By |Published On: August 2nd, 2022|Categories: Alumni, Faculty, Fielding News, School of Psychology|
headshot-Lauren Mizock-3

Lauren Mizock, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychology alum Megan Brubaker, Ph.D.’20 and faculty member Lauren Mizock, Ph.D., are the inaugural recipients of the Dr. Sally Peterson Research Excellence Award for their research published in the journal Psychological Services.

Mizock, L, & Brubaker, M. (2021). Treatment experiences with gender and discrimination among women with serious mental illness. Psychological Services, 18(1), 64-72. https://doi.org/10.1037/ser0000346

The award was established in 2021. It honors Clinical Psychology alum Sally Peterson, PhD’83. Dr. Peterson is among the first Fielding graduates to be licensed as a clinical psychologist in New York. Today, she maintains a private practice in Manhattan with several dedicated clients. Her marriage to Michael V. Carlisle, JD, inspired her dissertation research. Like many Fielding spouses, Dr. Carlisle was a great support in Dr. Peterson’s doctoral journey. Over the years, Dr. Peterson and Dr. Carlisle have been dedicated friends and supporters of Fielding.

The Dr. Sally Peterson Research Excellence Award is an annual award to a Fielding Graduate University faculty-student collaboration whose work appeared in a peer-reviewed publication in the previous calendar year. The faculty-student team receives a $2,000 honorarium. The award is possible thanks to the generosity of the James S. Peterson Foundation, the David B. Peterson Foundation, the Holly Peterson Foundation, and the Michael A. Peterson Foundation.

Megan Brubaker

Megan Brubaker, Ph.D.

Associate Provost for Research and Scholarship Katie McGraw, Ph.D., shared: “In recognizing Drs. Mizock and Brubaker’s publication, this important award emphasizes both the significance and impact of collaborations between Fielding students and faculty and the importance of sharing crucial scholarly insights through external publication. Not only does the award hope to encourage further collaboration, but it advances the professional development of Fielding students as well as the knowledge and understanding of their scholarly work.”

Dr. Brubaker was a student in the San Francisco Bay Area Professional Development Seminar (PDS) where Dr. Mizock serves as the anchor faculty. “Since Megan joined the PDS in 2015, she was passionate about contributing to research in our program. Megan became a key member of the research team on my qualitative study on women with serious mental illness (SMI), serving as the second coder in the grounded theory methodology and data analysis process,” said Dr. Mizock.

From her work on the study, she developed several research posters for the American Psychological Association (APA), the California Psychological Association, and the Oregon Psychological Association, along with two publications, including the one being recognized which appeared in a top APA journal, Psychological Services. The two aspects of the study she focused on in the posters and publications included the experiences of women with SMI with treatment bias in mental health services, as well as the gender-specific experiences they identified in their lives as women with SMI in contrast to their male counterparts.

Dr. Mizock added: “Students like Megan are instrumental to faculty and student research productivity, and she has played an important role in disseminating research to the field on the unique needs of this underserved population to enhance their mental health care and outcomes.”

Having completed her doctoral studies, Dr. Brubaker reflected on her research experience as a doctoral student: “An opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research is more meaningful than any single class you will take in graduate school. It’s an opportunity to explore data and learn from someone who specializes in that area. It is also an opportunity to experience all aspects of the research process (design, IRB approval, data analysis, writing, presentation, and publishing). This mentorship with faculty fosters a supportive environment where students can essentially “try on” all these roles and gain experience before researching on their own.”

Words of wisdom to those interested in clinical psychology degrees and new graduate students seeking to collaborate with faculty on research projects.

When asked to offer words of wisdom to future researchers, Megan shared: “Don’t be intimidated by research. When I started graduate school, I believed research needed to be well-crafted dissertation-level work. However, I soon learned that no idea was too small. There are many types of research; sometimes, a project can be about exploring a new direction on existing data. For those just getting started, research is multifaceted and a long process. Be patient. I encourage anyone interested in research to get curious and get involved. There’s always room for more help!

She then added: “I recommend seizing any opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research. It will enrich your graduate experience beyond the classroom and provide a chance to build a meaningful mentorship with a faculty member.”

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