July SPSPotlight: Member Spotlight
Rising second-year grad student Asia McCleary-Gaddy answers some questions about herself, her research, and her interests.
Please introduce yourself (e.g., name, year in school, university, area of psychology, etc.)
Greetings, my name is Asia McCleary-Gaddy and I am entering my second year as a General/Experimental Psychology graduate student at the University of Vermont. My concentration is Social Psychology.
Tell us a little bit about your research interests.
Broadly, my research interests explore issues related to diversity and discrimination within applied settings. More specifically, I am interested in investigating stigma, stereotyping, prejudice and subtle inter/intraracial discrimination and the implications for individuals and organizational practice. Additionally, I am interested in the role weight plays in women’s mental health.
What sparked your interest in these areas of research?
My research in these areas were sparked due to the real world implications. Being able to contribute to social issues and policy inspires me immensely.
Who’s your psychology research idol?
My psychology research idols are Kenneth and Mamie Clark. In addition to being the first African Americans to obtain doctorate degrees in Psychology from Columbia University, their more commonly known “doll studies” were pivotal evidence in the Brown vs. Board of Education case that desegregated schools . Contributing to social movements and justice is what I aspire to do through my research.
What is your favorite thing about being part of SPSP, or of the annual conference if you have attended?
My favorite part of SPSP annual conference is the diversity reception. It is motivating to be with other minority graduate students and professors who have earned so much. It inspires me to work harder and reminds me that I have a network of support. Also, the new feature on the SPSP website “Connect” is an amazing resource. I appreciate the open dialogue and helpful responses.
Do you have any favorite psychology blogs?
From time to time I browse PsyBlog as a study break.
What’s your greatest psychology-related achievement? (research you’re doing, initiatives you’re involved with, etc.)
My favorite psychology related achievement is being able to give back to other minority students who want to pursue a PhD. In undergrad I was a part of the Mellon May’s Fellowship that encouraged me to pursue a doctorate. Now at UVM it feels great to be in a position that allows me to pass on knowledge and extend what was given to me.
If you had to give one tip about surviving grad school (or undergrad), what would it be?
My one tip about surviving undergraduate or graduate school is to stay true to who you are! Never lose sight of your interests outside of research and always make time to do other activities that you enjoy. Also, try not to compare yourself to others. (I know, easier said than done). Run your own race and more importantly believe in yourself