Where are they now?
Former members speak about their experiences with CPHR and where they ended up after UNT
In May of 2012, Mark Pierson, former office manager for The Center for Psychosocial Health Research, received a bachelors of science in psychology degree at the age of 25 from the University of North Texas. After leaving UNT, Mark began a Masters in Science in Counseling Psychology Program at Loyola University in Baltimore Maryland. During Mark’s two years with The Center for Psychosocial Health Research, he worked on six research presentations and two papers. Mark also submitted his works to many professional conferences including: The American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Sciences, The Society for Behavioral Medicine as well as UNT Scholars Day. In total, as a student in the center, Mark presented his research on eight separate occasions. Mark expressed that to aid him in his research and preparation for graduate school, his work as a Project Evaluation Assistant with the Office of Minority Health in Denton Texas and his work as a Teaching Assistant with Dr. Chwee-Lye Chng at UNT were very beneficial. Mark is a member of the of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar, a member od Psi Chi: National Honor Society in Psychology and a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership Honors Organization. When asked how being a member of the center helped develop him as a scholar, he replied, “research methods can be taught to a person, but these methods, in my opinion, cannot be learned unless you use the skills taught in the classroom. At first, I thought I wanted to know all of the facts and figures associated with the science of psychology, but after being in the Center I realized I was more interested in how these facts and figures are obtained. The Center was a useful way to gain professional experience vis-à-vis working with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, research participants and academic administrators. The Center is a very “hands on” approach for students who want to become research professionals, especially relevant to people living with HIV/AIDS or LGBT communities." He continues, “My experience with the Center was invaluable. The experiences afforded to me by the director and co-director of the Center has opened doors for me even half way across the country." Mark feels that “self-motivation is key. If you want it, go for it; the folks in the Center will help you get there, but you have to be willing to go forth and set the world on fire." Mark ended by saying, “often, students can be afraid of Dr. Vosvick, but he once told me, “faculty are people, too.” Dr. Vosvick has good intentions for his students even when he evinces staunch Socratics. He was trained well and he continues to train his students well.”
Eddie Parks, 29, is an alumnus of the Center for Psychosocial Health Research. During his 3 years with the center, he presented at 4 national conferences, participated at UNT Scholar’s Day twice and successfully completed his Honor’s Thesis. Eddie asserts that being a member of the center helped him develop as a scholar and elucidated the complex statistics and self-presentation his future required. “The building of the relationships I made in CPHR will stay with me”, he shared, “and I will undoubtedly be colleagues with them for the entirety of my career.” Eddie is currently a first-year Master’s student at Arizona State University in Glendale, AZ. He highly recommends CPH to undergrads aspiring to gain their Master’s or Ph.D. “CPHR developed me into a complete package for competing in graduate school.”
An alumnus of the Center for Psychosocial Health Research, Will Hua received the APA/APAGS Award for Distinguished Students in Professional Psychology, completed an internship at the VA Palo Alto Heath Care System, and is currently working on a postdoctoral fellowship there. During his time with the CPHR, Will was involved with Project forgive, through which he gained exposure to experience in many aspects of both clinical work and research. Additionally, Will was able to manage the project, facilitate group interventions for HIV positive individuals, work with other graduate students, supervise undergraduate students, and present the project’s findings at national conferences. When asked what word he would use to describe his experience with the CPHR, Will replies simply “opportunity.” Will further states of his experience that “[he has] no doubt that these experiences through the Center helped [him] to become competitive for the postdoctoral fellowship that [he] currently [has],” and goes on to explain that “there are so many clinical, research, teaching and mentoring opportunities available to the Center….the opportunity to work with underserved populations and communities (individual living with HIV/AIDS, members of the LGBT community, persons of color, low-SES population, etc.) is unsurpassed.”