Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Graduate School Bound

Elise AndersonElise Anderson, psychology graduate, will be attending a doctorate program at the University of Minnesota. She plans to work with Dr. Matt McGue in the personality, individual differences, and behavioral genetics (PIB) program and with Dr. Paul Sackett in the industrial/organizational (I/O) department. She plans to examine large, longitudinal data sets through a PIB lens with a focus on I/O applications. She states, “Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy deserves a lot of credit for my success with its emphasis on internships. I’m so grateful for Dr. Julie Rodgers, who not only provided me with lab experience, but also invested in my professional development. Also, Cal Poly’s requirement for a senior project gave me the opportunity to work with Dr. Jason Williams on my own, empirical research on the reliability of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Together, we have prepared a manuscript for publication. I also want to thank my other recommenders, Dr. Shawn Burn and Dr. Jodie Steele for their mentorship in writing, research methods and grad school advising. There are many others in the psychology department whose support I continue to be grateful for: teacher assistantships, statistics assistance and straight up encouragement.”


Chelsea DudleyChelsea Dudley, psychology graduate, will attend Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. She hopes to work on the Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Program’s research team during her first year and in the clinic starting her second year.

Through Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing approach, Chelsea benefited from the required field-work internships that ultimately developed her interest in working with children who have experienced abuse and/or trauma. From her internship with Martha’s Place Children’s Center, she decided to base her senior project on comparing the effectiveness of various treatment options for abused and neglected children and their families.

She says, “I would like to thank Professor Linda Lee for teaching me about research, Professor Taylor Smith for providing insight and support about the graduate application process, and both for sticking with me and believing in me through two application cycles.”


Tess Haifley

Tess Haifley (Child Development, '16) will attend UC Santa Cruz where she will focus on developmental psychology. Tess states, “Cal Poly's child development program prepared me with the tools and education I needed to pursue graduate school and with the support and personal attention that was crucial to my undergraduate journey. The Psychology and Child Development Department provided several opportunities for me to grow both personally and professionally, which provided me experience and competitiveness while applying to graduate school. Some of the most valuable experiences were working as a research assistant and lab manager with Dr. Jipson, where I gained important research skills and mentorship. Other valuable experiences I had were working at the Preschool Learning Lab, where I was able to engage with children in a hands-on level, learning important tools of observation and interaction from Dr. Clarkson, Kari and Pauline. I want to thank the faculty and lecturers at Cal Poly who helped me and countless other students along our way, including those mentioned above, as well as Dr. Jovanovic, Dr. Garcia and Dr. Williams for their advice and collaboration working on the Student Advisory Committee.”


Ryan Lubock

Ryan Lubock, graduate student in Psychology, will attend the PsyD program in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University, where he will continue to pursue his interest in trauma. He plans to conduct research in the Culture and Trauma Research Lab at Pepperdine to examine the cultural, epigenetic, and generational impact the Holocaust had on Jewish survivors, and obtain a clinical placement working with individuals who have experienced trauma. He shares, “The faculty and my classmates have been instrumental in my growth academically and clinically here at Cal Poly, and I would not have been able to move on to the PsyD program if it were not for the experience I gained in the master’s program. The program has provided me with valuable clinical experiences through my practicum training in the campus clinic, and my traineeship placement in the Adult Treatment Court Collaborative Division of SLO County Behavioral Health. I have also had the opportunity to conduct my own research while in the program, and presented at WPA in April. I am grateful for the experiences I have had here at Cal Poly, and I am excited for the next step!”


Emily PhillipsEmily Phillips, psychology senior, will study school psychology at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. This is a five-year program within the College of Education that results in a master's degree after two years of study, and a Ph.D. in school psychology upon completing the program. The program emphasizes data-based decision making and applied behavioral analysis, and has faculty who develop various psychological tests. According to Phillips, “One of the most helpful things for me before I applied to graduate school was the department's Professional Development and Networking Week, because I was able to talk to professionals from a variety of psychology-related careers. I also utilized the faculty by talking to multiple professors about the application process and having them review and edit my essays multiple times.”


Amy SmithAmy Smith, child development senior, will attend the University of Southern California’s Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy to pursue her master’s degree in occupational therapy (OT). Through this program, she will become a general practitioner in OT with a specialty in pediatrics. Smith shares, “My time at Cal Poly prepared me for my next steps because of both the hands-on philosophy at Cal Poly and my research background as a child development major. Research Methods (CD 329), Tech Lab (CD 413) and Senior Seminar/Project (CD 461/462) sparked my interest in research, and more specifically in the field I am interested in. I have done research on sensory integration in an OT setting, on assistive technology for children with Autism Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD), and on different social skills interventions that foster positive peer relationships for children with ASD. With the help of professors Linda Lee, Jennifer Jipson and Jasna Jovanovic, I have been taught how to integrate research-based evidence with my internship experiences in a Learn by Doing way. Because of this education, I feel more than prepared to jump right into USC’s OT program.”


Alexandra Strait

Alexandra Strait, psychology senior, will attend California State University, Northridge in the fall in the marriage and family therapy program. While there, she is hoping to work with children who have experienced various forms of trauma, specifically those who have experienced abuse and neglect. Strait shares, “Working with Dr. Freberg on research projects and discussing the variety of opportunities I could seek within the community allowed me to cement my desire to work within the field of marriage and family therapy. I truly believe that the support and the opportunities this program offered allowed me to gain admittance into graduate school. I will be forever thankful for the two years I was able to spend at Cal Poly.”


Haley Wong

Haley Wong, child development senior, will attend the University of Southern California to pursue a master’s degree in clinical social work with a concentration in children, youth, and families. She is hoping to eventually work in a children’s hospital with children and families to understand particular illnesses, helping them with coping techniques and provide counseling for families when they need to make important decisions.

Wong states, “Cal Poly’s education and belief in Learn by Doing helped me focus on the population I wanted to work with after my schooling is over. Cal Poly has given me the knowledge to work with people of different beliefs and values from myself, and my internships have given me the opportunity to practice in the professional field. The child development faculty, specifically Dr. Jovanovic and Dr. Lee, have given me an immense amount of help with my decision to pursue my master's at USC. Thank you both so much for supporting me through these four years and helping me decide to go into clinical social work!”


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