Katie Notarianni is a graduating senior at The University of Scranton. She was interviewed by sophomore (and new lab member) Madison Montalbano.
UofSHealthPsych: Where are you from and what drew you to The University of Scranton?
KN: I grew up in the Scranton area, so The University has always felt like home. It has such a welcoming and great campus and I realized how much I can get involved in. I knew many people on campus already but was glad to meet even more.
UofSHealthPsych: How did you decide to join the Clinical Health Psychology Research Team?
KN: I knew I wanted to get involved in research in some way and I have always been interested in women’s health issues. Dr. Arigo’s lab was a great fit because I am passionate about the topics we look at – specifically, gender differences in health behaviors.
UofSHealthPsych: What were the connections between your chosen major and topics we research?
KN: I am a Psychology major with Women’s Studies and Human Development concentrations, so there are many connections between my past courses and the work we do in lab. Research with the lab helped me better understand the information I already learned and taught me skills in successfully gathering data and presenting.
UofSHealthPsych: What were your roles as a research assistant with the Clinical Health Psychology Research Team?
KN: I co-authored two posters for the Celebration of Student Scholars (our internal research fair at the University) – one this year and one last year. Last year our poster was on a literature review of physical activity lapses (temporary gaps in activity engagement and why people may experience them. This year, I worked with another student to collect new data on connections between heath behaviors and social media use. I also enjoyed helping with recruitment for Project CHASE and different events the lab participated in, like Healthier U Day.
UofSHealthPsych: What would you say was the biggest lesson you learned from the Clinical Health Research Team?
KN: I learned a lot about working with a team successfully, and about collecting data. I was happy to practice more with SPSS and Excel working on the posters. I also appreciated learning from our conversations in lab meeting, where we would discuss various research articles and current events, like the controversy around 13 Reasons Why.
UofSHealthPsych: What did you find most interesting about working with the research team?
KN: I found it interesting learning how many directions and topics you can look at in health psychology. It is such an interesting perspective and can relates to many fields. Also, working with members in the lab with different backgrounds and goals was a great experience because people had different skills to offer.
UofSHealthPsych: I know that you’re graduating, what are your plans once you leave Scranton?
KN: I plan to attend a master’s in clinical social work program at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia this fall. I want to later become a LCSW and use what I learned in the lab and continue working in research later on as well.
UofSHealthPsych: Is there any advice you would give someone just beginning to work on a research team?
KN: Be open minded to new ways and ideas in research, but also try to find what you’re passionate about. Research work can be difficult but if you’re passionate and interested it makes it worth it. There are so many directions you can go and topics to learn about. If you put in the work and interest, you can find such great and helpful info and develop your own new ideas.