Alumni News

June 7, 2017 at 9:22 pm

Happy Beginnings | Psychology Senior Finds Success, Fulfills Grad School Goal

Paige Coy will begin graduate studies at OHIO this fall, shown here in graduation cap and gown.

Paige Coy will begin graduate studies at OHIO this fall.

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

by Kristin M. Distel

Paige Coy, a 2017 OHIO graduate in Psychology, has already realized remarkable success in her field. At OHIO, Coy, who minored in Sociology, has had access to unparalleled research opportunities and has presented her work on a national scale.

After graduating from high school, Coy began taking coursework at another university in southern Ohio. When she realized that she wanted a more personal classroom experience and greater opportunities for research in clinical laboratories, however, she returned to Ohio University.

She explains that it was only at OHIO that she became involved in research, publications, and hands-on clinical work.

Catching the Eye of Local Employers

Upon earning her bachelor’s degree from OHIO, Coy discovered that she already has the credentials necessary to enter the job market. “I found that potential employers appreciated my familiarity with assisting children who have experienced trauma,” Coy explains. “They’re also impressed by the fact that I can administer IQ tests.”

The research and publication opportunities available to Coy at OHIO made her a perfect fit for two full-time job possibilities.

However, she decided to further her knowledge and clinical experience by applying to graduate school. She is now continuing her education at OHIO, pursuing a master’s degree in special education/early childhood intervention.

When Coy, a first-generation college student, needed help navigating the graduate school application process, she turned to Dr. Julie Owens and Dr. Steve Evans.

“Early in my senior year,” she explains, “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a master’s degree in social work, in special education, or a different field. Applying to grad school was like going into a foreign country where I didn’t speak the speak the language.” Coy says, “I had lots of questions, but Dr. Owens and Evans helped me with the whole process.”

Unlimited Possibilities at OHIO

At OHIO, Coy has been hard at work on a research project in The Center for Intervention Research in Schools (CIRS) laboratory with Psychology faculty Owens and Evans.

“I’m conducting a large examination of primary literature; I also wrote the background for a paper that my research team and I are hoping to publish,” she explains. Coy is also the co-author on a poster that she is presenting at a national conference this October.

She also presented additional research at an academic conference in Indianapolis with Dr. Cory Cronin, Associate Professor of Social and Public Health.

Paige Coy at an academic conference, shown here seated in a chair.

Paige Coy at an academic conference

In her work with Cronin, Coy has also enhanced her research skills and garnered a prestigious publication.

“We are having a paper published about the differences between female and male parents’ perception of children’s health,” Coy explains. “We are looking not only at physical but also mental health. Like everything else I’ve done at OHIO, this publication relates to what I want to do in the long-term.”


Falling in Love with Psychology at OHIO

Coy initially thought she wanted to be a pediatrician, but those plans changed when she took her first psychology class as a post-secondary educational options student at OHIO. As a junior in high school, Coy, who grew up in Athens, took Psychology 1010. “I knew right then,” Coy says.

“When I took this class, I was sure of what I wanted to do with my life.” This class, she explains, funneled her ideas about psychology into an area of specialization. Since then, all of her research and coursework have been related in some way to children’s psychological needs.

Coy’s favorite classes at OHIO have also been the most beneficial and informative, she explains. Psychological Disorders of Childhood stands out in her memory as an especially fascinating course. She also points to Dr. Marcus Carey’s Deviant Behavior sociology course as one that helped hone her interests and skill sets.

“This class showed me the bigger picture,” she explains, noting that the readings and assignments allowed her to discover the intersection between psychology and sociology.

She also notes that she has established meaningful professional relationships with Clinical Psychology graduate students such as Gina Sacchetti, who has helped Coy with her research and projects.

To potential psychology students, Coy suggests, “Ask for help early on. Until I was a senior in college, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go. I never thought I would get a master’s degree, but the faculty here are so helpful, and they want to help us meet our goals.”

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