Madison Montalbano is a junior psychology major. She was interviewed by senior Nicole Plantier.
UofSHealthPsych: Where are you from, and what drew you to the University of Scranton?
MM: I’m from Rockaway, NY a small beach town. Like many of our lab members, I came to visit the University of Scranton as a junior in high school and automatically felt a sense of community. I wanted a small school where I would receive individual attention and opportunities to grow as a person, making Scranton the perfect place.
UofSHealthPsych: Why did you choose to be a psychology major?
MM: I have been interested in how people cope with difficult life challenges for a long time, and I hope to one day be a professional and be able to facilitate understanding and growth in clients.
UofSHealthPsych: What activities are you involved with on campus, besides research?
MM: I have served as a teaching assistant in past semesters and will again in my senior year. I have recently been elected secretary of Psi Chi. Additionally, this semester I have been interning as a part of a practicum course.
UofSHealthPsych: How did you decide to join the Clinical Health Psychology Research Team?
MM: I decided to join after taking Dr. Arigo’s Health Psychology course. The class sparked my interest in health psychology and spurred me to ask Dr. Arigo if I could get involved.
UofSHealthPsych: Can you tell us a little bit more about your individual research interests/projects?
MM: I am interested in chronic illnesses both how the ill person and their families cope with them. Currently I am working on a study looking at how college students cope with family member’s chronic illness. Specifically how, or if, it had affected their adjustment to college.
UofSHealthPsych: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from doing research with the team?
MM: I have learned so many things from working on the research team. First, I learned about the importance of attention to detail for all tasks is essential to successfully completing a research project. Second, I learned how to work collaboratively with other lab members to complete larger projects. As I continued in the lab and took on more responsibilities, I learned how to develop my own research project and write an IRB application.
UofSHealthPsych: What have you enjoyed most about working on a research team?
MM: I’ve enjoyed learning from both Dr. Arigo and other lab members about their research interests and seeing their working styles. It is nice to work with people who have similar interests as I do as well as those with different interests I got to learn more about.
UofSHealthPsych: I know you still have a year, but what are your plans after graduation?
MM: After graduation, I am planning on attending a graduate program in clinical psychology, possibly for a PsyD.
UofSHealthPsych: Is there any advice you would give an underclassmen interested in psychology research?
MM: I would say to learn as much as you can about what types of research professors in the psychology department are doing and ask to sit in on a few lab meetings before you choose what really interests you.