My name is Morgan and I am a fourth year Honors Psychology student studying at the University of Michigan. I will be graduating this December (2017) and applying to Clinical Psych Ph.D. programs in the fall. I have worked as a research assistant for the Pathways to Literacy Lab under Dr. Frederick Morrison for the past three years. Under his guidance, I presented a poster at the 2016 APS Convention in Chicago and was accepted into the Psychology honors program. My poster, entitled “Parental Satisfaction with Special Education and School Communication Practices,” examined relationships between educators and families with Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Pervasive Developmental Disorders), Externalizing Disorders, or both. It was through Dr. Morrison’s lab that I was also fortunate enough to be advised by Dr. Catherine Lord (his wife), a renowned clinical psychologist specializing in Autism, who has helped enforce my desire to pursue further research and graduate education. Most importantly, I have had the opportunity to work on an honors thesis. My thesis examines how the academic achievement, social skills, and behavioral outcomes of children with special needs compare to typical peers, in part as a function of teacher-reported efficacy in educating students with disabilities.
Over the course of the summer I will continue to work in the Pathways to Literacy Lab as a senior research assistant. Until the students leave for summer break, I will assist with EEG data collection in various schools in the metro-Detroit area. EEG is a brain-imaging technique that detects electrical activity in the brain using small, flat metal discs called electrodes that are attached to the scalp. While hooked up the the EEG system, the student participate in fun educational games assessing behavioral and academic skills. In particular, we are interested in what is going on in the brain when children make errors. The rest of the summer will be spent analyzing data, meeting with statistics consultants, writing manuscripts, and contacting teachers regarding student’s special education status.
I am very excited for all that this summer internship will offer. In my free time I will be working as an ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist and studying for the GRE. It will be a very busy summer filled with pertinent research experience that will better enable my pursuit of graduate-level scholarship and research!