Psychology

Students

Student Spotlight

Kathryn Thomas '14

Kathryn Thomas participated in the John Wesley Powell Research Conference. Her poster presentation, "Effect of Three Informational Strategies on Coworker Attitudes Towards Hiring People with Autism," focused on the misconceptions and stereotypes about disabilities as the largest obstacle to hiring people with disabilities.

Q&A with Kathryn

Q. Why did you decide to come to Illinois Wesleyan?

A. I decided to come to Illinois Wesleyan because I wanted a school where I could really get to know my professors and become involved in research. I also liked that Illinois Wesleyan allowed for me to double major in Psychology and Art even though they are very different majors.

Q. Within psychology, what was your area of study and what drew you to this field?

A. At IWU, the program allows for us to get a background in many areas of psychology, from neuroscience to abnormal psychology. My focus is on clinical/counseling psychology, because I like working with clients and patients and I am interested in research about different types of treatments and therapy.

Q. You double majored in psychology and art. What influenced you to choose these two majors and do you find them somehow compatible?

Kathryn Thomas
Kathryn Thomas (right) talks about her research on hiring people with autism

A. In high school, I became very passionate about art after taking many photography classes, so I knew I wanted to continue taking art classes in college, but I also knew that I had an interest in clinical psychology and counseling as a future career. I have found that these two majors are very different, but I enjoyed having a schedule with completely different types of classes.

Q. What was your favorite class?

A. My favorite class was Thesis in Psychology. I loved being able to get so involved in all aspects of the research process from collecting data to writing the manuscript. It was a great experience working with my thesis advisor (Dr. Kunce) and our class instructor (Dr. Furlong)!

Q. What are some of your best moments here?

A. Some of my favorite memories were in our psychology thesis class. Although the thesis process was very overwhelming at times, we had a great class who was very supportive of each other, and it was exciting to see everyone's research progress throughout the semester.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?

A. In the Fall of 2014, I am beginning a research-based master's program in counseling at Loyola University Chicago, and then hopefully attending a PhD program in counseling.