Psychology Graduate Program Alumni
Jessica Curran, 2016
I completed a MSc in Psychology at Trent in July of 2016. My thesis research, which I conducted under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Navara, sought to explore the representations of Aboriginal health in the media across three popular Canadian publications. In order to explore this phenomenon, I conducted a thematic analysis while co-opting devices used primarily in Critical Discourse Analysis. While completing my MSc, I was also fortunate to aid in conducting a Program Evaluation for two not-for-profit social services agencies in the Peterborough area. The Program Evaluation aimed to explore Employee Wellness and the increase or decrease in Compassion Fatigue after the introduction of a wellness initiative at each centre; this research is ongoing. Lastly, as a graduate student at Trent, I was able to gain valuable experience as a Teaching Assistant, a Workshop Leader and a facilitator. These experiences, and the experiences that I had throughout the academic portion of the MSc have allowed me to hone skills in several areas. Currently, I am the Program Coordinator for Circles of Support and Accountability in Peterborough, a non-profit organization that helps former offenders successfully reintegrate into the Peterborough community, lessening their likelihood of reoffending. I can confidently say that it is thanks to the graduate program at Trent that I have the strength and diligence to perform well in my new role.
Amy Peverley, 2016
I completed my MA in Developmental Psychology at Trent in January 2016. My graduate thesis investigated students’ preferences for either traditional print textbooks or contemporary e-textbooks, the reasons for this preference, and how this relates to student characteristics. Specifically, I explored whether students who chose e-texts and those who chose print texts differed in their self-regulatory abilities, motivation to learn, and use of cognitive learning strategies.
Currently, I am a project coordinator and psychometrist for a longitudinal study exploring the relationships between numeracy, language, and executive function in early childhood. In addition, I am a teaching assistant/lab instructor for research methods and advanced statistics courses at the Trent Durham campus.
Patricia Smith, 2016
In June 2016, I successfully defended my thesis for a MSc in Psychology, titled “Why Not Give Up? A study on the Role of Resourcefulness in Goal Pursuit”, under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Kennett. Always having been interested in the positive aspects of human psychology, my focus was on what characteristics make individuals successful with the hopes of finding practical ways to help improve everyday goal pursuit.
Building upon that motivation, I am currently in the middle of the medical school application process, with hopes of taking my passion for positively impacting people into the rehabilitation branch of neurology.
My time at Trent was an incredible experience, both academically, as well as personally. Not only did the faculty push and stretch me as an intellectual, but without their tremendous support, I would have never realized the passion and potential I had. Anyone who has the opportunity to do graduate work here will be a better scholar and human being because of it and I will always look back on my time here fondly!
Carly Bumbacco, 2015
I completed my MA in psychology with the thesis, entitled, “Help Wanted: Attachment, Help-Seeking Attitudes, and Help-Seeking Behaviour among University Students”, from Trent University in September 2015. For my MA thesis, I used a cross-sectional survey study to examine how attachment to care-givers and help-seeking attitudes play a role in first-year students’ choice to seek support from professional sources such as therapists as well as informal sources such as family members. As a follow-up, I conducted a mixed-methods study in which I used students' attachment scores to compare across interview transcripts and discover themes related to their help-seeking experiences. I intend to build upon my master’s thesis research at the doctoral level and pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical or Counselling Psychology. I am immensely grateful for all the support, guidance, encouragement, and opportunities the Trent University faculty have provided me over the past few years.
Chelsea Kilimnik, 2015
I completed my MSc thesis in Psychology at Trent in August, 2015. My thesis, which I conducted under the supervision of Dr. Terry Humphreys, focused on the role of nonconsensual sexual experiences in the sexual consent attitudes and behaviors in both a college and community sample of men and women. In my time at Trent I was also able to take part in a number of other amazing research experiences, including working with the Peterborough County-City Health Unit on how to holistically assess the sexual health of adolescents, working closely with the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, contributing to the new Ontario sex education curriculum resources around sexual consent, and investigating the attitudes around sexual consent and sexual boundaries in an incarcerated population of men at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsey, Ontario. I was also given the amazing experience of working on a committee at Trent to help develop the new sexual violence response and prevention policies in the Spring of 2015. I am now a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Texas at Austin continuing my research on the influence of nonconsensual sexual experiences on sexual well-being. I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful opportunities Trent University afforded me and the tremendous support and education I received from the faculty.
Raymond McKie, 2015
I completed my MSc thesis in September 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Terry Humphreys, and am currently pursuing my PhD in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University under the supervision of Dr. Robb Travers. My master’s thesis examined sexual consent understanding and negotiation strategies in a sample of men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual men internationally (Canada, the United States, and Western Europe). I have since published from these data and am still in constant contact with my advisor at Trent as we continue to conduct research together. Currently, Dr. Humphreys, myself, and Chelsea Kilimnik are working in collaboration with colleagues at the Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services of Ontario where we are collecting data within three maximum-security prisons. Additionally, Dr. Humphreys and I continue to work on a project in collaboration with a faculty member at the University of New Brunswick. During my time at Trent, I was afforded the opportunity to work with the Sexual Consent Policy Review Committee, and act as the first year sciences student representative for the Graduate Student’s Association. The master’s program at Trent University has prepared me very well for my current doctoral degree and I am thankful to all who contributed to my success. Following my PhD, I hope to pursue a PsyD to expand my knowledge of clinical work.
Rebecca Martin, 2015
I completed my MA in Psychology at Trent University in 2015. My thesis examined the role of self-compassion and general coping skills in promoting students' academic resourcefulness and adjustment, finding self-compassion to be a protective factor against low academic resourcefulness for students with small repertoires of everyday life coping skills. As a Trent student, I had the opportunity to participate in several interesting scholastic activities, such as the Three Minute Thesis competition and the Symons Seminar Series, as well as fun social events hosted by fellow students and the Graduate Students' Association. Since completing my degree, I have worked on a number of fascinating research projects, analyzing data from Trent University’s Equity and Diversity survey, developing and implementing an evaluation framework for a school-based drug education program, assisting with an investigation on harvesting impacts and perceptions of climate change in a Northern Labrador community, and collaborating on a study exploring the relationships between compassion for nature, the self, and others. My current work with the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group at Trent University focuses on food security and food needs in Nunatsiavut. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a student at Trent, and attribute a large part of my work success to the quality of my education. Trent is a supportive and nurturing learning environment, where the faculty truly care about their students' academic and personal growth, and fellow students help each other out.
Ashley Toohey, 2015
I completed my MSc in Developmental Psychology at Trent in September 2015. My thesis investigated how children and young adolescents think about, and understand, others’ intentions and emotions. Thanks to the research experience I acquired throughout my Masters degree, I gained many valuable skills that have allowed me to continue to work in the Language and Cognition Lab at Trent Durham as a psychometrist, project coordinator, and research assistant. In addition to my role in the lab, I was also able to secure a position as a psychometrist at a medical clinic that focused on children’s mental health. I work and volunteer in a number of child-focused organizations and am planning to pursue my PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Joshua Black, 2013
My research interests are in the area of dreams in bereavement, with a special focus on dreams of the deceased. I first investigated this area while in the Master of Arts program here at Trent University. My MA thesis examined themes, content, and meaning of dreams that contain imagery of the deceased. I am currently in the PhD program at Brock University continuing to investigate dreams in bereavement. I have published scientific literature in the area and I continue to provide volunteer support to individuals who are bereaved. Recently, I developed a website (www.griefdreams.ca) for others to learn more about bereavement dreams, share their bereavement dreams, and ask questions.
Kristen Withers, 2012
I graduated from Trent's Psychology MSc program in 2012. I conducted my thesis research under the supervision of Dr. Michael Chan-Reynolds. In our study, we used eye-tracking technology to explore the human ability to detect visual changes. Our results provided support for the existence of a pre-attentive change detection mechanism.
Immediately after graduating from Trent, I enrolled in law school at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. I graduated from the law program with my Juris Doctor degree in the spring of 2015. I spent the summer of 2015 taking the bar exam in Vancouver, and since September 2015 I have been clerking at the British Columbia Supreme Court. Once I complete my one-year judicial clerkship, I will be starting articles with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Vancouver. I expect to be called to the bar in late 2016 or early 2017.