I graduated from UNC in 2015 with a double major in Psychology and German, and a minor in Women’s Studies. In the fall of 2014, I was part of the inaugural Gil Internship cohort. Until this point in college, I had done research in neuroscience and social psychology labs, where I wished I was helping people more, and volunteered with interpersonal violence prevention organizations, where I wanted more of an intellectual challenge. At my internship with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, I read through mental health files of inmates in solitary confinement at Polk Correctional Institution, a prison in Butner, NC, to look for patterns of self-injury. This internship solidified my interest in clinical psychology by showing me that my intellectual curiosity could be bridged with my passion for helping people.
After graduation, I worked for two years as Lab Manager of Dr. Chris Beevers’ Mood Disorders Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. In the fall of 2017, I began pursuing my PhD in clinical psychology at UT Austin in Dr. Michael Telch’s Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders. I am currently finishing up my fourth year of graduate school, studying compassion as an intervention for shame as part of my dissertation, while completing a practicum at the Bipolar Disorder Center.
This fall I will begin a new practicum placement at the Travis County Jail and Correctional Complex, where I will provide therapy to jail inmates. I am certain that my Gil Internship experience working in a North Carolina prison helped to set me apart as an applicant for this practicum site. I plan to graduate in May 2023 to continue my career in both research and clinical work, with a focus on women’s mental health. I am thankful for my experience as a Gil Intern for pointing me towards a field that has been so interesting and rewarding for me!