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?
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
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.