SMC Psychology Career Speaker Panel: Dr. Pamela E. Scott-Johnson & Dr. Jennifer Vargas Pemberton


Alright, so good morning everyone my
name is Ann Marie Leahy. I’m from the Career Services Center, I’m a Career Services
Advisor and today I’m here with our two distinguished guests. We’ll speak to you
today not only about their dynamic careers in the psychology field but also
about opportunities at Cal State LA and Cal State Northridge. Today
we have with us, Dr. Pamela Scott Johnson, I have to read this because their
accomplishments are so amazing and you have their Bios in front of you, Dr.
Pamela Scott Johnson is the Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences
at Cal State LA. She is an active member of the American Psychological
Association Board of Directors and the Leadership Institute for Women in
Psychology. She’s also in the National Advisory Board member for Project
Kaleidoscope and serves on the Southeastern Psychological Association
Committee for Equal Opportunities. Amongst many other things. Then we also
have with us Dr. Jennifer Vargas Pemberton who is an assistant professor
of Marriage and Family Therapy program at Cal State University Northridge. She’s
a psychologist in private practice and the Director of Training Crisis Program
Manager at the Child and Family Guidance Center. So we thank you for being here
with us today and I would just like to ask you all in the audience if you could
please silence your cellphone’s and hold all of your questions to the end. I also
want to let you know as many we may have seen as you came in, we have some flyers
in the back corner describing the Career Services Center and the services that we
provide for you and I wanted to acknowledge my team members we have Lisa
Moss she’s our Internship Coordinator over there in the back corner.
we have Joan King, our Service Learning Coordinator, also over there in the back
corner. And we have Jenna Gausman our Career Counselor who also has a Masters
of Science in Educational Psychology so another thing–another career you can do in psychology and although she serves here as a Career Counselor she could also answer any
transfer questions that you may have related to your SMC coursework at the
end, at the end we’ll open it up for Q&A. So with all that said I’m gonna turn
it over. I’d like to start today’s presentation by asking both of you if
you can tell us a little bit about what you do, how you got your start in the
industry, and the advantages and disadvantages of the field. So if we
could start with Dr. Pamela Scott Johnson?>>>Sure. Good morning everybody. It’s really great to have a look and to look out in the audience and see you. It’s been a minute
since I’ve actually been in a classroom teaching students, but my industry is
higher education. I did however spend 10 years in a corporate environment. My
background is in behavioral neuroscience and so that’s the study of brain and
behavior and in particular, I studied taste and smell, so you can see how that
fits well with the Fortune 500 food company. And you know by the time we took all the fat, salt, sugar, and everything else out of your food, it was known as
grass, but it tasted really good. I left that industry and came into
higher education and I spent you know several years as an assistant professor
and associate professor and then what really began to kind of pull on my
heartstrings was you know how were we going to train the next generation of
students? How are we going to make sure that there was more diversity, more women
in the field of psychology and not just in clinical areas, because most of you
when you think of psychology you think of clinical psychology, but what about
industrial organizational psychology? What about cognitive psychology?
All of the ways that your desk and your books are designed to help you
think and that your desks are designed by industrial IO people that really
resonate with what kind of position do you need to sit in and how does the
structure of your phone and everything need to work so it optimizes use. So
psychologists really are experts at understanding behavior and there are a
wide range of organisms for which we do that. And so, as I came back into the
environment to build neuroscience classes, cognitive science classes, I
thought I also just want to make sure that they’re greater opportunities. So I
started off teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia, which is an all
female institution. It is also my undergraduate institution, I left Spelman
and went to Princeton to study neuroscience and then I’ve had just
numerous opportunities. And so as an administrator and I always challenge my
own students at Cal State LA to spend a day with me, my goal is to really make
sure that we have processes that allow you– that allowed the faculty to do their
best work, and that allow you to students to have success. So that in a nutshell
and in any given day they’re what I call kerfuffles, that means things happen, you
know the world view that there’s life that goes on in campus but the main goal
is to make sure that you’re empowered, that the faculty who are engaged with
you are empowered, and that the staff around you are supported so that they
can so that we can better serve all of you.>>>Would you would you like me to
repeat the question?>>>No, I think I have it. Good morning everybody.
Early welcome to this amazing field if you do end up entering it. The psychology
field is so diverse and there’s so many different opportunities that I can say
today that I absolutely am passionate and love what I do and I’ve been doing
it for over 25 years so hopefully in 25-30 years you’ll wake up and say I
still love what I do. So just to give you a sense of what I’ve been doing for the
last 25 years, after I graduated UCLA, I went to USC to do my bachelor’s
degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and then my PhD in Counseling Psychology. And in that program you have to do practicum, what’s called practicum, in
order to do clinical services. So one of the practicums that I did back in 1993
was a Child and Family Guidance Center which is a trauma, at that time, was a
trauma focused agency for children and adolescents and families. And I knew at
that moment I fell in love with that job and I was– and I told my my colleague I’m gonna stay here I’m gonna work here forever.
And it is actually what I did so I went on and did a Postdoctoral Fellowship
there, and I stayed on and developed a crisis program there, and the director of
training they’re running a Postdoctoral Fellowship and a practicum program for
other students that are trained to become counselors and psychologists as
well. So along the way I also have a really strong interest in research, so I
became a research psychologist at UCLA and I was able to do that for 15 years
and study the effects of trauma on ethnically diverse populations as well
as substance use so it worked really beautifully with my clinical work and my
research work really came together really well. So I tend to do a lot of
things I did that for I would say 15, 16 years and then I continued on at child
and family guidance in doing clinical work, supervision, training, and then I did
some private practice and I started teaching at Santa Monica College,
adjunct teaching in the psychology department and fell in love with it and
felt like oh my gosh I want to do this also forever. So I ended up getting a
teaching position at CSUN two years ago in the Marriage Family Therapy Program.
So I’m doing the assistant professor position at CSUN where I’m also working
with Strength United which is a trauma agency and continuing to do clinical
work. So that’s pretty much how I started and I
get to do a lot of different things and I like I said I absolutely love it so
I’m hoping you will find career choices throughout that will really fit who you
are and what you want to do in this in this world. >>>And that actually
a great segue to our next question. We’ll hold all the questions for
everyone who just want to write them down we can go through them at the end
because we just want to make sure we get through a lot. Can you tell us about some
of the career opportunities in psychology? Are there non
Masters and non PhD options? What do the salary ranges look like based on degree?
Are there any opportunities or AA degrees in psychology?>>>Sure, so one of the things that I like to make sure that you have access to our
resources so there is a resource called CareersInPsychology.org I have a
PowerPoint and you’ll get access to the PowerPoint. In that PowerPoint it kind of
lays out for you a number of things, what can you do with an AA degree,
what can you do with the BA degree, a Master’s degree, and a PhD degree.
If psychology really is about understanding human behavior or
a major aspect is about understanding human behavior because at the end human
beings is who we want to impact, then there are lots of opportunities, whether
it’s in Human Resources, as a Research Assistant, as a resource for students
with or individuals with disabilities, or in terms of human agencies. And in that
particular resource it lays out everything from the salaries $14 an hour
$18 an hour, but I think that the both of us would encourage you to do a couple of
things, one is to finish your AA degree and go into a bachelor’s program.
Now we abley I think abley represent the Cal State System but you are in a rich
environment in city for the number of institutions that
you could think about in terms of the next step. You should also think about, so
I love the fact that Jennifer is talking about the work that she’s doing with
marriage and family counseling, but there are a number of growing individuals who
are aging, many of you may think about being an aide or assistant to someone
who’s aging, gerontology is a very rich field. So what I want to really expose
you to is the fact that, so you know I think when I grew up there were all
these TV programs about forensic psychologists, but not understanding that
these people are clinically trained and licensed and have specialties in working
with law enforcement, but that’s just one field and so what I want to kind of gear
you to is to explore. So you have careers in psychology I’m on the board of
directors for the American Psychological Association APA.org, there are 53
divisions in that from industrial organization, military psychology,
educational psychology, industrial organizational psychology, each of those
has a name of individuals and there is a California Psychological Association. So
there are individuals that would love to have a student call and say “Can I shadow
you for a day?” “Can I come and do an informational interview?” And I’m sure
you’re colleagues in the career services have been telling you these
things, but you know when we’re grinding it out every day looking
at policies, writing papers, doing research, crunching our numbers, trust me
we’d love to have a student or someone new in the field call us and say “I heard
about your organization, or I read about your organization, or I looked you up on
the web and I would like to schedule an interview an informational interview.”
because it’s really about exposure. I think we talked about the fact that yes
the opportunities that you get may be many, but the access to those opportunities
are only designed through what you will do. Now some of you and the audience may be really really shy that’s okay, but you can write down a script for yourself and
read the script, but it does take a little bit of courage to talk to somebody that you’ve never heard before or that you’ve never talked to before so
this is really about you know what can you do with with a degree in psychology.
So we encourage you to get into a Bachelor’s program. Why is that important?
Well you can work in a nursing home or you can work with children with
certification, but you want to understand why you’re doing the things that you’re
doing, you want to understand or be knowledgeable and exposed to the
research that’s behind that. One of the things that I’d love to do it you
know is to be more athletic, so my family, my father was a football coach
and my brother played professional football, and my son happens to coach
volleyball. And so when they call and talk about their athletes, it’s very
different when you’re coaching women than when you coach men. How do I know
that? Because there are sports psychologists that understand if you
take– how many of your athletes here or just played a sport? [Laughter] I know, I know call yourself an athlete is a different thing. How many of you have played a sport? So you know if you’re coaching a group of
young men and you say sit over there until I talk to you a guy has a certain
way about it and they’ll come back and they’ll fight with you, but if you say
that to young adolescent women, how many of you when you felt ostracized you’re like “I don’t want to do this anymore” and you withdraw. So that’s about
understanding human behavior and it’s about psychologists working with coaches to understand their players to get them to perform better. That’s not by
happen stance and yes there’s some great coaches and yes I will be in front of
the TV watching the NCAA all weekend, but the point is psychologists help
people understand how to work with different constituents and so what I
want you to do is to take those ways in which you think about psychology and and
the more traditional avenues. We definitely need people who are
counselors in the school system and in the community community psychologists
because of the level of trauma and because of the ways that we work in the
world, but did you know that psychologists also work on campaigns. Why do you think people dress up in blue suits? Why do you think they approach the
podium the way that they do? Why do you think that you have a
particular perception about the person who’s speaking?
Because a psychologist has helped them with their speech and their presentation
and how they approach the podium. It’s not just marketing people. Even though
there are psychologists in marketing. What I’m saying to you as as a field
that broadly understands human behavior, there is everything available to you,
every avenue available to you. From Google to to the grocery store and how
they’re set up and there is a scientific approach to that. So you have clinical,
you have applied psychologists, you have research psychologists, you have people who don’t even work with human beings, like me. I didn’t work with human beings I did most of my research at an understanding that those those those biochemical
processes of food through study and animals, but they are translatable and so
we are encouraging you not to just stop here at the AA, but we’re also
encouraging you to get experiences and then continue to your bachelor’s and to
your masters and to a PhD, but each of those levels has opportunities for you
so don’t let anybody say to you oh you’re majoring in psychology there’ll
be nothing to do and and my last little bit because I know
we want to share I want you to start to think about the skills that you are
getting in your classrooms because when the career day comes, I have so many
students that would come back to say “they weren’t looking for psychologists.” Well, you have to tell them what you got. you want to tell them “I know how to do
research. I know how to look for primary resources and think critically about
what they mean, I know how to do analysis, I have” — how many of you done a statistics
class or any math class? You say “I understand something about making
comparative analyses or relational analyses.” That’s what you’re getting. How
many of you have ever written a paper, a sentence, anything? You say [laughter] I want to break this down so that you understand you have much more talent and many more
skills than you give yourself credit for and I don’t care if you’re struggling in
class. You are actually — you know if it weren’t a struggle and if you knew it
already you should actually be doing something else that would challenge you.
And so I want you to know how to market yourself as a psychologist because
whether or not you call yourself a psychologist, so technically you
have to have been licensed and you have to be able to put out a shingle and and
be certified, but you have all the skills to work anywhere you choose to because
of your commitment to understanding human behavior and then I’ll just stop there.>>>And just add just a little bit cause I think you covered like really everything
you need to know, but it is a very diverse field. Some of you will have an
idea of I really like to work with children, I really like adolescents, I’m
really interested in substance use. If that’s the case, there are so many
settings that really are available to you with an AA or a bachelor’s degree, I would encourage you to look into that. For example, if you’re interested in
working with children and adolescents, you can do the one-to-one shadow or case
management, you can work in residential counseling centers, things like that. So
think about the different settings that you’re interested in and possibly
getting some experience there, as you move through your academic career.>>>You would think that we rehearsed this because you always give a great segue to
the next question. What are some good associations, clubs, internships, volunteer
opportunities, in the psychology community that someone can participate
in, that will make them more eligible, competitive for transfer or for careers?
>>>So one of the things I really encourage is whatever organization or interest
that you have, look for the club at the college that you’re at to join that. So I
know there’s a psych Club here. That would definitely be the club to join. If
you if you have a passion in terms of cultural issues, ethnic diversity issues, um sexual orientation, diversity issues, look for all of those kinds of
networking possibilities because that’s where you’re going to network with peers
and find out more information about places to get jobs and get linked and
get referred. So start with the school that you’re at and then there are local
associations and there are national associations. So there’s American
Psychological Association, there’s the Western Psychological Association,
there’s the Los Angeles County division, so there’s so many different clubs and
organizations that you could be part of. Women’s organizations, men’s
organizations.>>>So, so how many of you have thought about the fact that you you want
to get honors? So there’s side beta. So Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in
psychology. It was established for those who were in
at the undergraduate level and then you continued participation and usually the
chapters are on college campuses, but I had colleagues who were very active in
the what’s called Division Two, the Society for teaching
psychology and the education Directorate of the APA, and they work to create Psi Beta. Psi Beta is the Honor Society in psychology at the community college. So I
don’t know, so each institution establishes its own criteria. I think at
the national level it’s a 3-2 or 3 it’s a 3-0 or 3-2 and depending on you know how
many students are eligible, they may stren– they may you know, make it a
little bit more stringent, but so in addition to the psychology Club and and
and I agree, I agree with with Jennifer you really should be thinking about how
to develop your leadership. I will add that it was psychologists that helped to
establish the framework for what is leadership, how do you how do you
evaluate good leadership, so you want to look at all of those avenues and in
terms of transfer-ability, so both of us said the CSU. The CSU’s are 23 campuses
that are structured and design and have feeder institutions where many of you
will go to and their criteria for getting in. So you want to make sure that
you could you’ve completed a lot of your general education requirements and look
on the departmental web pages for the other kinds of requirements that you
have. That’s the best cop — that’s the best way to be competitive; having completed
your your GE requirements or the requirements that are listed on those
websites as you go in, but the main thing is you want to show what you can do
because wherever you go to school you should be saying in your mind “they
should be glad to have me.” right? I’m really here you know in the words of an
old Saturday Night Live sketch — too old for you all to know cause you’re too young — I’m here to pump you up okay. If you’ve ever seen it those old Saturday
Night sketches. Right, because the reality of it is most of us kind of walk around in the world
like we’re not good enough, like we don’t have it all. You are sufficient for who
you are and for what you can contribute and there are some other things you can
learn. I’m gonna say that again. You as an individual are sufficient for who you
are and who you are as a being and there are some skills you could develop and
some information you can gain and learn. Those are two distinct entities, you as a
being and what you need to know. And so if you don’t get in one school or you
don’t have the criteria or it’s tough, just keep trying, but the world is
designed for those who will continue to persist because if you give up, then the
talent that you are in the world will not ever be realized and that’s
important to me is that you realize that each of you has a gift and we need that
gift in the world more so today than ever and I probably said that last time
because there’s always some kerfuffle in the world where we need more talented
people who are committed and who are passionate at what they do. And so you
know getting into it to the UCs, to the CSUs, they’re challenging but you have
the skills and you have the talent and you may need a little bit more knowledge,
but it doesn’t mean that it’s it’s it’s outside of your reach.>>>The other piece I
want to add in terms of networking and getting more education and more
information, is there so many conferences that are available on different topics.
So if you start searching for conferences, they give you not only the
training and education that maybe you’re not getting in your program, but it gives
you an opportunity to network with other people in the field, to speak to
presenters that are special that are specializing in the area. An example is
in September there’s the Latino mental health behavioral conference and that’s a great conference to understand ethnic
diversity issues and cultural issues as they pertain to latinx communities.
Trauma conferences, substance abuse conferences, there’s conferences in
almost every area that you can think of and part of the Association, all of the
associations have their own conferences. So American Psychological Association
has a yearly conference different places in the world or in the in our United
States. Western Psychological Association, the conference’s are very close, so I
encourage you not only to think about joining associate membership student
memberships, but also to go to conferences to get more education and as
a networking opportunity.>>>So the psych- the Western Psychological Association is
April the 25th through the 28th. Cal State LA is the host of that that
conference. It’ll be in Pasadena. If you are interested in coming to that
conference and you would like to be my guest and I guess I’m committed cause I’m
on video, please make sure you pick up my card or basically also let Ann know and
then I will see what I can do to have you be our guests at the conference. So
that’s really local. I mean that’s I mean I think if you get to Union Station and
the goal line you know you can actually get to the conference if you don’t have
access to the cars the to, to, to transportation, but that’s an opportunity
to see who’s in the field. And I love this kind of framework about you know
all the different ways. So there’s the association of Black Psychologists,
there’s the Asian and Pacific Island Psychological Association, there’s a
Latinx Psychological Association, there’s women in psychology. So, so, there
are opportunities for any way that you’re interested in people in the world.
Come and join us we’d love to have you.>>>Thank you for that and I also, I just
wanted to know if you guys could talk a little bit more about what the programs
at Cal State LA and Cal State Northridge. What the students could expect? What they
should prepare for? What’s available to them? Just a little bit more
they can get their mindset.>>>I’m gonna let you start because you’re a you’re at the,
you’re at the ground levels.>>>So some of the bachelors level programs is the
psychology department. You could get your bachelor’s degree in psychology. There’s
also a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development. There is many
graduate programs, like the Social Work Department, there’s public health, there’s
school psychology, career counseling, marriage and family therapy, which is
what I’m doing. So there’s many different opportunities in terms of how you can
get your psychology background either as a bachelor or as a master’s. Liberal arts
to get you into teaching. Psychology is a beautiful background for teaching you
know because you’re working with kids, adolescents, young adults, that you need
to understand their social, emotional, and behavioral functioning in order to
really help them academically right. In order to teach. So there’s many
opportunities that way.>>>Okay so um one of the things I did when I move from an
industry job to coming into teaching was to join the division of psychology that
spent a lot of time talking about how do we construct the undergraduate degree in
psychology. And so I if you go on to the APA.org and go into the education
Directorate and you look at what are what are called good practices for
psychology undergraduate programs. Here are some elements that you’ll find: it’s
important that you learn to think critically, that is the basis for any
kind of research and and sometimes we make research sound like mysterious and
you expect somebody to be showing up in a white coat. No. It means I have some
questions in the world that I want to ask. I’m going to use the agreed-upon
methods in the field to investigate those questions and I’m gonna
disseminate that information and then I’m gonna have my colleagues take a look
at it and either acknowledge that I’m the smartest person in the world and God
forbid they should say I’m the stupidest person in the world
right. So that’s really what research is about. It’s really about discovery. So
that’s why every undergraduate degree has a statistics and a research method
program. So when I advise students and they would struggle and they say oh I’m
just leaving psychology because or I don’t want to be in that because I don’t
want to do any math, well guess what? Welcome to the world of analysis through
numbers right, also known as statistics right, because
you want to be able to understand the trends without having to talk
individually to millions of people. So a strong program will have that research
component in it that is statistics and research methodology. Then it will expose
you to the major fields in psychology, starting out with the introductory book.
So the introductory book of some anywhere from 14 to 20 chapters covers
all of the major discourse. All clinical programs require that you have
neuroscience or brain and behavior because so much of what we’re
understanding now when we talk about trauma. The impact on the cellular
structures of the brain is one of the newer areas and, I guess new and the
tenth in ten years relative to the age of psychology, because when you’re
traumatized there is a reduction in the brain cell what and this is why it’s
important if you’re studying childhood trauma and you’re faced with certain
kind of traumas that’s why it has such an overall impact, and then it has you
have developmental, you have learning and and and memory in those chapters, you
have cognition and so each of the departments, a broad psychology
department, will have each of these major areas. Now some departments have groups that specialize. In my department I have individuals that are interested in the
cultural framework. So they are multicultural psychologists. I do have a
I do have two cognitive psychologists. I have colleagues that work with the with
the police department and there a juvenile court system. So I have a
group that are more forensically oriented and I think I have a master’s program
where where you can focus on forensic. We know we have a common colleague who
studies narcissism as well as as trauma and I have two colleagues that study
trauma. We do also have a family and child studies which is in the College of
Education. And so you’re going to look for a program that broadly trains you
because if you’re not trained within in terms of breadth and in psychology that
the doc- the document, and for those who are teaching in the department, it’s
called psychology education 2.0 and that means every ten years as a field we go
to say well what a why are we making students learn all of this material you
know given the newness of the world and what is it that will make them more
prepared to go into graduate programs or to use their information in the real
world. And so we take this very seriously I mean we spend like a week together and
everybody’s on various committees, but the reason I’m saying that it’s because
I want you to know that we’ve been very intentional as a discipline to make sure
that you have up-to-date information so that, not only do you get a chance to
kind of come into the field, we don’t want it to all be done you know like all
the discs all the major discoveries have already happened, you actually will have
an opportunity to put your cut in the world. I mean who’d have thought that 20
years ago the emphasis that we have an
understanding trauma from multicultural standpoints, from from just the nuances,
and they’re not really nuances, no one thought about studying immigration,
except there were colleagues that would study you know immigration in Europe and
an Africa and when you have all of these
world wars. At the at the time it was you know wars in the Middle East, and you had
the the Catholic and the Protestant Wars of Ireland. So psychologists went to
understand what’s happening to these children that have been in the war zones
and if you’ve been in major cities where there’s lots of gun violence, so that you
don’t throw away individuals because every individual is precious and their
gift as a resource is needed we want to understand that. What happens to kids
when they’re abused? How do they manage seeing certain kinds of traumas? And so
you want a program that broadly trains you in that and then you start to look
for how do I get experiences. There are summer research programs.Those summer research programs, UCLA has a summer research program for
undergraduate students, um Cal State LA has the More which is minority access to
research careers program. It is a federally funded program where you get
paid undergraduate research to be a part of those. So those are competitive, you
should look at those. They send you to research conferences. And so that
that’s an opportunity. You want to look for those kind of programs. You want to
look for programs where you can be a research assistant, both paid and unpaid,
so so that as the faculty are engaged in their research you want them to notice.
And how do you get noticed? Having good grades in class, going up to
that professor and talking to him or her, asking them about their research, looking
them up on the web and getting access to the to the research because you for the
money that you are paying to be in an institution to help guide you, it’s it’s
as much your responsibility as it is our responsibility to make sure that we have
high quality in what we’re doing. And if you’re struggling and if it’s hard, okay
we all struggle, it’s it’s been hard for all of us I mean there are only a few
real geniuses in the world and they’re struggling with other things. They’re not
struggling with the content of their academic work. They’re struggling with
how to make friends, how to have relationships with people, and and they
look at you with envy and you look at them with envy. So that real key is the
courage that it’ll take, and it does take courage and I don’t want to minimize
that even though some of you are very assertive and some can be aggressive, it
does take a little bit because it’s always like is that person gonna reject
me, are they gonna understand me, am i clear? The answer is yes yes and yes.
Just declare that, go up to them, and say I’d like to have more information. Um but
that’s what you want in a broad program and we have excellent masters programs.
Right. So the CSU you’re not able to get a PhD, that’s written into the laws of
California, but you aren’t able to to continue your education because you’re
not sure what area, what specialty, you may want to get a little bit more
research experience under your belt, and graduate programs are extremely
competitive and I just want to throw this out and I please forgive me for
being heretical, California is not the only state with PhD programs. There is
there is the entire country. University of Missouri and Columbia, excellent
program and especially in terms of working with diverse populations of
students. They have an excellent clinical and counseling program. Have sent
numerous students there. All of your state flagship schools, University of
Maryland in College Park. Now I know that really is the whole world away, but it’s
not forever. California will still be here and you
can come back and you can always start here with California, but we’d like to
see you make your discoveries in the world, but you can start now by just
being a great student and being intellectually curious and just being
who you are.>>>Thank you so much. I just want to know is there any book — I think
we’re about to open it up to questions. I’m sure you guys have a lot of questions. Was there any last things that you wanted to add before we open up?>>>I think for me I want you all to do your research, really look at what’s available, not just at
different schools, but different programs, different areas that you can get into
and use your professors, that’s why we’re professors, that’s why we’re
teachers because we want to guide you, we want to mentor you. We’re in the field we
can answer questions that maybe you know– PhD versus PsyD what’s the difference? we
would be able to help you with that. So please do not just do research online,
but talk to people, career counselors and your professors I think that they can
really help you.>>>Did you want to add any–>>>No, we just look forward to your being a part of the
field and knowing that there are there are numerous opportunities. It just
occurred to me I have two classmates, one who was trained in a PsyD deprogram, she
was the chief psychologist for the fire department in Atlanta, so that’s where
she did her training, and then I have and then I have another colleague who’s a
clinical psychologist she doesn’t do this anymore, but all those reality programs that you see, they actually have staff
psychologist on board because you want somebody who can mix it up, but not kind
of turn the tables over so you know and those are the funner careers I mean I’m
a more of a traditionalist and in a lot of things that I do, but psychology is
everywhere. It is. Now do you all have any questions?>>>[inaudible] You are a counselor for a marriage and family therapy how could a conflict in your
family because I saw you have a lot of other stuff doing outside program
research is not you just being outside and then go home and then cook and
something like that, how you could resolve the conflict if any happen with
your [inaudible] during than others [inaudible] the university’s [inaudible] research and private counseling and a family?>>>Ok, that’s great question. how do you balance your
personal life and your professional life? Yes? Okay, that is very very important
because you your personal life you have your family, you have your friends, your
home, you want to be able to do all of that as well as your career. It can’t be
unbalanced, so it really is gonna be up to you to really prioritize things, be
really good with time management, set your priorities. So it sounds like I do a
lot and I do a lot, but I don’t do 80 hours of my career. I really do structure
my career in a way that it allows me to do different diverse things within a
reasonable time to spend for for my job, for my career, because that’s not
everything I’m gonna do. And I do spend– I make sure that I spend time with my
family which is I think why I can tell you thirty years later I absolutely love
my career because I’ve been able to balance everything that I do and there’s
something that you’re gonna hear a lot about is self-care. That’s a huge–
especially when you’re a clinician and you’re doing clinical work full-time, it
can really have a toll on you emotionally because you’re containing so
much clinical information from clients that self-care is amazingly important
that you have to learn how to take care of yourself, how to re-energize yourself
in ways that allows you to not just have the energy to be productive at work and
and do a good job professionally, but also to have the energy to be carrying
and enthusiastic at home too. So it really is about balance, it’s about self-care and, again, ask your professors how do they do it because we can tell
you okay I do this and I never do that to give you some tips of what would work
for you, but that’s a very good question because I believe in having a really
good balance between your personal life and your and your career. At the end of
the day you’re — I’m — your family is a huge priority. It’s mine and I have fun with
my 16 year old son and my my husband, and my dogs, and my home, and everything so. Your’re welcome.>>>For finding a right major or career actually, lets say career, when I took your psych [inaudible] like neuron — I loved it. I said OK I’m going to be in neuroscience and then I took marriage and then i said oh I love this so much I want to go this way [inaudible] for the clinical psych — behavioral psychology — Oh my gosh that’s what I want to be. And now I’m in [inaudible] and I
said oh my gosh that’s the one I wanted And now you can find which one is exactly– even you go for internship and do some conferences, how can you select and choose?>>>Yes so you don’t actually even have to
choose. So behavioral neuro-scientist work in brain and behavior, they have to
do analysis.Now it might be difficult to do marriage and Family Therapy on
animals, but but the reality of it is, but the reality of it is this is an opportunity
to discover. I think the best money I ever spent was I sent two students to
the National Institutes of Health for the summer to do a research program and
one came back and she said Oh Dr. Scott Johnson I’m so sorry, but I don’t want to
ever do research and I said perfect better for you to discover that now than
just spent four years in a graduate program and hating every minute of it
and the other students said I love this I like this Avenue. So there are
opportunities to continue to discover and it depends. On some clinical areas
the specialty requires that you have more focus, but but there is um you don’t
have to make those cut and dry choices if there is a much more holistic
approach and how we look at things and we’re looking more and more at team
medicine. There’s a kind of formalized named because psychologists are working
in hospitals with doctors, and and social workers, and nurses, and they’re part of a
team so you can still be exposed in the same area and worked in different ways
so you don’t have to choose just yet.>>>Yeah and many of us do clinical work and research and haven’t made it you know>>>A cut and dry.>>>Right we do it. [inaudible]>>>they are some good stuff.>>>And you had a question?>>>Yeah. So I understand that industrial organizational psychology is a somewhat new field being introduced into the careers of psychology, so as far as you having
any colleagues in that field in industrial organizational psychology how
big of a career is it or how big of a different branches would i be able to branch out in to?>>>Yeah so so
IO is really not new at all. It just seems new because when you’re in a when
you’re in an environment in an academic or, especially Community College and
undergraduate environment, you don’t happen to kind of run into IO
psychologists right because they’re working in industry, they’re working in
organizations, they’re understanding organizational behavior, and they may
also be in a business school. So a lot — a number of my colleagues who graduated
with me in social psychology went into business schools and so so I think it’s
division 8, I’m not sure, but there’s the Society for the division of industrial
organizational psychologists. The incoming president of the American
Psychological Association, Sandra Schulman, she has she she works
with a team of people there their organization or their consulting firm is
about 30 years old. So it’s not a new field. What I would recommend that you do
is to have a lot of strength, not only in your social psych classes and in your
statistics classes, but if you’re interested in that, again I can point you
to people who are in the city. It’s part of what’s known as Applied Psychology,
but it’s not it’s not new at all and I don’t know when that particular
disciplines conferences are, but they’re great programs across the country.There several in the systems here, in the UC system, University of Georgia has a great program, University of Maryland has a great program, Minnesota has a great
program. But their focus is kind of business oriented, so we don’t typically
run into those folks in in an academic setting because they’re out make it lots
of money.>>>Yeah!>>>Making lots of money.>>>Yeah.>>>And it’s very competitive. So, happy to
point people to you.>>>And then you had a question.>>>Hi there. So i was kind of curious more about like what you do. So, you said it’s like biochemical processes related to food? Yeah. How did you get into that?>>>So when I left Newberry South Carolina, which is where I’m from, and I went to Spelman College, I’ll tell you my first goal was to become the first black
governor of South Carolina, I still have a chance there’s one problem, I live in
California. So I so I did a lot of political science
and I did a lot of stuff where with Capitol and Lobby and etc, etc. There are
so psychologists that are lobbyists too. Anyway and so I started with the Marc
program. So Marc program is the minority access to research careers. I was in the
founding cohort, the founding cohort of that. It was established through the
National Institutes of Health. And then I discovered all of these all of this
research. Now my major advisor was an entomologist who studied bugs and who
studied South American cockroaches, but they’re really beautiful if you look at
their wing spans, but that’s a whole other conversation, and so I got really
curious. And then we did this project in our physiological psych class on eating
behavior and, you know, we did these studies where you you you you took out
certain parts of the animal’s brain and you looked at the behavior and I thought
I love this and so then I started looking for graduate programs in in
neuroscience and it was a burgeoning field at that time. And because I then
got interested in taste, and the mechanisms of taste and smell,
and, particularly in bitter, and then looked at the chemistry of bitter and
and the ideological framework around bitterness because things that are
bitter you do what? You go [gag]. Right? So there are some psychologists that the
stuff that does that do research on emotions and disgust as one of them, but
there’s a physical response to disgust I mean to to eating behavior and so I had a
friend — what — my parents were high school teachers and one of their students
worked for General Foods and he gave my name to somebody there who called me up
and said had you ever thought of working in a food company and I said no no. I
mean I’ve lived in a rural community, agriculture and dairy was all there was,
and so you know I’m like okay. And so I really liked what we do.
I’d like what the company stood for. I liked the end product, but I was at the
bench top and and doing that. And so and then and then neuroscience as a whole, I
mean, so I have a colleague that sings on a choir with me, she has a neuroscience
lab at USC. And so I just I just like the the kind of nitty-grittiness of
understanding what the brain was doing. And then they’re really fascinating
studies as we are more and more tune to the to the level of trauma. It can’t
just be at the emotional level. And so my colleagues who were at Emory University, I
think he’s retired now, he was looking at you know trauma and what it happens at
the cellular structure. When you see trauma and it’s not just in terms of
real gory, violence, but anytime you’re looking at television programs that have
all that; I’m really kind of a scary cat, like if somebody’s gonna get killed,
you know, I mean my daughter and I watch Creed 2 and we were sitting there like oh
he’s gonna get beat up, because you know he’s got to get beat up
and then he’s gonna come back and beat somebody up, but but the reality of it is all that
has a response on your biochemistry just like when you’re hungry, your brain
tells you you’re hungry, when you’re sexually interested, your brain is
telling that you’re sexually interested. And so I always found that all of that
fascinating. I just don’t have time now to be in the lab, but I kind of miss it
and I had my long nails painted, put on my gloves and did a lot of animal
surgery and people would think how are you gonna do surgery I’m like watch me,
but I enjoyed it and it’s you know and it was the it was the age where there
was the discovery, the decade of the brain, and and all of the things that
came out in terms of understanding learning principles and then that fed
over to cognition. And so I just I mean I had a lot of fun and a lot of work that
we did yeah.>>>Hi um good afternoon. So um this question is directed towards Dr. Scott Johnson. Um so
I actually have a similar background to you, I got my bachelor’s in neuroscience.
I’m back, kind of fork in the road right now trying to decide between masters and
PhD. I think the the decision is kind of based on my confidence level for PhD. And
so if I if I do go for PhD, I do want to apply next cycle. And so my question is
what would you recommend, in this time, within this year, to kind of boost my
chances to get into a program?>>>So you definitely want to see if you can do
some research. So the PhD programs are looking for
individuals who are interested in research, but who will show a commitment
in that. And so you know, I’d be happy — I have a my card, I’d be happy to talk to you
about kind of what areas in neuroscience, but UCLA has a great program. I’ve had —
I’ve sent students to that program and they have a much more integrated
neuroscience program. It’s not necessarily in the psychology
department because neuroscience is very interdisciplinary, so you can come from
the whole system’s level through psychology, you can come from the
molecular level and the biochemical level. And I have a really great friend
at Occidental who who does a lot of research. So so the the thing to to boost
your application is to see if you can engage in research, either the paid or
the unpaid level, but you know given the field there should be an opportunity to
find some paid research for you, especially in a town like this. Oh my god.
This is like we search — we got all these R1’s. This is high research
institutions, so let’s see if we can find some names and make some calls to see
if you can get in to folks lab. I’ll start with my choir member.>>>Yeah and even contacting the professors in the area, in the field that you’re interested in
getting your PhD in because most likely they’re engaging in research as well, and
might want you as a volunteer research assistant which would be really helpful.
>>>Because getting in the lab and seeing how the lab works, you know, and and
seeing what techniques you can learn and do. That always you know kind of helps
boost the the opportunity and then to talk about that and if you get a chance
to present at all then then doing that.>>>Right. If you’re on a research team and
your research team writes a paper or puts together a poster, you can present
that at a conference which is really helpful if you’re getting into a PhD
program.>>>Is there any other questions?>>>This question is for Dr. Pemberton so you mentioned that you worked at a Trauma Center for adolescents. Is that correct?>>>Yes.>>>And that means you’ve worked with adolescents that have undergone trauma>>>Correct.>>>So what would you say is some of the challenges and some of the rewards you have when you work with that population?
>>>Okay. So currently I’m an agency called Strength United and it’s a trauma
agency in the valley in Van Nuys, Northridge, and Santa Clarita, and then
before also Child and Family Guidance Center and that was for children
adolescents and their families with trauma. So I would — I’m gonna start I’m
gonna start with the negative piece and then I’ll end with the positive. I like
to end more positively. I would say the negative part is your litter–
when you’re working clinically directly with somebody who had who’s experienced
trauma, you hear a lot of graphic details of something really, really painful
that’s happened to to another person, so you’re really taking on and feeling a
lot of their pain and the suffering that they’ve experienced and that can be
really hard. It could be very, very hard and it can change a little bit of the
way you see the world. For a while I stopped watching the news shows because I felt like that would traumatize me. After hearing all of these stories, I
would have nightmares. I would — there’s something called
vicarious traumatization and secondary trauma where just hearing detailed
information about trauma creates similar trauma experiences in yourself, so that’s
why I got really good at self-care because I was so immersed in this. So you
have to really develop those skills of self-care and having to debrief and
getting good consultation and good supervision in order to kind of deal
with that. The positive part of it is it’s it’s really it’s — as much as it’s
challenging work, it’s incredibly meaningful to really be able to help
somebody through their healing process. It’s an honor to be part of their life
experience and to allow the person to let you in and be respectful and teaming with them and helping them. So I would say it’s
just incredibly meaningful. At the end of the day, I feel very honored and blessed
to be able to do this work, so.>>>Thank you.>>>You’re welcome.>>>For Dr. Pemberton. What is considered trauma and isn’t?>>>Trauma is any experience that is
painful, or hurtful, or scary to another individual. So people can look at trauma
in different ways. The trauma that we treat at the agency is sexual abuse,
physical abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, neglect,
emotional abuse, community violence medical trauma, so any witnessing
violence, so anything that the person has felt that it has impacted them in an
emotional way that they’re having trouble dealing with that so.>>>So it can be like, it can range?>>>It can range. Bullying is considered traumatic um anything that –>>>What about like severe anxiety or depression could that be considered
traumatic?>>>Severe anxiety and depression can feel traumatic. It can also be a result of a trauma and severe anxiety and depression
can be either a result of life experience or a biological way that your
brain functions that is making it where you’re experiencing more anxiety and
depression, but either way if the anxiety and depression is coming from a trauma,
it’s most likely like post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and there’s a way,
there are specific ways of really treating and helping somebody in therapy
when there’s — when they have experienced a trauma and now they have all these
emotional results from it right. If you have anxiety and depression that’s more
of a brain, biological kind of issue there’s also different ways of dealing
with it that’s maybe not PTSD related.>>>Thank you.>>>You’re welcome.>>>Okay so I know — there’s just — we can only take one more question because we’re actually at time,
but and I know but I just know you had your hand up so if you want to go ahead
and ask your question and then we’re gonna wrap up, but I’m sure they’ll be
able to hang out, but I do think there’s a class after this, so did you want to go ahead and –>>>Oh me?>>>Yeah.>>>oh yeah right. Thank you. I think I’m interested in social
psychology and the research involved in it and I just wondered if you have a
take on some of the replicability, sort of scandal, that’s been happening. I mean
I realize that a lot of the research that happened in social psychology long
time ago was with these small population sizes, like the weird paper, the
Western, educated, industrialized, rich, developed like populations and what, what the psychology world can do to address that? I know there are things like the
Center for open science, where you pre-register hypotheses and things like
that, and I’m just curious about what your take is on how to sort of fix some
of the perception or maybe inherit problems in social psychology research?
>>>So, so, social psychology seeks to address how individuals are impacted in a social
structure. Different from sociology that looks more at a systems level, but it is
a combination of sociology and psychology and psychologists tend to
look at the individuals. And so we — So I’m aware of a lot of the criticisms in
social psychology. however, I will say there is good methodology and good
research for what was done. There’s a very famous study on altruism that
happened at Princeton University with the with the theology seminary in terms
of when are you likely to help a person and it took a lot, a lot, many, many years
for the theology, the school of religion, and the theology and the psych
department to bridge that, but the real goal is to be intellectually curious
about how things and why things happen. We know that a lot of the earlier
studies when you’re looking at conformity or any of that, were done
in the in the Ivy towers, whether you’re talking Princeton or University of
Pennsylvania etcetera, etcetera, but there’s no reason to discount those
founding psychological studies because our colleagues over the years have done
more to augment and to elucidate those studies. Another very famous study done
by Kenneth Clark who studied, who was part of the Brown versus Board of
Education, and looking at the the selection of white dolls over black
dolls by black children, to really talk about the negative impact of segregation.
The reality of it is, is that everything you want to research comes from your own
life story and so the reason I’m not going to negate or denigrate those
founding studies is it because it came out of the life narrative and the
curiosity of those sciences. It gave us an opportunity as a field to say what
more do we need to know, what group was missing, were there men or women that
were missing. A study with Leo Kaman who is one of the founding you know
discoverers of in in learning theory and and and one of the things that he as a
good scientist could uncover is when there was methodological or research
fraud and so you need good scientists to ask questions that dig deep and when we
discover that there is fraud, that’s one thing, but when you discover that the
framework is just too narrative, then there’s the opportunity to create more
bandwidth. And so we know — I — I’m aware of those criticisms, but the reality of it
is is every person then has an opportunity to look then at the
methodology and expand their framework. And you can say that about social
psychology or cardiovascular disease because most of what we know about
cardiovascular disease has been done on white males who are privileged and now
we understand why African-Americans can’t take certain medications or women can’t take certain medications. It is the intellectually
curious that allows us to expand the framework and and somebody started the
question and answered the question. That’s the good news. The other good news is so can other people. And so can there be other
resources to expand that? Sure.>>>Right well I mean I hate to end this because is
that we have such fascinating and amazing guest speakers. If we could just
give them a hand and thank them so much. [Clapping]