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Lauren Kirby

What are you doing now?

I am currently in my fourth year of graduate school at Auburn University. I received my Master of Science in psychology in May 2016 and am currently in the process of advancing to doctoral candidacy. Perhaps most importantly to me, I am teaching Intro to Psychology for the second time, as well as conducting research into student-centered teaching and emotion regulation in general as well as in the classroom.

How did UNA's Psychology program help you achieve what you have become?

UNA's Department of Psychology helped me get where I am today through the generous time, dedication, and patience of the faculty. All of you take such pride and care in your teaching. Dr. Zayac structured courses in such engaging and meaningful ways and I still use similar slide and exam formats when I teach. Dr. Carrasco tolerated, fostered, and shaped my fledgling attempts at research in the experimental class, while never hesitating to spend class time to encourage us to engage in thoughtful debate. Drs. Bates and Hudiburg were incredibly eager and accommodating in helping me to conduct my Honors Capstone research project as an undergraduate. I stood out among fellow graduate school applicants because I had followed my own research project from inception all the way through data collection, analysis, write-up, and presentation with individualized mentoring all along the way. The amount of one-on-one interaction time I got from each of the UNA Psychology faculty helped build me into the young professional I am today and I am incredibly grateful.

What advice would you give students who are interested in becoming UNA Psychology majors?

Do not squander the resources you have at UNA, especially one-on-one time with faculty! Larger research institutions do not put as high a priority on teaching undergraduates as UNA does, and I did not know just how good I had it until I got to graduate school (which is also great!). Value the mentorship opportunities waiting for you. Ask questions in your classes: make yourself known. Get involved early and often in Psych Club social events to get more face time with faculty. Ask early in your undergraduate career how you can get involved in research opportunities by noting the things from your courses that interest you. Finally, have fun doing all of the above things!