UCD School of Psychology hosts visiting interns from the United States

Thu, 31 October 13 11:39 Another Author

This summer the UCD School of Psychology and Centre for Disability Studies hosted four students from the US on visiting research internships; Monica Breton (University of California, Berkeley), Spencer Deschenes (Emmanuel College, Boston), Ciara Willett (St. Mary’s College, Maryland) and Ann Zedginidze (University of Wisconsin - La Cross). The interns had the opportunity to work with staff members and collaborators in the School on a number of current research projects.

Monica Breton is originally from Southern California and is a senior studying psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Monica is working with Dr Ela Polek and says of her decision to come to UCD, I was attracted to work in the School of Psychology at UCD for many reasons … the beautiful location, passionate researchers and interesting research topics such as well-being predictors and applied statistics. During her internship Monica has been compiling articles for a comprehensive literature review of predictors of marital satisfaction, saying I appreciate the opportunity to work with others in a different country and the insight and knowledge I have gained from this unique experience.

Spencer Deschenes is from Boston, Massachusetts, where she is entering her final year of an undergraduate degree in psychology (with a concentration in counseling and health) at Emmanuel College. Talking about her decision to come to UCD she says, the School of Psychology caught my eye due to the work that Barbara Dooley and Amanda Fitzgerald are doing with the My World Survey. The research on the survey is similar to my work as a research assistant at my home institution. During her time working with Drs Dooley and Fitzgerald, Spencer was involved in coding qualitative data from the My World Survey. Spencer also had the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars including the 15th International Congress of ESCAP in Dublin. Spencer says, I have enjoyed my entire experience at UCD … the opportunities that I have been given as an intern here have further enhanced my knowledge and skills as a research assistant.

Ciara Willett is from Silver Spring, Maryland and is entering her final year of undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s College, Maryland majoring in psychology with a minor in educational studies. Talking about her decision to come to UCD she says, I wanted an internship over the summer that concerned intellectual disability research and so I was really excited to come and work with Suzanne Guerin at the Centre for Disability Studies. Ciara worked with by Dr Suzanne Guerin, Dr Philip Dodd (St Michael’s House Intellectual Disability Services) and Dr Fiona Keogh (Genio) on a project on respite care in intellectual disabilities. Ciara’s internship included visits to Barretstown, an organisation delivering therapeutic recreation programmes for families affected by childhood cancer, and Festina Lente, an organisation delivering horse-based occupational, learning and employment programmes for people with a range of disabilities. Ciara says of her experiences at UCD, I have written an article on respite care that I am hoping to publish and am really happy to gain this experience.

Ann Zedginidze is a fourth year psychology major undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Her research interests include muscle dysmorphia from a social psychology perspective and acceptance and commitment therapy. During her internship with the UCD School of she is working under the supervision of Dr Louise McHugh in the area of remediating exclusion in undergraduate students via brief acceptance interventions.