Laura Stokes, 2017
1. What led you to major in psychology, particularly your program?
My previous boss has her Ph.D. in psychology but is now working in a marketing department. Through working with her, I realized a graduate psychology program could combine my interest in market research, psychology and human interest all into one.
The ADP program was of specific interest to me because after witnessing and experiencing education systems in different parts of the world (Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA) I am particularly interested in learning more about how an education system influences an individual’s development.
2. What have you enjoyed so far about studying psychology?
Being able to relate to other people more, and gain a better understanding of people.
3. Do you have a favorite professor or class?
Definitely Tim Curby. Tim is my advisor, but I also took lifespan development with him last year. He encouraged really great, open-ended discussions with my classmates and him based on research, so you got to know your classmates better and understand the literature.
4. What research, extracurricular or other activities are you involved in?
As I mentioned before, I am really interested in the structure and influence of education systems. I am currently working on my thesis about lesson study with a professor in the Graduate School of Education and with faculty in the ADP program. Lesson study is a method of professional development for teachers. This collaboration is helping me to not only learn more about developmental psychology, but also its application to education. It’s been a great mix for me!
5. What are your career goals after graduation?
I would like to get into education policy research and hopefully put my thesis on teacher professional development to use.
6. What advice do you have for new Mason students in your program?
Plan ahead - things catch up with you very quickly, even graduation. Also, get to know your professors!