Meet graduate student Casey Sarapas

Meet graduate student Casey Sarapas

Casey Sarapas
I am beginning my fifth year as a student in the clinical psychology program here at UIC, working with Stew Shankman. My primary line of research focuses on how cognitive abilities, such as attention and cognitive control, are related to emotion and emotion regulation, and how alterations in these abilities contribute to mood and anxiety difficulties. I examine these questions using a variety of methods, including psychophysiology, cognitive tasks, and self-report.
 
When I first visited UIC, it really stood out that students here seemed truly excited about the collaborative relationships they had with their mentors. The high quality of mentorship from researchers who obviously care very much about training was a big factor in my decision to come to UIC, and I have not been disappointed! Another factor was the amazing breadth of training experiences available here - in my four years at UIC, I've been able to get great training in pretty much anything that has interested me, from psychophysiological methods, genotyping, and advanced statistical techniques to psychotherapy and neuropsychological assessment.
 
Q&A with Casey
 
1.Can you tell us a little bit about how you became interested in Clinical Psychology?
 
I started my undergraduate career as a Poly-Sci major and took a Psychology course as a general education course and fell in love with it as it was a way to understand human behavior through a scientific approach. After completing my undergraduate degree I worked in a VA Hospital that provided me with a mix of research and mental health experience and it solidified my decision to apply to graduate school
 
2.You are in the process of finishing up your prelim and you will start the proposal process of your dissertation in the fall as well as begin to think about internship - How do you balance the demands of your Clinical work and your research responsibilities?
 
Each aspect of the Clinical Psychology graduate degree is wildly different, so I try to separate the tasks and complete the m on separate days – a day for research, a day for therapy responsibilities, etc. Everyday can be totally different for me and it keeps me on my toes.
 
3.Can you explain your relationship with your advisor, and how he has helped you through the program so far?
 
Stew is a wonderful mentor, one of the reasons I actually chose UIC was because of the mentorship model, and all of Stew’s graduate students at the time all praised him for the amount of time he spent with them and said that he really, truly cared about them and took great pride in his students.
 
4.What advice would you give to a student who is thinking about applying to a Clinical Psychology PhD program?
 
Graduate school is not something to be taken lightly; I would recommend that anyone thinking about applying to a Clinical PhD program should have research experience to make them a competitive applicant as well as provide them with a bit of insight on what life in academia is really like.
 
5.What is your favorite memory of graduate school so far?
 
The first time I was able to navigate BSB without getting lost.
 
6.If someone were to make a biographical movie about you, what actor would you like to play you?
 
Rick Moranis.
 
7.What is your favorite lunch spot in the UIC area?
 
Thai Bowl, its close and tastes way better than anything that you can find in BSB.
 
8.What was the last book you read?
 
The Difference Engine

 

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