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Start a Mentorship with a Psychology Professor

Do You Want More Hands-On Training in Psychology?
Start a Mentorship with a Professor!

Why Should I Start a Mentorship?

One of the best ways to get professional training in any field is to work alongside a mentor. The professors in the Psychology Department are dedicated to the success of our students, and we hope that you will take advantage of the many opportunities to engage in research with one of the experts in their fields.

Four Steps to Having a Great Research Mentorship Experience at EKU:

STEP 1: You need to make sure that you are ready to take on a mentorship. Mentors are looking for students who excel in their classes, who are responsible, who are able to produce high quality work on their own, who have room in their schedule for extra work, and who are interested in becoming a professional psychologist (like a researcher, counselor, administrator, or mental health professional). It is best to start your mentorship during your sophomore or junior year to allow enough time to produce high quality work.

STEP 2: Once you’ve identified a faculty member with similar interests to your own (refer to the Table below), we recommend that you start by contacting the professor, either by setting up an appointment or talking with them after class if you are enrolled in a course with them. You should look up some of their recent research prior to meeting with them.

STEP 3: The next step is typically 1-2 credits in a Psychology Practicum (PSY 403), which may involve developing materials, working with data or collecting responses from participants on your faculty mentor’s project. You should consider starting this during your junior year at the latest.

STEP 4: From there, you should plan on developing a Senior Thesis project with your mentor by taking PSY 399, then completing the thesis project the following semester in PSY 419. Students should start by taking PSY 399 either in the spring semester of their junior year or in the fall semester of their senior year. You should try to present your work at a regional or national conference (e.g., SEPA, KPA) and submit to a journal before you graduate.

In addition to the required research courses, you should also consider taking Dr. Osbaldiston’s Graduate Prep course (PSY 458) during the spring of your junior year and Dr. Gore’s Publishing Empirical Research course (PSY 510) the following summer. These courses allow you to get some experience presenting (e.g., KPA Conference, UP Showcase), and publishing research based on data from your faculty mentor (e.g., Kentucky Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship). We also strongly recommend taking Dr. Varakin’s Sensation & Perception Lab course (PSY 315L) and Dr. Nakai’s Tests & Measurements course (PSY 590). Those courses enhance your skills in experimental and survey research methods.

On the following pages is more information about each faculty member, their research interests, and the maximum number of students they are able to work with on research projects per year.

CONSIDER STARTING A MENTORSHIP TODAY!

Faculty Mentors and Research Interests
Dr. Theresa Botts

DR THERESA BOTTS

Practicum students per year: 1
Thesis students per year: 1
I primarily focus on providing clinical interventions for female student veterans, and assessing specific treatment outcome measures.
 

Dr. Myrabeth Bundy

DR. MYRABETH BUNDY

Practicum students per year: 4
Thesis students per year: 1
I assess overall group outcome and effectiveness related to autism spectrum disorder in adolescent, adult and parent, and child group therapies.
 

Dr. Michael Chen

DR. MICHAEL CHEN

Practicum students per year: 5
Thesis students per year: 2
My research focuses on education technology, online learning, and human-computer interaction.

Lab: Forensic & Education Technology Lab

Location: Memorial Science 76
 

Dr. Dan Florell

DR. DAN FLORELL

Practicum students per year: 10
Thesis students per year: 4
My focus of research is on cyberbullying and adolescents’ use of social media and technology.
 

Dr. Jonathan Gore

DR. JONATHAN GORE

Practicum students per year: 10
Thesis students per year: 6
My areas of research include: how close others motivate us, how physicality becomes part of people’s identities, and cultural influences on time orientations.
 

Dr. Jamie Henning

DR. JAMIE HENNING

Practicum students per year: 1
Thesis students per year: 1
My research examines work-family role boundaries and balance, in addition to family supportive supervisor behaviors.
 

Dr. Sara Incera

DR. SARA INCERA

Practicum students per year: 4
Thesis students per year: 4
My research focuses on the influences of bilingualism on cognition, how listeners perceive speakers with different accents, and how language develops across the lifespan. 

Lab: Multilingual Laboratory

Location: Keith Building 107 & 108

Dr. Adam Lawson

DR. ADAM LAWSON

Practicum students per year: 4
Thesis students per year: 4
I examine how the brain produces consciousness, and how our behavior is determined by our personality, automatic impulses and habits, and biological makeup.
 

Dr. Radhika Makecha

DR. RADHIKA MAKECHA

Practicum students per year: 1
Thesis students per year: 1
My program of research focuses on studying elephant social behavior. I also study the effects of including cognition in wildlife education programs
 

Dr. Michael McClellan

DR. MICHAEL McCLELLAN

Practicum students per year: 1
Thesis students per year: 1
My research examines an individual’s awareness of privilege and oppression, and the telehealth-related usage patterns of therapists and staff.
 

Dr. Robert Mitchell

DR. ROBERT MITCHELL

Practicum students per year: 1
Thesis students per year: 1
My research looks at teasing between sea lions, as well as human-sea lion interaction. I also examine human-dog interactions.
 

Dr. Melinda Moore

DR. MELINDA MOORE

Practicum students per year: 3
Thesis students per year: 1
My research focuses on suicide bereavement, post-traumatic growth, and substance abuse. Many of my projects focus on military personnel and veterans.
 

Dr. Yoshie Nakai

DR. YOSHIE NAKAI

Practicum students per year: 2
Thesis students per year: 1
I currently have three lines of research: 1) job search process for different populations, 2) intercultural competence, 3) feedback and help seeking behaviors.
 

Dr. Teri Nowalk

DR. TERI NOWALK

Practicum students per year: 7
Thesis students per year: 1
My research compares play therapy to tutoring for preschool children. I also develop assessments and tutoring for young children.
 

Dr. Richard Osbaldiston

DR. RICHARD OSBALDISTON

Practicum students per year: 10
Thesis students per year: 2
My research interests include finding conclusions regarding a variety of topics by using meta-analyses on a collection of research articles.
 

Dr. Jerry Palmer

DR. JERRY PALMER

Practicum students per year: 3
Thesis students per year: 1
My research centers around personality traits and abilities, as well as how performance appraisal judgments are made.
 

Dr. Alex Varakin

DR. ALEX VARAKIN

Practicum students per year: 4
Thesis students per year: 3
Most of my research is concerned with visual cognition, the ways in which we organize, store, and make use of information obtained through the eyes.
 

Dr. Steffan Wilson

DR. STEFFAN WILSON

Practicum students per year: 3
Thesis students per year: 3
I study university connectedness in a variety of contexts, including attachment effects, regional differences and how it occurs in online courses.
 

Dr. Matthew Winslow

DR. MATTHEW WINSLOW

Practicum students per year: 2
Thesis students per year: 1
My research focuses on perspective-taking and race, and on the scholarship of teaching and learning, such as assignments designed to increase empathy.
 

Dr. Dustin Wygant

DR. DUSTIN WYGANT

Practicum students per year: 2
Thesis students per year: 1
My research is focused on the assessment and conceptuali-zation of personality disorders, particularly the psychopathic personality disorder.
 

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