Emphasis on Research Readies Students for Graduate Programs

Students in class

The Cedarville University psychology major is specifically designed to equip students for success in graduate programs. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Bethany Brock, Public Relations Writer

April 18, 2013

Cedarville University’s Department of Psychology is designed to prepare students for graduate school and professional practice through biblically integrated course work, personalized classes and research experience.

Milt Becknell, Ph.D., professor of psychology, said, “Our department is committed to preparing psychology majors and minors for ministry and life.”

According to Luke Tse, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and chair of the department of psychology, the program’s biblical integration allows students to think and function like Christian scholar-practitioners as they prepare for graduate school and professional practice.

Students in the program are able to personalize their education based on their career goals by choosing at least one of six areas of study: comprehensive counseling, health psychology and addictions, child and family, cognitive neuroscience, research and cross-cultural psychology. 

Various internship experiences allow students to develop professional skills associated with their field of study. “The internship is our capstone course. Our students have taken advantage of internship opportunities in 37 states and seven countries,” said Tse. 

In addition, psychology department faculty members mentor students by collaborating with them on research projects. Research experience allows students to be more competitive when applying to graduate school. 

“This mentoring relationship often culminates in projects that can be presented at state, regional or national conferences and sometimes in journal publications. Graduate schools tend to look very favorably at students with demonstrated involvement in actual research projects, so this can give our students an edge in the application process,” said Becknell. 

“In all, we make every effort to prepare our students – whether they choose to go on to graduate studies or into the work force – to be successful future professionals and positive contributors to our communities,” said Tse.

The following are recent psychology graduates who are currently in graduate programs. 

Casey Brooks – Regent University, M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Maggie Casillo – Liberty University Online, M.A. in Professional Counseling
Samantha Cazzell – University of Tennessee, Ph.D. in School Psychology
Heidi Christiansen – Adler School of Professional Psychology, M.A. in Art Therapy
Laura Connolly – Ohio State University, M.A. in Labor Human Resources
Dave Cox – Nova Southeastern University, Psy.D.
Jennifer Cunliffe – Regent University, M.A. in Counseling
Cynthia (Davies) Durbin – Ohio State University, M.A. in School Counselor Education
Rebekah DeBoer – Wheaton College, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Kellie Dunger – Liberty University Online, M.A. in Professional Counseling
Amanda Dye – Loyola University, Ph.D. in Social Psychology
Ruthie Firmin – Purdue University at Indianapolis, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Ellen Geib – Seattle Pacific University, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Rachel Greenwood – University of Illinois, M.A. in Social Work
Megan Grigsby – University of Colorado Denver, Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology
Jesse Fox – University of Central Florida, Ph.D. in Counselor Education
Christine Keeports – Northern Illinois University, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Becky Knott – Wright State University, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Rebecca Kowalchuk – Wayne State University, Ph.D. in School Psychology
Luke Lewallen – University of Findlay, Doctor of Physical Therapy
Erin McGuire – Des Moines University, M.A. in Public Health
Kena Mena – Tuft's University, M.A. in Child Development
Trevor Moffitt – Dallas Theological Seminary, M.A. in Biblical Counseling
Kathryn Reineke – Ball State University, M.Ed., Ed.S.
Jessica Robb – Ball State University, M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning
Joy Robertson – Old Dominion University, M.A. in Speech Pathology
Justin Sides – Regent University, Psy.D. in Clinical Counseling
Ethan Smith – Denver Seminary, M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Jillian (Pierce) Vincent – University of Dayton, M.A. in Community Counseling
Cammie Walters-Carlson – Denver Seminary, M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Melissa Stoltzfus– George Fox University, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Jordan Woods – Syracuse University, Ph.D. in English (film and digital culture)
Rachael Kowalchuk – University of South Florida, M.A. in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
Danny Kim – Ohio State University, M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.