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 (2017-2018)

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/ 

Why 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-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/

 

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/ 

Why 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 

 

Second Year Students (2017-2018)

Why I-O?

I choose I-O Psychology because I developed an interest in learning more about people, and how I could improve their lives. Since people spend the majority of their lives working, I-O Psychology seemed like the perfect fit for me to learn about Psychology, as well as how to apply that to improving workplace wellness and efficiency.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC because I fell in love with Chattanooga, as well as the I-O program. All of the faculty here are brilliant, and do an excellent job at promoting work-life balance, which has helped me tremendously during my tenure here.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/austincasassa 

Why I-O?

My previous interest before psychology was (and still is) engineering; when I learned that I-O traces many engineering concepts of system optimization and ease-of-use (i.e. ensuring employees are best able to complete their work from both the mental and physical perspectives), it didnÕt take long for me to find the entire field incredibly interesting.

Why UTC?

UTC has one of the best I-O programs in the southeast area. I was also able to pay in-state tuition despite being an out-of-state student because of UTC's involvement in Academic Common Market through the SREB. Dr. Cunningham's investment in my well-being has played a significant role in my decision to attend UTC.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-stone-b4b5a7105/ 

Why I-O?

I have an inherent need to help others, a bias for research and data-driven decision making, and a natural curiosity for the field of psychology. Given that we spend a 1/3 of our life at work, Industrial-Organizational Psychology is the one field I can put my skills to practical use to help others.

Why UTC?

UTC is the perfect blend of what I wanted. Chattanooga is nested in the mountains, while still having a progressive city lifestyle. I've had two internships based completely on the networking power of the program. What I didn't expect was the amazing, family-oriented cohort I found myself in!

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

Why I-O?

I know that understanding the human mind and behavior is integral to positive organizational outcomes. So, I needed solid training in both psychology and business.

Why UTC?

It is the closest terminal Master's program to Montgomery that does not require a thesis. There are several opportunities for funding (I have a full-time GA for both years). Internship and post-graduation opportunities are plentiful because of the positive relationships this program has with both local and national organizations.

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

Why I-O?

Work affects everyone, and for many, comprises a large sum of life. Whether in or out of the workforce, we all have a need to find something meaningful for our hands and minds to do. I-O, with its relevance to all occupations, has the incredible potential to bring about widespread change for the good of individual employees and their organizations.

Why UTC?

UTC has a unique blend of research and practitioner perspectives rivaled by few other programs. This allows students the flexibility to determine whether they would be best suited for a career in an academic or organizational setting.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drake-terry-7a745b127/ 

Why I-O?

One of the recent alumna randomly mentioned I-O my sophomore year of undergrad, and thought I would enjoy the program and the courses. At the time, I hadn't even declared a major for undergrad so I thought there was no way I would end up right where she said I belonged. However, here we are a few years later and I love the program and everything it has to offer!

Why UTC?

I went to undergrad at UTC, and I love everything about this university and community. Once, I was offered a spot in the I-O program here there was no way I could say no! Chattanooga has so many things to offer students and I'm so thankful to be in such a prestigious graduate program like ours!

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

Why I-O?

I've always found organizations and workplace dynamics to be fascinating. I-O offers an opportunity to make a career of studying how people are influenced by various factors at work, and to help people improve their wellbeing at work in productive and meaningful ways.

Why UTC?

UTC offers excellent opportunities for both research and applied interests. Not only do the faculty bring diverse skill-sets and research experience, but they have developed an expansive network of connections within organizations across the Southeastern United States. Whether you decide to pursue further education or a career, UTC has some of the best resources that a program can offer.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jared-dirghalli/ 

Why I-O?

I-O psychology provides me with an opportunity to utilize my critical thinking skills to impact organizations. My love for I-O intensified this summer when I was able to work at a Fortune 500 Company and launch my own recognition program. Work is a central part of most people's lives. If I can make folks excited to go to work every day, then I have done my job.

Why UTC?

This program utilizes both the I and the O side of I-O, and allows many opportunities to apply the knowledge rather than solely focusing on research. UTC is one of the best programs in the U.S. that incorporates both sides equally, and focuses on application of the knowledge.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-e-jones/ 

Why I-O?

I wanted to go into a profession that incorporates business and psychology.

Why UTC?

In-state tuition and financial assistance through GAÕs.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-hansen-aa5947b6/ 

Why I-O?

I-O combines the science that I love with the career and work environment that I want. I knew I would fit better in a business environment than as a clinician, counselor, or researcher, but that didn't mean I had to leave the science of psychology behind. With I-O, I can apply that science to improve the workplace for a broad range of businesses and people.

Why UTC?

I wanted a terminal master's degree at a school that wasn't too far from my hometown. UTC was the strongest program that fit those criteria, and the program was presented very well on the website and through communication with Dr. Cunningham. UTC also had the best assistantship opportunities.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessi-wheeler-2a861a118/ 

Why I-O?

One of my favorite college professors was an I-O psychologist, and through the exposure she gave me to the field, I fell in love with it. With I-O psychology, I feel like I have the ability to change so many lives for the better while doing things that excite and challenge me.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC for the comfortable atmosphere and welcoming nature of the program faculty. The program itself is outstanding and the Chattanooga area is an incredible place to live.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-snowdy-743668118 

Why I-O?

I chose a program in I-O Psychology because it is relevant to all of our lives. In particular, my experiences working in human services inspired me to seek ways to improve the work experience for those in chronically stressful positions. I feel that I have a knack for problem-solving and have a deeply rooted interest in occupational health and organizational justice which I can pursue by obtaining my master's degree in I-O psychology.

Why UTC?

I chose UTC for three reasons. First, the interests and profiles of the faculty were a strong match for my personality and goals. Second, the Chattanooga lifestyle is everything I was searching for in a new home from the beautiful scenery to friendly "southern hospitality" community. Third, UTC was able to offer me the opportunities for financial support I needed to comfortably attend and survive at an out-of-state university.

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

Why I-O?

I had worked in Human Resources for several years, and wanted to study the theory and analysis of topics related to individuals in the workplace in more depth.

Why UTC?

I was particularly excited about the quality of UTC's research reputation and its focus on application. The faculty is outstanding and the sense of community and support can't be beat!

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

Why I-O?

Work is such a substantial part of our lives and yet, a negative stigma remains extremely prevalent regarding societies perception of work. I saw I-O as an opportunity to impact individuals in a unique and compelling way with the aim of developing a work model structured around organizations putting their people first.

Why UTC?

UTC's I-O program first came onto my radar after presenting research at the River Cities Industrial-Organizational conference. After meeting several of the staff and current students, I was able to confirm that UTC was a program that I felt a firm personal fit with. It felt that the UTC I-O faculty prioritized my application and put a real emphasis on providing me sufficient funding to ease the financial strains of graduate school.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-gable-8280059b/ 

Why I-O?

Briefly, my father is the reason I went into studying I-O Psychology. He was miserable in his workplace for 45 years, and it all started in high school when I thought to myself, "Why can't the workplace, where many people spend 8 hours of their day, be fun and enjoyable?"

Why UTC?

Simply put, UTC's I-O Psychology master's program not only lives up to its reputation, but exceeds it. It doesn't hurt that Chattanooga is a beautiful city as well.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/west-phifer-942614126/ 

  


Looking for more perspective?

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