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Rising Stars in the Psych-Sci Field


Maps grads
Michael Ward, Areanna Lakowske, Hannah Lammert, and Nathaniel Young will graduate from UMD's new Master of Arts in Psychological Sciences Program.  

MAPS: A Degree for a Sophisticated World

Areanna Lakowske, Michael Ward, Hannah Lammert, and Nathaniel Young are four of ten students to graduate from the first class of UMD Master of Arts in Psychological Sciences Program (MAPS) in May.

Many Paths to Success
Areanna and Michael took the Industrial-Organizational Psychology track and have joined the ranks of the employed.

Areanna works for Fastenal in Winona, Minn. “It's an industrial and construction production company," she says. "I interned there over the summer, worked part time during the school year, and I start working full time in the next couple of weeks.” Areanna helps the human resources department with hiring, and training. She works with sales and manufacturing too, on projects such as customer satisfaction surveys.

Michael will start a job with Casper Construction in Grand Rapids, Minn., this summer. “The company has about 200 employees and I’ll be the Human Resources Coordinator.” The tools Michael has learned from MAPS will help the company thrive. He'll work with recruitment, hiring, and training. “Getting the right people in and trained means the company will work better and be more successful,” he says.

Hannah completed the Clinical Counseling Psychology track and describes her internship at Essentia Health in Duluth as fulfilling. “I do health psychology. We work with the brain's response to injuries by addressing the mind and body," she says. Dealing with trauma is challenging. "The patients I see may have chronic pain and some have lost a limb." For Hannah, it's exactly what she wants to do. "I wouldn’t have discovered the patient interaction field if it wasn’t for the faculty at UMD.” Hannah will be heading to Pacific University near Portland, Oregon for a doctoral program in clinical psychology with a health concentration.

Nathan is taking the Experimental Psychology track and his next stop is working on his Ph.D. at Chicago's DePaul University. He has another path as well. He's found a "secret passion for teaching cool techniques about neuroscience" to college students as well as elementary and middle school kids. “My main interest is in research, but I think working in a faculty position would be really rewarding."

Attracting Students
MAPS program students come from across the country. Areanna grew up in Sparta, Wis. and got her undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  "I had an 'aha' moment when the faculty faced a bad snow storm to meet me on a day when UMD was closed. I was so impressed that they made the special effort,” she says.

MAPS was the right fit for many. Hannah grew up in St. Peter, Minn. and went to Saint Louis University. She actually was looking for a Ph.D. program, but found the MAPS program instead. “I found a niche in health psychology,” she says. Michael, who came from Grand Rapids, Minn., also says he found his calling. He spent his first two years as an undergrad at the University of North Dakota before transferring to UMD to get his B.A. degree. He was accepted into the MAPS program and found it to be "right up my alley,” he says.

Nathan, who grew up in Gibson City, Ill. and received his B.S. from Eastern Illinois University, was attracted to the research and medical aspect of MAPS. “I used the EEG labs to study how stress and emotions affect people as they make decisions,” he says.

Offering Skilled Talent
"We are very proud of our first graduating class," says Alexandra Luong, associate professor and director of graduate studies for MAPS. "My colleagues and I have really enjoyed seeing them grow and learn during the last two years." Often the first class of a program sets the tone. "This group helped establish a positive, supportive culture for our MAPS program," Alexandra says. "We know they will go on to do great things!"

The skills learned in MAPS are applicable in a variety of fields. MAPS’s first graduates are proof that the program offers talented and highly trained people who can excel in industry and clinical fields.

Find out more: Master of Arts in Psychological Sciences

By Anna Friedrichsen, May, 2016.

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