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Q & A with Tatym Lawson ’22 (Psychology)

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Leading up to Winter Commencement, we’re asking some of our graduates to tell us about their experience as Greyhounds and where their journey will lead them next. Meet December 2022 graduate Tatym Lawson who will receive a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with concentrations in Ethics and Clinical and Counseling Studies and a minor in Philosophy later this month!

Why did you choose to study psychology?

I have a fascination with the mind that pairs well with my passion for mental health research and advocacy. If we break down the etymology of the word, it translates to, “the study of the soul,” which feels like a beautiful way of getting to the root of psychology, of why interest in the field has skyrocketed. Psychology provides a deeper way of empathizing and understanding one another on a soulful level.

I remember looking at the people in my courses freshman year and thinking, “Yep, these are my people.” Psychology has always been the topic where homework felt the least like work. I never switched my major though I picked up other additions to my degree like tic-tacs. I hope to pursue higher levels of education in Clinical Psychology, a PsyD. specifically.

Are you a part of any extracurriculars (either on or off campus)?

I lifeguard and teach swimming lessons at the YMCA near campus. I teach everyone from 6+ months to 60+ years. I also spent most afternoons during my senior year as the student administrative assistant for the Department of Philosophy and Religion. On campus, I am a social media team member for the Indy chapter of Her Campus, an online magazine for women in college. In addition, I am a lifetime member of Psi Chi (National Honors Society of Psychology).

Why did you choose to study psychology at UIndy?

I read amazing things about the psychology program and had friends who had already started here who said they had nothing but positive experiences. I came to UIndy for a tour and immediately felt comfortable and at home. UIndy did not intimidate me; it motivated me and helped me feel prepared to succeed.

Are there any faculty or staff members who have significantly impacted your time at UIndy? If so, who are they and how did they influence you?

Dr. Michael Poulakis, Assistant Professor and Director of the Office of Hellenic Studies, has been patient with and supportive of me, and provided me with constructive criticism that has helped me grow as an academic, a peer, and a person.

Also, Dr. Lacey Davidson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, has mentored me in my ethics studies, encouraged me in my pursuit of philosophical experiences, and listened to my ramblings before they were concentrated onto paper. Her presence has helped me to feel comfortable being wrong and helped me to develop my skills and confidence as a critical thinker.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at UIndy?

In my freshman year, a professor wanted an excuse to bake, and my birthday was the following week. So on my first birthday away from home, we sang and ate cake in my research methods class. This sounds so sweet and simple, but it just goes to show how much little things can help people to adjust to college life and how college students can be like kindergarteners in the way we enjoy the simple things like a party at the end of class.

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?

My advice is to go to Lecture/Performance (L/P) events your first year! Go in person and meet people and go to plays with random classmates who also need L/P. You will not want to nor will you have the time to go your senior year.

Also, explore the campus and try to find where you like to hang out or study best rather than defaulting to the same spot; that is what the rest of the three years are for.

Befriend the people you meet in your major-related classes (you already have at least one thing in common), and especially befriend those who respond to your Brightspace discussion posts; they will be your friends for life if you let them.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to continue my education starting in the fall of 2023. I am currently applying to Psy.D. programs. For now, graduating in December gives me the opportunity to rest, travel, and soak in extra time with the people I love.

How did the Psychology program at UIndy prepare you for your next steps?

My degree has made me a more critical thinker, which is a useful skill to have in all walks of life. At the checkpoint that is my Bachelor’s degree I find myself competent in psychology and capable of developing strong and research-supported arguments. I am confident that these skills have prepared me to both understand material and to do the coursework of a doctorate degree. Another thing nobody told me my degree would prepare me for is the realization that grown ups are people too. We are all human and practicing basic human empathy can go a long way.