June 19, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Psychology Club President Highlights Benefits of Membership

Senior Psychology Major and Club President Taylor Gardner, shown in selfie portrait taken by a brick wall

Senior Psychology Major and Club President Taylor Gardner

by Kristin Distel

Being part of OHIO’s Psychology Club has been a transformative experience for senior Taylor Gardner.

“Psychology Club offers opportunities to meet other psychology majors, get involved in research labs, participate in volunteer opportunities, and receive guidance on how to be a successful psychology student. We also work closely with the Psychology Advising and Resource Center,” explains Gardner.

As club president, she invites students with an interest in psychology to join, too.

First-year students who are acclimating to campus and seeking opportunities for involvement with psychology are especially welcome to join. Gardner herself, encouraged by her Learning Community leader, started attending the club as a first-year student. She explains that Psychology Club is an ideal place to learn about one’s field in a fun, welcoming environment—and to make new friends.

“I have gained a lot of friends and connections through Psychology Club,” Gardner says. “Through my role on the executive board, I have met other psychology majors who are as passionate as I am. Professionally, I have gained leadership, public speaking, and organizational skills.”

Gardner also encourages club members to hone their leadership skills by considering a run for the organization’s executive board. During her sophomore year, she began her own tenure on the board; she served as the programing chair and helped generate topics of discussion for the group’s meetings. As a junior, she ran for the position of club president.

“As Psychology Club president, I ensure that everyone on the executive board has what they need to be successful in their position. Most of the work that goes into the club is a team effort,” she states.

Though her work with Psychology Club has been a highlight of her time at OHIO, Gardner explains that a combination of coursework, mentorship, and goal-setting also has helped ensure her success.

Gaining a Solid Foundation in Learning Community

“Ohio University was the only college I wanted to go to,” Gardner notes. “The Psychology Department has been a huge reason why I love being a student at Ohio University.”

She particularly appreciates the rigorous, meaningful courses and the opportunities provided by Learning Community involvement.

“The most helpful course I have taken was PSY 1090: Optimizing Your Psychology Major, which was my Learning Community class my freshman year. This course gave me all the information I needed to be a successful psychology student. I also met some of my best friends in this class,” Gardner remarks.

Psychology Club Executive Board, shown in group photo

Psychology Club Executive Board

She adds that PSY 1090 also helped familiarize her with her Learning Community, and ultimately enabled her to secure as job as a Learning Community Leader. The 2018-19 academic year will be Gardner’s third year as Learning Community Leader for the PSY 1090 course.

Gardner’s “favorite class thus far” is PSY 3100: Advanced Behavioral Statistics. She explains that the course is especially important for psychology majors who are interested in attending graduate school. In fact, taking Advanced Behavioral Statistics allowed Gardner to dive into graduate studies as a sophomore.

“After taking PSY 3100, I was able to take a graduate-level statistics class as an undergraduate student, which was an amazing experience.”

Outstanding Faculty Mentorship

Like so many OHIO students, some of Gardner’s most formative and helpful instruction has come from the mentor/mentee relationships she has developed with faculty.

“[Senior Lecturer] Dr. Susan Tice-Alicke, the undergraduate chair of the Psychology Department, has been my mentor not only academically, but also when pursuing opportunities on and off campus,” Gardner explains.

Dr. Susan Tice-Alicke and Taylor Gardner, holding award certificate

Dr. Susan Tice-Alicke and Taylor Gardner

Gardner also notes the invaluable mentorship provided by Dr. Julie Suhr, Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training.

“When I had to switch to a new research lab during my sophomore year, Dr. Suhr was wonderful enough to let me join her lab, and she agreed to be my honors thesis mentor,” Gardner says.

Interning in Alcohol Research Program

One of Gardner’s most memorable moments at OHIO thus far occurred last year. In 2017, she was not only inducted into Psi Chi, an international honor society for the study of psychology, but she also was named the President of OHIO’s Psi Chi chapter, which has been active for more than 80 years. At this ceremony, she received another remarkable honor—being awarded the Gaige Paulsen Endowment Scholarship.

Another highlight of Gardner’s academic career occurred this summer in the form of a stellar internship. She is currently interning at the University of Kentucky’s Summer Training in Alcohol Research (UK STAR) program.

“A goal of mine for my undergraduate career was to be a research intern for one summer, and it was amazing to be able to achieve that goal,” she states. “I am working under Dr. Gregory Smith, researching risk factors for alcoholism. I am reading articles that the lab has published so I can get an understanding of what the lab studies. In the future, I will be helping graduate students with their studies.”

Gardner’s work will culminate in an end-of-summer presentation that she will give about her accomplishments in the internship program.

Becoming Involved with Psychology Club

Students who are interested in learning more about Psychology Club or OHIO’s Psi Chi chapter may contact Taylor Gardner at tg514714[at]

In the 2018-19 academic year, Psychology Club will host biweekly meetings, monthly fundraisers and volunteer opportunities, and possibly a fall semester social. As club president, Gardner certain that being a member will revolutionize students’ academic and professional lives.

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