My name is Taylor Walicki and I am a junior from Wilmington, North Carolina. I am majoring in statistics and psychology with a minor in neuroscience. For the past two years, I have been a research assistant in the CIRCLE Lab and Hopfinger Lab. Under my mentors I was able to develop my research skills. I also plan to conduct a senior honors thesis with Dr. Hopfinger next year. Outside of the lab, I was an Autism Support Professional this past summer with the Autism Society of North Carolina. This job was emotionally investing but also one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It allowed me to directly help individuals that contribute to research. With these experiences and my coursework, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in quantitative or clinical psychology.
This semester I was awarded the opportunity to become a Gil intern. For the past few weeks I have been working at innovation Research & Training (iRT) in Durham. This research company aims to conduct innovative research that can benefit our community. Some topics of research are mentorship, media literacy, and social information processing. My mentors are Dr. Janis Kupersmidt and Dr. Alison Parker. Dr. Kupersmidt is the President of iRT and is a senior research scientist. Dr. Parker is also a research scientist who collaborates with Dr. Kupersmidt on several projects. My mentors are wonderful because they are very supportive and are helping me achieve my research goals. My primary area of research will be with social information processing. Social information processing involves the different cognitions, thought processes, and behaviors that take place within an individual in social situations. For the past few weeks I have been updating the literature on social information processing in adolescents. Once I complete this update, I will move on to collaborating on a paper focused on social information processing in adolescent boys. At the end of the semester, the goal is for me to co-author a research article on social information processing as a mediator between executive functioning and aggression. I would like to thank the Gil Internship Program for this enriching opportunity!