Amazing Students

The UTC I-O program attracts and selects some of the strongest graduate students in psychology from all over the country and many international locations. Curious about who our current students are? Check out the bio summaries below.

First Year Students (2018-2019)

Why I-O?

I-O Psychology allows me to combine my interests of psychology, statistics, and business in a fashion unlike any other field, and I am therefore intrigued with what I learn every step of the way. It certainly does not hurt that I-O is popularly considered one of the best careers today, both in psychology and in general. It is an incredibly diverse field and paves the way for a number of different career opportunities, from data analysis to human resources, and I appreciate the flexibility.

Why UTC?

UTC was the obvious choice for me among the schools I was accepted to; from the beautiful city and scenery to the prestige of the program, Chattanooga feels like a home away from home, and I believe UTC will be the catalyst that ignites a fruitful career for myself and others.

Alex Britt

Why I-O?

As a business and psychology major, I constantly looked for ways to merge the best of both academic worlds; I-O Psychology stood out as the answer I was looking for! I am passionate about finding ways to problem solve and improve the lives of the people around me, and I appreciate research and its ability to give logic and reason to difficult decisions. The scientist-practitioner model of the field of I-O Psych allows for research to lead to direct application and improvement of the lives of all of those in an organization or work environment.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because of the strong academic environment, sense of community, and opportunities for professional growth. When I visited, each student and faculty member was genuine, kind, and eager to help with any questions I had about the graduate school process. Chattanooga also is a very fun city with something to do for everyone!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alex-britt/ 

Allie MartinWhy I-O?

I chose I-O Psychology because I absolutely love Psychology and assumed I wanted to be a Clinical Psychologist, but I learned after taking the ‘Psychology of the Workplace’ course in my undergraduate, I was very interested in how Psychology can be used in the workforce. I think this field of Psychology is very important and much needed in this country, and even the world, so I wanted to pursue a career in it.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because I am very big on towns, and a lot of my friends and family told me how great it was. My professors also informed me about how great this school was and I really wanted to get a great education in I-O Psychology.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-martin-a1662310b/ 

Becca TolfaWhy I-O?

I developed an interest in I-O Psychology when I realized I could utilize my research interests and experience to help people in their everyday lives. I really loved the idea of being able to not only conduct research, but also apply my findings to the real world. The unique scientist-practitioner model of I-O Psychology provides students with a variety of educational and career opportunities.

Why UTC?

I really liked UTC because the faculty seemed to be diverse in their research interests, and the program had outstanding ratings through SIOP. After getting in contact with Dr. Cunningham and seeing how helpful and accommodating he was, I knew this program would mirror that. The atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and supportive, and the funding opportunities are plentiful!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-tolfa/

Brady ColemanWhy I-O?

I had considered just about every other area of psychology while in undergrad, but none of them resonated with me until I discovered I-O. What attracted me to I-O was that it can be used in several different industries and organizations, creating plentiful and diverse job opportunities.

Why UTC?

There are a few reasons why I chose to continue my education at UTC. The program culture and campus community seemed to be a perfect fit for me, and Chattanooga is an exciting region to be in right now. The curriculum itself is comprehensive and has a breadth that is rare to find in a terminal master's program. I am fully confident that once I graduate, I will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a variety of career opportunities.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/brady-coleman-aa3246127/ 

Brittany BrandaWhy I-O?

When I  first learned about the field of I-O Psychology, I knew it was something I would become passionate about. Applying psychological research to the people management systems of organizations can form a symbiotic relationship between the organization and the employee. This impact has the potential to shape entire communities. I am confident that the field of I-O will unlock a more productive and healthier workforce

Why UTC?

I attended UTC as an undergraduate and experienced firsthand the benevolence of the Psychology department. If you have the desire to succeed, it is impossible to fail. I also fell in love with the city of Chattanooga and its people. As a military brat, I have lived across the United States and Chattanooga is unparalleled in topography and community.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/brittany-branda-a3087a16b/ 

Chelsea WymerWhy I-O?

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Psychology; I decided to obtain a terminal master’s degree in I-O Psychology when I learned about all of the fields I could pursue post-graduation. The Scientist-Practitioner model the program is based on will give me a range of competencies that can apply to every sector I’ve ever felt a passion to work and develop in.

Why UTC?

After graduating, I knew there was no other institution I would find satisfaction in, outside of UTC. The faculty are such a tight knit group of incredibly talented humans, I strongly feel I will continue learning from them everyday in the program. UTC’s atmosphere is one of a kind and Chattanooga’s vibe is the perfect combination of outdoor beauty and city-life.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chelsea-wymer-91b667b3/ 

Della WatersWhy I-O?

I have always been interested in learning about human behavior and how that knowledge can be used to help others. I-O Psychology intrigued me because it uses psychological theory, applies it to the workforce and can ultimately help organizations and employees in many ways.

Why UTC?

The opportunities, community and academic strength surrounding the I-O program at UTC are why I chose to attend this specific university. The academic culture that they foster is unique in that it is a tight-knit cohort who all have many resources to help guide them as opposed to a group of students competing for limited opportunities. As well as being a great program, UTC is located in a city that is so easy to love.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/della-waters 

Destiny BurnsWhy I-O?

I was a student in love with the subject of psychology and knew that I would find a career in that area. I came across I-O in a search to find a field in which I could help everyday people. As soon I read the description, I knew this was a great career. After all, the typical individual spends a majority of their time at work, so I knew that I could really make a huge difference.

Why UTC?

After hearing about an I-O school closer to home, I started looking into the curriculum and I loved the perfect scientific-practitioner balance. Though, it was after visiting and meeting the welcoming faculty that I was completely sold on UTC.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/destiny-burns/  

Emily NixonWhy I-O?

Having experienced poorly managed workplaces and bad team culture, I was interested in the psychology behind how people work together as well as the individual differences/behaviors that factor into success and motivation. After researching fields in psychology, I-O stood out to me because of the many different aspects of work that it addresses and endless career options within the field. I-O is a growing field and I am excited to be a part of making the workplace a better environment to be in since so much of our lives are spent there.

Why UTC?

The SIOP rankings were a huge factor I considered when researching I-O graduate programs. UTC has one of the best and, once I visited, I understood why. The faculty support, funding opportunities, and overall culture is phenomenal and there are many ways to get involved with research, applied experiences, and professional development opportunities. Chattanooga is also an amazing city with so much nature and city-life to offer.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/emily-nixon1

James FulksWhy I-O?

I fell in love with psychology because of its broad application. I chose I-O because I love research, but wanted to apply research in real world settings. Companies are moving ever further into a data driven world, and I-O will give me a leg up in business, allowing me to offer scientifically sound insights into people decisions.

Why UTC?

UTC stood out from the beginning of my search as having a great I-O program. What impressed me the most was the abundance of applied opportunities available to I-O students. I’m already taking advantage of applied opportunities here, and looking forward to the required internship, I’ll already have months of experience when I graduate. The ratings came out after I accepted the offer to attend UTC and it’s not surprising that UTC’s I-O Masters program ranks one of the top!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jamesfulks/ 

Jeff MartinWhy I-O?

Working in the industries of retail management, food and service, and manufacturing, I observed factors which contributed to workplace stress and workplace safety issues. I also observed on-the-job injuries, truancy, turnover, and high organizational costs which may have been impacted by those factors. From these observations grew an interest and passion to aid various organizations in seeing their reduction. This interest and drive motivated me to pursue a graduate degree in the Industrial-Organizational field.

Why UTC?

Having the opportunity to choose between three programs, it was ultimately the SIOP student rankings and the reputation of the school which helped me to settle my decision to select UTC as my graduate school home. I also appreciate the internship component and the option to conduct graduate research. The opportunity to both contribute to the body of research, and the possibility to graduate with a job, was too attractive to pass up.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-martin-0b8974129/

Kelsey CateWhy I-O?

I discovered I-O Psychology in high school through a mentor who thought that my interest in understanding human behavior would provide a foundation for my future career in the “business world”. I was always concerned about growing up and spending a majority of my life working somewhere that I did not enjoy, like many adults that I knew and looked up to were experiencing. Through I-O Psychology, I am able to utilize this field of study to improve work conditions and satisfaction for others. This is something that I easily became passionate about in helping others’ careers and my ultimately my own.

Why UTC?

UTC has always been in my backyard, and having known several friends who have came through the UTC I-O Program, it was my top choice. The standards, quality education, interaction between professor and students, and exceptional opportunities this program provides could not be beat.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kelsey-cate-ab51a289

Linsey KleinWhy I-O?

The field of I-O is so appealing to me because it gives you the opportunity to implement practical concepts while also being grounded in a strong foundation of scientific theory and research. I chose I-O because it was the perfect blend of both business and psychology. I have always had a strong interest in business and the way organizations function, but I’ve also always had a passion for people and studying human behavior.  For me, the potential to truly contribute to the success of an organization, while also having a direct impact on the quality of work-life for employees, is what drove me to pursue a career in this field.

Why UTC?

I decided on UTC for a variety of reasons. The accolades of this program speak for themselves and I was excited to get the opportunity to be a part of such a well-respected program.  The knowledgeable and friendly faculty and students I met when visiting blew me away and I was especially drawn to the strong culture of the program as a whole. On top of all of that, the Chattanooga area has so much to offer, and even after just one visit Chattanooga felt like home!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/linsey-klein 

Megan RogersWhy I-O?

When I first learned of the profession, I was intrigued by the idea of utilizing research to improve the workplace. Most people will spend a majority of their lives working which motivates me to use I-O practices to ensure that people have joyous and fulfilling careers.

Why UTC?

When researching programs, UTC grabbed my attention because of how faculty seemed to genuinely care about student success. As a current student, I feel that I am given endless opportunities to develop my knowledge of the field and develop as a professional.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/megan-rogers-79432212b/

Modupe OmotajoWhy I-O?

Prior to my journey from Nigeria to study Psychology, I always loved observing my mom’s workplace and the attitudes of the supervisors and employees. Little did I know that this was I-O Psychology, a field I could study. Hearing about this field in my Psychology Capstone class made it a no-brainer to further my education in this field.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because of its’ top SIOP ranking as a terminal master’s program and its big emphasis on internships and opportunities to apply psychological research in the workplace. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience so far!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/modupe-omotajo-43689428/

Rachel BrowderWhy I-O?

I found my love and fascination for I-O Psychology when I discovered that I could use my knowledge of psychology to improve the workplace. It made sense for me to follow this career path since I knew I wanted to help others. By improving the work environment, where one will spend a majority of their time, I can help individuals find fulfillment in their place of work.

Why UTC?

UTC grabbed my attention because of their well-informed website where I learned about the vast opportunities I have while attending here. What made UTC my top choice was the connections I made while visiting, I saw how close each cohort was and the great communication between professors and students. I am honored to be in a cohort that encourages each other and look forward to what UTC has in store for me.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-browder-4a1a8b101/

Tyler CarrWhy I-O?

By the time I realized that I-O Psychology was a field, I was already working in it on a day-to-day basis. For two years during my undergraduate career, I worked for a search firm that paired ministers with churches with the goal of finding the “right fit” for each. I developed an ambition to start my own organization like this, so it made the most sense to go into I-O for grad school.

Why UTC?

I had always loved the city of Chattanooga and already had several friends living here, so I was excited when I heard UTC had a top-ranked I-O Psychology Master’s program. I knew before I even applied that if I made into the program, I was going to attend here, and I’m glad I did!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tyler-carr-76450a83/

  

Second Year Students (2018-2019) 

Why I-O?

I read a book about I-O and it interested me. So I discussed it with my mentor/advisor in undergrad and she encouraged and told me she could see me really enjoying and loving this field.

Why UTC?

What attracted me to UTC is the fact that the faculty is supportive and encouraging. They have also created a program in which once I graduate, I will be a well-rounded I-O psychologist fully equipped to succeed wherever I go.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angella-valencia-454901b3/

Why I-O?

I developed a strong interest in corporate talent and facilitating programs to enhance job satisfaction in the corporate setting. I want to empower people to experience growth on both a personal and professional level.

Why UTC?

The structure of the program and the thought of living in Chattanooga were some of my initial reasons for committing to UTC. Plus, UTC is incorporated of the Academic Common Market program!

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitmcmullan/ 

Why I-O?

I am really interested in how people work together and function in organizations. I want to work with people and teams in order to improve performance and help people find enjoyment and satisfaction from work.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because I saw the best program fit here. The culture is very supportive and encourages teamwork and collaboration within the cohort and from faculty members, which I find very valuable.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-meyer-baa841141/ 

Celeste BremmerWhy I-O?

I-O Psychology stood out to me because the overall goal of I-O is to utilize science and theory to solve organizational problems that affect both the employee and the organization. As a result, I-O psychologists have the ability to improve employee’s job satisfaction while simultaneously increasing organizational effectiveness. It’s a win-win!

Why UTC?

More than anything UTC and UTC’s I-O program promotes a supportive community. I saw this even before getting to campus when Dr. C, the program coordinator, went out of his way to find GA opportunities for the first years, and when the second years facilitated a mentor program to help us get settled in and easily transition into graduate school. This support has continued throughout the semester.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/celestebremmer/

 

Chris MaplesWhy I-O? 

My involvement with leadership programs during my undergraduate years helped me develop a personal interest in human behavior within organizations. My goal is to facilitate leadership development in the the workplace using a scientific approach.

Why UTC?

When I first visited UTC for the 11th Annual River Cities I-O Psychology Conference, I fell in love with the city of Chattanooga. The supportive and expansive nature of the I-O program solidified my commitment to UTC.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-maples-b5b67512a/  

Why I-O?

I began cultivating a burgeoning interest in social psychological principles during my last semester at Ole Miss. After learning more about I-O and its immense impact on organizational efficiency as well as individual happiness, I am continuously discerning I-O’s significance in the workplace and its necessity for shaping the future of business at a micro and macro level.

Why UTC?

UTC’s I-O program allows far greater flexibility for learning about any aspect of I-O that a student could desire when compared with other universities. Dr. Cunningham has shaped this program to be much denser and more saturated than a typical Master’s program, giving each student a richer academic experience that most programs cannot offer. UTC equips future I-O practitioner-scientists in a unique way that I do not believe I could have found at another university.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/collin-wilbanks/ 

Why I-O?

My goal is to aid organizations in the development and implementation of adequate systems that will maximize their resources as part of their respective business strategies, while also helping them establish programs that will enable them to respond to our rapidly changing world.

Why UTC?

I was drawn to the program’s comprehensive curriculum, as well as its emphasis on providing a practitioner-focused education through an active application of I-O psychology in the business world. This reason, coupled with the program’s unique location in a city that I love and the tremendous networking opportunities available students, led me to the conclusion that UTC would be the perfect fit.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/francisco-guzman-596111148/ 

Jacob HovermanWhy I-O?

I-O Psychology offers the opportunity to make meaningful interventions in the workplace through the application of sound psychological research. By improving the workplace, we better the lives of individuals as well.

Why UTC?

The UTC I-O program was highly recommended to me by the chair of the BGSU psychology department. After visiting the school and the I-O faculty, I knew this program would offer many opportunities and prepare me well to enter the workforce.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacob-hoverman-959954125/ 

Why I-O?

I chose I-O because there are an infinite number of questions and ideas in this field to study, and the challenges presented are dynamic, engaging, and always changing. This field provides many career paths, and the skills learned can be taken and applied anywhere.

Why UTC?

After completing my undergraduate degree at UTC, I knew that I wanted to stay because the culture here can’t be replicated. The faculty, 2nd year students, and everyone else want nothing more than for us to succeed, and they provide us every resource they can to help us achieve our goals.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-weber-b364a9126/ 

Why I-O?

I like the idea of applying empirical research theories to real life organizational problems to make them as efficient as possible.

Why UTC?

The atmosphere within the IO program at UTC is very supportive. We don't compete against one another, but instead work together and use each other as resources.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julia-kentner-613281b5/ 

Why I-O?

I chose I-O because of the versatility of the degree. I-O can be applied in many different contexts and I felt that I-O would provide me with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact on the workforce.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because of the reputation of the program. Ranked 11th in the country (according to SIOP's website in 2016), UTC seemed like the best fit for me and a place where I could learn and grow into a well-rounded I-O practitioner.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kylanvangunst 

Why I-O?

Like all psychology people, I'm passionate about understanding people and using this understanding to drive meaningful change. I decided to pursue I-O because it gives one the incredible opportunity to use organizational tools to kindle research-driven individual, organizational, and societal betterment.

Why UTC?

I'm a local of Chattanooga and went to UTC for my undergraduate degree. I've fallen so in love with Chattanooga and UTC, and had created such good relationships with the professors at UTC, that I just couldn't bring myself to leave. The psychology department here is wonderful and supportive, and with UTCs nationally ranked I-O program, the decision was easy!

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lydia-fogo-017b47a5/ 

Why I-O?

I chose I-O because I am interested in the workers’ experience and how to make the experience more beneficial and enjoyable, especially because people spend the majority of their lives in their jobs or careers. I also enjoy how broad the area of I-O is and how you can apply the skills and knowledge to almost any industry.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because it is one of the few programs that included a course specifically related to Occupational/Organizational Health Psychology, a topic that I am currently most interested in. I also chose UTC because the faculty are truly passionate about their work and promote a sense of comradery among the cohort.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/princeanna-price-906a4288/   

Why I-O?

I had been interested in I-O before I started college and before I even knew that such a field existed. At the time I was working at Starbucks and our branch was going through a restructuring phase, which included a bunch of new rules and guideline for the teams working the coffee bars. That's when I started to think about a job field that would be able to make that connections happen in order to help organizations avoid such situations.

Why UTC?

Dr. Cunningham and all the staff within the Psychology department were very helpful and made time in their schedule to sit down with me to go over questions and concerns I had about grad school in general and in particular the I-O program. My experiences as UTC undergrad certainly validated my decision and I was excited to get started on this next stepping stone, towards a career as a business consultant, here at UTC.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/swetlana-iwanow-66a8a175 

 

Why I-O?

I-O psychology allows me to utilize many different subsections of psychology and other disciplines to better organizations in a workplace setting. The science-practitioner balance also gives me a unique background to provide effective and sustainable solutions to issues in the workplace.

Why UTC?

I choose UTC because of its collaborative nature within the department and with the local community. Additionally, the science-practitioner curriculum is very balanced and provides great opportunities to practice the knowledge and skills learned. Chattanooga is also a great place to live!

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thuy-truong-448810b2 

 


Looking for more perspective?

Here are two recent video testimonials from a couple of our alumni: