Career and Alumni Spotlights

A doctorate (PhD) in Psychology from Georgia State University positions graduates well for a wide variety of interesting and fulfilling careers. Our alumni are conducting cutting-edge scientific research; applying and sharing their knowledge in the public and private sectors; and shaping policy at local, national, and international levels. We are extremely proud of all of our alumni. We highlight a few Georgia State trained psychologists in the section below to provide a glimpse of the some of the career paths of our alumni.

Crystal S. Lim

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2009)Lim

Area of Study: Clinical

Current Job: Assistant Professor, Division of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center

What do you do on an average day?

What I love about my job in an academic medical center is that there is no average day - each day is different. Some days I attend outpatient pediatric medical clinics and provide psychological services to children and their families, as well as collaborate and consult with physicians and other medical providers and write psychology assessment and treatment reports; other days I analyze and interpret data while preparing grant applications, manuscripts, and presentations; provide research and clinical training and supervision to clinical psychology trainees (e.g., interns, post-docs); recruit patients to participate in research; meet with and train research staff; and meet with research and clinical collaborators to discuss program development.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I was interested in conducting research and providing clinical services to children and their parents in order to improve their health and functioning. I also liked that there were numerous types of positions in various settings I could obtain with a Ph.D.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?

I would highly recommend the clinical psychology program at Georgia State. The faculty do a wonderful job of teaching and demonstrating how to be a scientist-practitioner. I also greatly valued the training in diversity I received, as it has informed my past and current research and clinical work.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?

I learned that faculty are real people and that it is important for them to discuss and demonstrate ways to balance personal and professional responsibilities for graduate students. Some of the quirkiest examples were faculty attending research lab meetings in gym clothes and sharing awkward conversations they have had with their children. Looking back these experiences were invaluable, especially now as I train future psychologists and try to find ways to balance my own professional and personal responsibilities.

Matthew Price

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2011)matthewprice

Area of Study: Clinical

Current Job: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Science, University of Vermont

What do you do on an average day?

I spend most of my time conducting research on people’s response to traumatic events. I want to understand why two people can go through the same difficult experience yet have remarkably different responses. This is a big question and I’m attempting to answer it through different research projects. Research is challenging and I’m fortunate to have the support of a great team to complete these projects. I spend most of my day coordinating studies, providing supervision to students, and meeting with collaborators. A large component of this work involves writing – writing grant proposals to sustain my research, writing papers for publication to share our findings with colleagues, and writing presentations to inform those outside of our field who are interested in our results. In addition, I am fortunate to work with many talented undergraduate and graduate students as a teacher and mentor.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

Like many psychology majors in college, I was determined to find a career where I would help people. Early on, I wanted to become a master clinician who would swiftly diagnosis a patient and apply a gold-standard treatment that was certain to address their problems. This naive perspective was dashed during a course on psychological treatments when I learned of the number of different available psychological treatments. I was surprised at how variable treatment response was to these treatments too – some patients had life changing experiences whereas others languished. Taking a solution-oriented approach, I decided to figure out why treatments have such variable outcomes in the hopes that I could improve the quality of mental health care. The best way to do accomplish this goal was through research, which required a graduate degree in clinical psychology.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?

I wholeheartedly recommend the Georgia State clinical psychology program. It provides phenomenal training in research and practice allows students to succeed as scientists and clinicians. Although all of the faculty are primarily scientists, they all have considerable clinical backgrounds and tremendous respect for clinical care. As a result, I was supported in my clinical and research efforts during graduate school. Also, Georgia State takes full advantage of the opportunities throughout Atlanta. I was able to obtain clinical experiences in at least four completely unique clinical settings that really broadened my development. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Georgia State is a warm program that wants their students to succeed and does what is necessary to support them through the process.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?

The quirkiest thing I learned during graduate school was how to read a road map. Shortly after I started driving to the department, I learned that there were certain times of the day that it is almost impossible to get around using major roads. I spent hours studying maps of the city and always taking the literal “road less traveled” to figure out how to get around during rush hour. And I am nearly positive that any hour of the day is rush hour in Atlanta. As a result, my knowledge of Fulton and DeKalb county roads are on par with google maps.

Thrower Starr

starrDegree: Ph.D. in Psychology (1994)

Area of Study: Clinical

Current Job:     Counselor at Paideia School where I mostly counsel but also teach a course; I also have a small private practice in which I see teenagers, adults, and couples.

What do you do on an average day?

Variety is one of the things that I love about my job. On any given day, I might meet with several different individual students, run a group discussion with junior high kids, consult with a teacher or two about a student, and talk with a parent who has a question about her child. I might also meet with the high school principal and my female counterpart in order to discuss a student or a group of students and to make a plan about interventions. And when I am teaching, I will also teach a literature class. I should also include walking to grab a coffee with a friend or laughing with a group of teachers, all of this makes up the convivial climate created by being among smart and caring colleagues, many of whom are also friends. I include this last part because I particularly enjoy the sense of working in a community.

That's my day job. After I leave school, I devote three days a week to a private practice. My practice ebbs and flows from three to seven clients a week. Seven is my upper limit; otherwise it's just too much work. I am lucky to have bought into a suite of offices with several wonderful colleagues, all of whom are Georgia State graduates! We meet regularly in order to discuss issues regarding ownership of the square-footage and also take time to do peer supervision.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

I was originally an English major in college, and while I pursued some advanced work in literature and education, I also became interested in Jungian and archetypal psychology. I started teaching at Paideia School in Atlanta first at the junior high level and then the upper elementary. After a handful of years of teaching and really loving it, I decided two things: 1) I found myself mostly interested in the personal growth and development of students and less in the actual teaching of academic subjects, and 2) I didn't see myself being an elementary teacher at, say, 50, and I thought that being a psychologist would be a great fit for me. In that period of time, I read Napier's The Family Crucible and besides helping me to think in new ways about my own family, I started thinking that being a psychotherapist would be an exiting and powerful way to work. So, at age 33, I began preparing to go to graduate school. I didn't get in the first time, and after asking Georgia State how I could make my application more attractive, I received feedback, took steps to remedy my application, and was accepted the next year. I was also lucky to be able to keep working part-time at my school while I was in grad school and then to shift into being a counselor once I earned my Master’s.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?

Yes. I learned and grew immensely through those years. I was fortunate to have a host of fantastically insightful, challenging, and supportive teachers. They enriched me academically, professionally and personally. They gave me direction and the means to progress on the road to being a psychologist. By the time I was done, I was ready to enter the field.

Being a graduate student is a vulnerable position to be in: so much rides on your sure progress. You devote precious time and money (foregoing earning years, incurring debt) -- all your eggs are in this one basket. I have heard horror stories of students being toyed with in graduate programs. That just never happened to me or any of my cohort. A note of warning, however: there are shorter routes to being a therapist. Earning a Ph.D. is arduous and long. Be sure of your commitment; there will be times when you will call on the strength of it to get you through.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?

Not sure about the strangest or quirkiest, but I remember a couple of nuggets One of my teachers had great respect and empathy for the client; he believed our authority conferred upon us the power and obligation to help uplift people who we came into contact with. A psychologist should make efforts to make people feel a little bit better after meeting with us, whether that was a single meeting or one of a series. Second, another of my teachers used to remind us repeatedly that we understood people too quickly. In order to be deeply helpful, we needed to remain curious much longer than we normally were and to fight the tendency to be understanding. I particularly enjoyed this paradox because we are supposed to be experts in understanding! But the message was to slow way down. Finally, my Georgia State training did not emphasize pathology; while we certainly learned about distorted behaviors, we learned a much more humanistic perspective, one which asked us to value the person of the therapist, the relationship with our clients, and our clients’ strengths.

Darby Proctor

Degree:  Ph.D. in Psychology (2012)proctor

Area of Study:  Cognitive Sciences

Current Job: Postdoctoral Fellow in Research and Science Teaching at Emory University. As part of this fellowship, I conduct behavioral research with chimpanzees under Frans de Waal at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and teach at Spelman College to promote women and minorities getting involved in science.

What do you do on an average day?
I typically start my day doing deskwork. This includes corresponding with students in my class, writing papers and planning for my daily research. From 11-3pm I am typically with the chimpanzees conducting behavioral experiments for myself and with other members of the lab. After that I spend a couple more hours at my desk, unless I teach that afternoon. But, working with animals my days vary a lot. You never know what challenges or excitement you will face with the chimpanzees.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I have always been interested in working with animals. Before graduate school I was a research assistant helping conduct behavioral experiments with nonhuman primates. Eventually, I got to the point where I wanted to ask my own questions rather than work on projects led by others. To do that, I needed a PhD.

Would you recommend your degree program?  Why?
Absolutely. At Georgia State I had both a great advisor, Sarah Brosnan, and was able to conduct really interesting comparative research with chimpanzees and capuchins at the Language Research Center, as well as children (in collaboration with Becky Williamson). Additionally, the course work and general exam enabled me to think deeply and discuss a variety of theoretical issues. Once I became a postdoc, I realized just how well Georgia State had prepared me for academia.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
Rhesus macaques do not like vegetable juice. I was having trouble finding a really yummy juice that would motivate the monkeys and someone suggested we try vegetable juice. Since the macaques like vegetables, I gave it a try. It turns out, they have a very strong negative opinion of vegetable juice, so I stuck with fruit juice from there on out.

Jack Barile

Barile imageDegree:  Ph.D. in Psychology (2010)

Area of Study:  Community Psychology

Current Job:  Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

What do you do on an average day?

On any given day, I could be running around town meeting with local organizations, teaching, or crunching numbers in my office (often, a little of each). That might be what I like most about my current job. At times I get a little overwhelmed but part of me loves it.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

I was not sure what I wanted to do coming out of undergraduate but I had an interest in health-related programing and research (I was a health science major). I ended up working in a hospital and then with a community mental health agency but I wanted to do more. I figured a graduate degree would give me more flexibility on the job marked. I really value the freedom to pursue whatever work most interests me. Community psychology was a natural fit. My research is focused on addressing a range of ecological factors that impact the health and well-being of communities. I would not want to do anything else.

Would you recommend your degree program?  Why?

Absolutely! I enjoyed my time in graduate school and believe that I was well prepared for my current position. I worked with a number of faculty members at Georgia State, and I only have great things to say about them. I find that Georgia State, more than most institutions, gives students the flexibly to work with multiple faculty members. Each of them offered unique skills and styles. I frequently reflect those experiences when working with my own students.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?

Academically related? Hmm, I don’t think I learned anything quirky or too strange. I do find that I can critically breakdown questions in ways that I couldn’t before entering graduate school. That might be the most valuable skill of all.

Laura F. Salazar

salazarDegree:  Ph.D. in Psychology (2001)

Area of Study:  Community Psychology

Current Job:  Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Georgia State University, School of Public Health

What do you do on an average day?
Check in with my staff on how our two main research projects are progressing in terms of recruitment, interact with administrative staff regarding pending grants or contracts and post-award compliance issues, meet with a student or another faculty member to discuss their current research and also deal with the IRB.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I wanted to conduct research that would have some sort of impact on people and improve their lives in some way. For me, it was and still is reducing violence against women and HIV prevention.

Would you recommend your degree program?  Why?
I would highly recommend my degree program because I feel I received excellent training in designing interventions, use of theory and research methods in addition to its strong emphasis on a social change perspective in approaching public health or social issues.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
I don’t recall anything strange or quirky other than some of the faculty—but, one reading assignment I will never forget in Intro to Community was Ryan’s Blaming the Victim and I recall at the time it had such a profound effect on my worldview.

Ann Webb Price

priceDegree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2000)

Area of Study: Community Psychology

Current Job: President, Community Evaluation Solutions, Inc.

What do you do on an average day?
There is no such thing as an average day for me. On any given day, I am writing a proposal, analyzing qualitative or quantitative data, providing evaluation technical assistance to clients, writing a report, working on a blog post, presenting to a client or meeting, conducting a focus group, or leading a meeting for the American Evaluation Association’s Community Psychology Topical Interest Group.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I took psychology in high school and loved it. I also always wanted to be a scientist and since the PhD is the terminal degree for psychology that is the goal I set for myself.

Would you recommend your degree program?  Why?
I recommend Georgia State University’s Psychology program all the time. I really think it provides a strong grounding in research and the Community Psychology Program, in particular, take a systems perspective of social issues that prepared me well for the work I do now. I really appreciate that I was able to learn how to design and evaluate complex community interventions. I use these skills every day.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
I am not sure if you could call it strange or quirky but I worked as an RA on a community violence prevention evaluation and was responsible for conducting a community survey. I set up the original CATI lab at Georgia State. I had to research and get bids for the computers, the software, and figure out how to run it. I had to train the undergrads to conduct the survey and how to get the data out of the CAIT software and into SPSS. I had no idea what I was doing. It prepared me well for the work I do now as an evaluation consultant – I am often asked to do things I don’t know how to do.

Michael Barker

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2010)barker

Area of Study: Developmental Psychology

Current Job: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida

What do you do on an average day?
It’s really hard to describe an average day as a professor. Some days consist of sitting at the computer writing or analyzing data for future publications or grant proposals. On other days I might be in the clinic training a new research assistant for data collection.  Still others I may be spent out in the community meeting with school administrators or other community leaders to facilitate new collaborations.  Of course, that doesn’t include time spent preparing new courses and teaching! I suppose the fact that no day is “average” is one of the best parts of the job.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I don’t know exactly why I decided to pursue a graduate degree.  I was lucky enough to have mentors in undergraduate school who saw potential and encouraged me to continue with school.  Now I hope I can use the skills I obtained while in school to help better the lives of children who severe communication impairments.

Would you recommend your degree program?  Why?
It’s a bit cliché to say this, but it’s true that you never really get a sense of how well prepared you are for the real world until you experience it.  I certainly had this experience when I first left GSU, in a very positive way.  I quickly realized that the experiences I had at Georgia State were unique and important, and helped me to start quickly and competently.  My experiences have served me well and I believe that the degree program(s) at Georgia State will serve other aspiring Ph.Ds equally.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
One insight I had during my graduate experience is that scientists tend to be quirky people.  This, of course, is why they’re scientists in the first place!

So I strongly recommend pursuing a graduate degree to anyone who is quirky, likes quirky people, or all of the above.

Lisa Wiggins

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2009)wiggins

Area of Study: Developmental

Current Job: Epidemiologist/Research Psychologist, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What do you do on an average day?
My job consists of varied responsibilities so every day is unique. I am co-principle investigator for the Georgia Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), which is a multi-site study that investigates risk factors for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). SEED has a recruitment goal of over 5000 families and an annual cost of over 1.0 million per site. I also serve as chair of the SEED clinical and behavioral phenotype workgroups and as a member of the CDC ASD surveillance team.  A typical day at my job may include developing research questions to learn more about the behavioral phenotype of ASD, discussing ways to best define clinical variables used in analyses, analyzing data and interpreting results, supervising clinicians who conduct developmental evaluations for GA SEED, and reviewing service records to help determine the prevalence of ASD in metropolitan Atlanta.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
I felt I had reached a ceiling in my job as project manager of ASD research at CDC. I was interested in developing my own research questions and conducting my own analyses but needed additional competencies and skills to grow in these areas. A degree in developmental psychology complimented my previous training in clinical psychology and gave me the expertise valued by CDC and others in the field of autism.

Would you recommend your degree program?  Why?
I would absolutely recommend the psychology program at Georgia State University (GSU) to prospective students. The training in psychology at Georgia State parallels training in psychology at some of the most prestigious colleges and universities across the nation. There is a diverse range of graduate programs available and each fosters interdisciplinary science and education. The clinical program is the largest program and is APA approved. The developmental program is the most intimate program and offers personalized training for its students. All of the programs seek excellence in research, teaching, and service.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
I learned that the study of atypical child development requires background and knowledge of typical child development. This may seem like an obvious fact but many students are hyper-focused on atypical trajectories and thus fail to consider more traditional pathways of development as a comparison. My mentors encouraged me to take a broader perspective when learning about ASD early in my graduate career.

I also learned that I was not the only “non-traditional” student in our cohort! I entered graduate school at Georgia State after graduating with a Master’s degree in clinical psychology (from Georgia Regents University in Augusta, GA) and working for many years as a counselor and project manager. The decision to return to school was an important one that required a great deal of reflection and contemplation. Ultimately, I decided the program was an investment in my future. I often refer to that decision as one of the best in my life. Anyone can return to graduate school to pursue their dreams and realize a rewarding career.

John Ryan

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2009)ryan

Area of Study: Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Current Job: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh

What do you do on an average day?
Doing full time research allows me to have a lot of control over how I spend each day, as well as a wide variety of tasks.  Many mornings I am working with research participants collecting data.  At least once a week I attend various journal clubs on campus to discuss the latest literature. In the afternoons, I work on data analysis, write manuscripts and work on grant submissions.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
After I finished my Bachelor¹s degree, I worked as a research assistant for two years.  It helped me discern that I wanted to do neuroscience research and keep learning beyond what I had learned as an undergraduate.  In most cases, a PhD is required if you want start your own research program.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?
The Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience program at Georgia State University provided me with numerous opportunities to get hands on experience with a variety of methods.  These included magnetic resonance imaging, psychophysiology, neuropsychology testing, and a large research participant pool to conduct research for my masters and dissertation projects.

What's the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
One thing that I did not foresee was the value of learning some computer programming.  Psychology and neuroscience research require a great deal of using software for statistics, data processing, etc.  Becoming familiar with a programming language can end up being a huge time saver.

Matia B. Solomon

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2006)solomon

Area of Study: Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Current Job: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati

What do you do on an average day?

I wear many hats in my current position. Although technically I am a bench neuroscientist, there are days that I truly feel like a business manager, pseudo-therapist to my students, marketing executive (when trying to sell my ideas) and an accountant. There really are no average days for me. Some days are jam-packed with meetings while others days may consist of writing, editing papers, or working in the laboratory with my students. The only thing that never changes about my workday is that I check my emails when I first wake up in the morning. Juggling multiple responsibilities in my current position prevents me from getting bored.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

I actually started doing research in Dr. Kim Huhman’s laboratory as an undergraduate at Georgia State. I became fascinated with understanding how stress increases the risk for psychopathology in females and males. I decided to apply to the doctoral program in Psychology at Georgia State to continue this line of research with Dr. Huhman. I don’t think I ever seriously considered doing anything else other than research.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?

There are several reasons why I would absolutely recommend my program. First, one thing that I loved about the NBN program is that you really were everyone’s student. For example, although Dr. Huhman was my primary mentor, I could easily walk down the hallway and discuss my research projects with a number of other professors. Another added bonus to being in the program was that my peers and I became family and we formed tight bonds that continue to this day. We all helped each other with our experiments, challenged each other to become better scientists, and celebrated each other’s accomplishments. My graduate training at Georgia State definitely provided me with the necessary skills to succeed in my current position.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?

I never knew that mnemonic devices would be the difference maker between an A and a B. I remember coming up with all of these crazy phrases and songs to remember different things for my classes. Fast forward, fifteen years and I still can’t get that crazy mnemonic device for cranial nerves out of my head.

Coming soon.

Eva Jansiewicz

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2008)jansiewicz

Area of Study: Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Current Job: Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Integrated Center for Child Development, Newton, MA

What do you do on an average day?

I complete neuropsychological evaluations with children and adolescents with a wide variety of presentations including developmental disorders, medical and genetic disorders, learning challenges, attentional challenges, and emotional/behavioral needs. I also consult frequently with treatment providers, schools, lawyers, and advocates. I complete school observations as needed. I love my job because I meet amazing kids and families every day and help guide them on the path towards a positive developmental trajectory. I enjoy seeing a wide variety of clients as it “keeps me on my toes” and helps to expand my skill set. I am also a mother of two young girls and spend much of my time with them, which I also enjoy very much.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?

I wanted to achieve sufficient expertise in the field of psychology to be able to make independent choices about the type and structure of the work I would do. The integrative and intellectually stimulating nature of the work I can do with a graduate degree is very rewarding for me. The work-life balance I have been able to achieve (with many adjustments and over time) has benefitted my whole family.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?

Absolutely yes. I was lucky to work with very talented professors at Georgia State who were excellent professionals and also modeled positive personal characteristics, such as demonstrating the value of compassion, ethical behavior, and collaboration daily in their work. The standards were high but support was provided for students to achieve their goals. I found Georgia State to be a unique, caring, collaborative, and engaged community that was a great fit for my personal approach and professional goals. To this day, when I encounter and ethical dilemma or challenging professional situation, I am able to use the knowledge and values that I learned at Georgia State to help guide me.

What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?

I didn’t necessarily learn anything I would describe as “strange” or “quirky”, as I tend to think of new or unexpected things as “interesting”. One particularly interesting experience was learning about community psychology, which helped me obtain a new perspective that I continue to use in my clinical work.

Christina H. Vlahou

VlahouDegree: Ph.D. in Psychology (2007)

Area of Study: Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience

Current Job: Psychologist on Staff, Department of Psychological Services, Anatolia College, Thessaloniki, Greece

What do you do on an average day?
As one of the two psychologists on staff at the secondary education division of the largest and most prestigious private educational institution in Northern Greece, my job primarily involves providing the full range of psychological services to our 1200 middle school and high school students and their families. Further, I am responsible for handling psychiatric crises in the school, designing and delivering educational, social-emotional and substance abuse prevention programs, teaching the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Psychology course, diagnosing and supporting students with special educational needs, providing consultation and continuous education workshops to deans and faculty on students' social/emotional/behavioral issues, supervising two psychology graduate student interns, participating in the scholarship committee, conducting research, and have a number of administrative duties.

Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
Without a graduate degree I would not have been qualified for my current position. My job description requires one to be knowledgeable and experienced, to have the ability to work with many people in several different roles, and to combine clinical, teaching, supervision and research skills. Having a solid understand of ethics, and confidence in oneself is also important as you are often consulted on important matters and carry much responsibility. If anyone, adolescents can see right through you, so you should be able to stand and think quickly on your feet.

Would you recommend your degree program? Why?
I would do it all over again on any day. My doctoral program was an experience that has shaped who I am and has defined my professional career. I enjoyed the curriculum, the research and clinical opportunities I was provided with, and grew very attached to the faculty who cared for me and supported me and to my fellow graduate students. The atmosphere was professional yet personal and warm, and everyone worked together to support one another and accommodate each student's interests. I consider myself very lucky.

What's the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
How to receive and provide others with feedback! It was a challenge to not become defensive, and also to approach others in a way that does not put them in a position of defense. My advisors also taught me persistence as in the beginning I was quick to feel disappointment when rejected and had the tendency to give up. Careers are not built on constant success, and one has to learn how to also make room for failure.