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Q&A with Mikaela Starr ‘23 (Psychology)


The Class of 2023 has officially graduated and is ready to use their UIndy education for service to their communities. Meet May 2023 graduate Mikaela Starr who recently received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with minors in Sociology and Child & Youth Programs, and a Clinical Counseling concentration!

Why did you choose to study Psychology?

I have always loved to help people and always got told I am a good listener. Psychology seemed like the right fit for my personality.

Why did you choose to study at UIndy?

I was recruited by my coach as a diver, and fell in love with the athletic facilities. UIndy also had the best psychology program from all of my other choices. As an international student from Australia, UIndy has incredible diversity which made me feel extremely welcomed.

Are you a part of any extracurriculars (either on or off campus)? If so, what are they and what is your role?

I am a member of the swimming and diving program as a diver, and I am one of this year’s women’s team captains.

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 has been a close mentor of mine over the years. He has helped me get into my dream graduate school, and attending his classes has always been the highlight of my day. He goes above and beyond for his students and truly cares about each and every one of us.

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

My favorite UIndy memory would be when our women’s swimming and diving team won the conference championship title. Not only did the team win, but I was also awarded diver of the year and also left that competition with a new GLVC and UIndy record for the 3m event.

What are your plans after graduation? 

I will be completing a master’s in rehabilitation counseling at Florida International University, and hope to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology in the late future.

How did your degree program prepare you for your next steps?

Because of UIndy, I have achieved both clinical experience from my internship and also unique research experience by assisting graduate students. The diversity of the classes helped narrow down which area I want to pursue in Psychology, and opened me up to areas I had never considered before.

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

Don’t be afraid to utilize your professors and make positive relationships with them as soon as possible. It will pay off in the future. Keep in touch with the ProEdge advisors, it’s never too early!