My internship at Connections for Kids

A guest post by Krista Bailey about her internship experience

In Spring 2019, I interned at Connections for Kids, a mental health agency for kids. I also worked there as an employee, but through a different program. For my internship position I worked in the human resources office. I did a lot of reference calls and worked on projects that helped out the company. For example, I worked on making a pamphlet that talked about what perks employee of the company have access to. I also worked on finding all the states process of finding people’s criminal records, driving records, and child protective services records. We do this because, when working with kids, these background checks are required. These are just a few of many examples of what I did in human resources.

This internship is important for my career because I am interested in applying what I have learned in psychology to the business field.  I may be interested in industrial organizational psychology (IOP) as a future career, but I am not exactly sure yet. I am not sure if I really want to work in Human Resources specifically, but by having this opportunity I get to see a different side to things. For my future I am also potentially interested in sports management/ marketing or some form of advertisement. I can use what I have learned in psychology to aid me in these kinds of positions as well. Understanding how to talk to people and understanding how they may think can help you in many different business and management oriented positions.  

Though this internship might be slightly different than most internships that psychology students work in, I am still able to tie many things that I have learned in classes into it. I can use what I have learned in psychology and apply it to my internship,  most specifically in working to help keep employees happy and healthy in an organization that can, at times, be challenging to work in. 

Our thanks to Krista for sharing her thoughts about her internship. All psychology majors complete at least one internship, PSY 300, as part of their degree. Students work closely with a faculty supervisor as part of the experience.

Alumni Night with Psi Chi

Jessica Sarro, Cammy Macomber, & Nicole Martin (all current students from PSI CHI) join panel members Victoria Bryan, Abby Lachance, Ally Symonds, and Julia Beebe

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, PSI CHI invited four of our Psychology alumni back to campus to talk about their lives since undergrad. Abby Lachance, Victoria Bryan, Julia Beebe, and Alison Symonds spoke about what they have been doing since graduation, what they did in undergrad to get them there, and their advice for current students.

Alison worked for Sweetzer after graduation and now is a Research Associate at Digital Research Inc. Julia works both at Violence No More (co-teaching a men’s group) and Work Opportunities Unlimited (providing support to adults with intellectual disabilities).

Victoria is currently a doctoral student at the University of New Hampshire in a social and personality program. Abby enrolled in a masters program in Justice Studies and the University of New Hampshire and is currently applying to doctoral programs in social psychology.

Audience members has a lively discussion with our four alumni and gained new understanding about just what it is that our students do once graduation is over!

To learn more about the Psychology major at UNE please visit https://www.une.edu/cas/psych/psychology/programs/psychology

To learn more about PSI CHI, please visit https://www.une.edu/cas/psych/psychology-club

Psychology Faculty and Students Present (at NEPA)

This month (November 2019) faculty and students from across New England gathered to share their work and learn about psychology. Ten current UNE students, two alumni, and two faculty members from the Psychology Department attended the New England Psychological Association to present the work they have been conducting at UNE.

Olivia Kudas, Julia Beebe, Kristin Macek, Alexus Campobasso, Katelynn Paul, Benjamin Katz, and Dr. Trish Long (Clinical Professor & Chair, Department of PSY) presented their project from the Life Experiences lab entitled Sexual Assault and Bystander Behavior: The Role of Feminine Ideology, Rape Myth Acceptance, Exposure to Sexism, and Modeling of Appropriate Responses.

Dr. Long and alumni Benjamin Katz also presented a poster on Childhood Maltreatment and Parental and Friend Emotional Socialization.

Students from the Self and Close Others Relationship lab spoke with attendees about work entitled Women Decrease Mental Overlap with Same-Sex Friends and Family Members after Recalling Gender-Based Mistreatment, authored by Kana Colarossi, Ashley Karpowicz, Mackenzie Deveau, and Dr. Julie Peterson, Associate Professor of Psychology.

Work entitled Experimental Incorporation of Others into the Self-Concept: Does It Hurt More than It Helps? was presented by Hannah Christian, Sara Authier, Eric Lederman, and Dr. Peterson.

Students from the Reading Comprehension and Cognition lab were also well represented at NEPA. Work authored by Aubrey Sahouria, Nicole Martin, Ellie Leighton, and Dr. Jennifer Stiegler-Balfour, Associate Professor of Psychology, entitled Can Font Change How You Read? Exploring Font Type’s Effect on Recall and Reading Speed on E-Readers was presented as was a project entitled An Investigation of Reading Comprehension Ability Measures and Text Type, by Genna Companatico, Courtney Parent, and Dr. Stiegler-Balfour.

Dr. Stiegler-Balfour also presented a paper co-authored with aluma Ellie Leighton entitled An Investigation into the Effects of Structure Building Ability on Comprehension on E-readers for Expository and Narrative Text.

UNE undergraduates who are interested in exploring research opportunities in these three labs can contact the faculty supervisors. A list of all faculty in the department and their research programs can be found here: https://www.une.edu/cas/psych/contact. Click on faculty member’s names to learn more about their interests and work.

What is the best way to study?

Dr. Mike Burman answered this question for the Bangor Daily News. Take a look at the article here: https://bangordailynews.com/2019/09/22/bangor-metro/6-scientifically-proven-ways-to-improve-your-study-habits/

Be sure to also check out UNE’s coverage of the publication of this article here: https://www.une.edu/news/2019/psychology-professor-offers-science-based-study-tips

Dr. Zach Olson publishes on free-roaming cats in the journal Wildlife Research

Congratulations to Dr. Zach Olson who recently published a journal article in the journal Wildlife Research (http://www.publish.csiro.au/wr/WR18029). Dr. Olson and his collaborators studied free-roaming house cats – both where they occur on the landscape and how numerous they were. Free-roaming cats are important to study because they are one of the leading killers of birds and small mammals where they exist (here’s a popular press article describing ‘outdoor’ cat impacts: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/outdoor-cats-kill-between-14-billion-and-37-billion-birds-a-year-study-says/2013/01/31/2504f744-6bbe-11e2-ada0-5ca5fa7ebe79_story.html).

The study found that the most important predictor of free-roaming cat presence in a given natural study site was that site’s proximity to human housing and not more natural measures of habitat quality. We can draw two conclusions from that information: 1) free-roaming cats aren’t existing on the landscape like a wild population or a wild species. Rather, they are likely being subsidized (either fed or housed) by people, and 2) the problem that outdoor cats cause in the ecosystem is not likely to be solved using traditional tools of wildlife conservation. Instead, if we want to solve the feral cat problem, we need to convince people to change their behavior and keep their house cats inside.

Be sure to check out the article at the link provided above for more information. If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Olson’s work, check out his bio at: https://www.une.edu/people/zachary-h-olson

UNE undergraduates who have interested in engaging in research with Dr. Olson can contact him at zolson@une.edu. Learn more about the Animal Behavior major and minor (Dr. Olson is the program coordinator for these programs at https://www.une.edu/cas/psych/animalbehavior/program

You can also read the university’s press release about this at https://www.une.edu/news/2019/zach-olson-co-authors-article-wildlife-publication-free-roaming-cats

Neuroscience Mixer!

Interested in Neuroscience Research?  Want to know more about the exciting opportunities on campus?  Do you like having fun?  The Center for Excellence in Neuroscience and the Neuroscience Club are co-sponsoring a neuroscience mixer.  All students are welcome to join to hear faculty talk about research opportunities, eat dinner and play games with other interested students and faculty. 

See attached flyer.  November 7, 2019, 6:30-7:30, Harold Alfond Forum 230

Please RSVP to Jenn Malon (jmalon@une.edu) if you are planning to attend, so she knows how much food to order. 

My internship at Sweetser, part of Maine Mental Health Services

A guest post by Nick Sabato about the internship he completed in Spring 2019 as part of PSY 300.

In Spring of 2019 I completed my internship with the Sweetser organization, which is part of Maine Mental Health Services. My internship experience involved working with young children, age 7-12, who come from many different backgrounds, for many different reasons. A typical day of work for me includes helping the children eat their dinners and keep their composure during movie nights, tucking them into bed, and reading bedtime stories. However, there are times where it can be hectic; then I use de-escalation tactics including explaining to the kids to focus on themselves, take deep breaths, and take space. I also take part in meetings between staff, clinical psychologists, and the families of our clients in order to help achieve a suitable treatment plan. I feel as though I am making a positive impact on the lives of the children that I work with. It is also incredibly rewarding to see a child’s face light up when he or she sees me walk onto the unit. There are two children that I work with that want me to play games with them, tuck them into bed, and read their bedtimes stories to. The fact that these two children choose me to spend time with provides me with the knowledge that I am doing my part correctly.

This internship experience has lead me to hone my interpersonal social skills and has sharpened my abilities in regards to using de-escalation tactics for those in a crisis situation. In the future, I plan to go into researching psychotic disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Schizoaffective disorder, Paraphrenia, and more. The ability to work with clients this young and with the wide range of symptoms that are present will allow me to always keep in mind that the same disorder can manifest itself differently in different people. Interning at Sweetser has also taught me that I do have the capability and competency to work with children in the mental health field. However I plan to focus on working with and researching adult psychotic disorders because my personal attributes are more suitable for this population and that is my passion. My internship experience has given me prodigious amounts of clarity in respect to my professional career because now I know that working with adults who are burdened with psychotic disorders is my vocation.

My internship experience reinforces many different concepts that I have learned over my last 4 years of learning. The most relevant concept that ties into my internship is that having a stable environment is important for a young child. Another concept that can be applied to some of our residents is Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby’s theory of attachment styles. At our facility, the children we work with all appear to be either in the anxious resistant or anxious avoidant classification (Bowlby & Ainsworth, 1991). Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory states that behavior can be learned through observation and modeling, shown by his Bobo doll experiment which examined aggression (Bandura, 1971). Many of the children I work with exhibit their parents behaviors, such as aggression, recklessness, profanity, and many more behaviors. The ability to recognize the real life displays of these theories in lived experience is paramount in the learning process and has provided me with an increased level of appreciation for the residential spectrum of the mental health field and working with children.

Our thanks to Nick for sharing his thoughts about his internship. All psychology majors complete an internship as part of PSY 300 and work closely with a faculty member who helps them with their placement.

Learn more about the Psychology major at: https://www.une.edu/cas/psych/psychology and the Mental Health minor at: https://www.une.edu/cas/psych/psychology/programs/mhrtc-certification