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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Graduate Student Spotlight

Maureen McCarthy, M.S., Experimental Psychology

Maureen is a recent graduate of CWU's graduate school. She studied the gestural behavior of signing chimpanzees at CWU's Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) and macaque behavior at CWU's Biodiversity and Conservation Field School in Huangshan Province, China. McCarthy is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California, where she will study free-living chimpanzee behavior.

I chose the Experimental Psychology master's program at CWU because of the opportunity for involvement at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. My area of research interest is primate behavior, and this renowned facility along with the highly reputable primate behavior faculty at CWU attracted me to the program. It turned out to be a great fit for me.

As a graduate student at CWU, I received a great deal of one-on-one support from faculty mentors, especially my advisor. This personal attention motivated me and helped me thrive as a graduate student. I could always ask questions and seek advice along the way. My graduate mentors also provided great examples of the type of researcher and professor I aspire to be someday. They taught me countless lessons.

Small seminar classes provided valuable opportunities to think critically and develop presentation skills. I have applied my critical thinking skills to my research and have used my presentation skills as an adjunct lecturer at CWU and as a conference presenter, and will continue to put those skills to work in my professional future.

The School of Graduate Studies and Research is a great (and sometimes overlooked) source of graduate student funding and support. All in all, graduate study at CWU provides innumerable learning and funding opportunities for those who seek them. Students who work hard and develop relationships with faculty and fellow graduate students can reap tremendous, and perhaps even unexpected, academic rewards.