Applied Developmental Psychology Concentration

Katherine Zinsser, 2013

Katherine Zinsser

What work are you doing now?

I am an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and teach in the Community and Prevention Research Psychology Ph.D. program. I direct a research lab and currently have funding from the National Academy of Education and the Institute for Education Sciences.

What do you like about it?

I love my work—the freedom and encouragement to pursue what interests me, the collaborative nature of my department, the opportunities to engage in community-based research in the city of Chicago. I also greatly appreciate the diverse and enthusiastic student body here at UIC.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

My coursework and experience at Mason prepared me to work in a competitive R1 research university and I have managed to achieve just that. I am grateful for the opportunities and training, not just in academics but in grants management and the realities of community-based research. Most of all though, I am grateful for the mentorship and friendships. These continue to be critical to my program of research and my enjoyment of my work.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

Get involved! Ask for more to do. Ask to sit in on meetings and learn more about the nuts and bolts of how research is done. The coursework is important but your real learning will occur in the lab and in the field. Also, learn to accept and grow from critique and feedback. Seek it out and use it to make your work better. Finally, never hold back from asking for help.