviors related to academic performance. Contact: coverson@unh.edu.

    David S. Shen-Miller is an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Tennessee State University. He received his doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon in 2008 and from 2003 to 2006 served as the director of the University of Oregon Men’s Center. His research interests include the psychology of men and masculinity, issues related to psychology training and supervision, and qualitative research. Contact: dmiller20@tnstate.edu.

    Seraphine Shen-Miller is an assistant professor of psychological science at Belmont University. She received her doctoral degree in social and personality psychology from the University of Oregon. Her main area of research interest is the development of beliefs and values and their relations with psychological and social well-being. Contact: seraphine.shen-miller@belmont.edu.

    Randolph Smith taught at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas for 26 years, chaired Kennesaw State University’s psychology department for 4 years, and became chair of Lamar University’s psychology department in 2007. His professional work centers on the scholarship of teaching. Randy served for 12 years as editor of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s journal Teaching of Psychology and is currently editor of the Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research. He has worked with high school teachers grading AP exams since the test’s inception and has served as Faculty Advisor for TOPSS (Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools). In 2006, Randy received the American Psychological Foundation’s Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award.

    Holly E. Tatum is an associate professor and chair of the psychology department at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Contact: htatum@randolphcollege.edu.

    Krisztina Varga Jakobsen is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at James Madison University. Her research interests include cognitive development and effective teaching practices. Contact: jakobskv@jmu.edu.

    Alex J. Watters is a student at Creighton University’s Werner Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is studying negotiation and conflict resolution. He also graduated summa cum laude from Morningside College, where he studied political science and global history. He is a motivational speaker who has shared his story to hundreds, most recently as the keynote speaker to the Morningside College class of 2014. Contact: waters.alex@gmail.com.

    Lonnie R. Yandell is professor of psychology at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. His passions are teaching his classes and working with students on research projects. Contact: lonnie.yandell@belmont.edu.

  • Conclusion

    We hope this book has helped you navigate all the phases of your graduate training, from settling in to maturing and developing to launching out into life after graduate school. Our hope is that the chapters in this volume have helped you understand what it takes to be a successful graduate student in psychology. As Chapter 2 suggested, your ultimate goal is to finish your degree in a timely fashion, and we hope this book has helped in this regard.

    Graduate training in psychology offers lots of challenges and rewards. Think about some of the topics addressed in this book: learning the unwritten rules of success; navigating professional and personal relationship issues; becoming an effective writer, teacher, presenter, and researcher; developing clinical and counseling skills; passing your comprehensive exams; completing and defending your dissertation; and applying for professional jobs. It's no wonder that your graduate training years are so full of challenge, exhilaration, and feelings of personal accomplishment. You have grown a great deal during your graduate school experiences.

    If you are near the end of your graduate training, then be sure to celebrate your accomplishments, as some of our chapter authors suggest. If you are midway through your training, then continue to use this book as a resource. We thank you for taking the time to look through and read the chapters in the book. We have enjoyed preparing it and working with the excellent authors who have contributed chapters. Next to our names below, we have listed our e-mail addresses. We would love to hear about how this book has helped you become a successful graduate student and, even more importantly, a successful psychologist after you obtain your graduate degree.

    With all good wishes for your graduate training and beyond,

    Peter J.Giordano (pete.giordano@belmont.edu)
    Stephen F.Davis (davis122@suddenlink.net)
    Carolyn A.Licht (calicht@msn.com)

    Name Index


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