Mackenzie Trevethan (Class of 2020)

photo of Mackenzie Trevethan

  • honors senior major in Psychology
  • minor in Art Therapy
  • from Centerville, OH
  • Provost's Student Academic Achievement Award (2019); CAS Dean's Scholar (2019-20); Miami Undergraduate Presentation Award (2019)
  • Urban Leadership Internship Program in Xenia, Ohio (2019)
  • research project focused on child development in China and India (Summer 2018)
  • vice president, Society for Psychological Inquiry; president, Psi Chi: The International Honor Society in Psychology
"Getting involved in research not only helped me increase my skills but also connected me with a group of faculty and peers that have similar interests as me and have encouraged me to grow during my time here."

Why Miami?

"I chose Miami because I've always wanted to major in psychology, and Miami has an incredible psychology department. It also has a beautiful campus. My favorite aspects of Miami are that the university is big enough to offer many amazing opportunities for both social and academic growth, and at the same time, it is small enough that you can feel a sense of community and connection with your peers and professors."

Best Miami Experiences

Mackenzie Trevethan and friends at a Miami hockey game

"I grew a lot during my first year at Miami. Although I knew I wanted to study psychology, at the time I did not know what I wanted to do with it. College was a big adjustment, but I made an amazing group of friends that I am still close to and actually live in a large house with all of them now.

"I have been in several leadership positions and a part of several organizations throughout my time at Miami, including vice president of the Society for Psychological Inquiry, president of Psi Chi: The International Honor Society in Psychology, and member of Cru. I am also an undergraduate research assistant in two psychology labs: the Culture Affect and RElationship (CARE) lab with my faculty advisor and professor of psychology Vaishali Raval (where I research topics related to child development across cultures) and the Judgment and Decision Making (JDM) lab with professor of psychology Joseph Johnson (where I work on projects centered around the effects of stress on cognition).

"Since I am a senior, I am now in the process of applying to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs. Miami's Department of Psychology has given me many amazing opportunities that have prepared me for graduate school, such as research and working as an undergraduate assistant. My advisors have encouraged me to expand my skills and experiences, and I would not be where I am today without them!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"Another reason I chose to attend Miami is the broad liberal arts education offered. The curriculum encourages students to take classes in many different fields, leading me to courses in theatre, microbiology, disabilities studies, sociology, and other fields. These classes have all greatly improved my knowledge on a range of different topics and introduced me to the vast breadth of inquiry that exists in society.

"Psychology is the science of human behavior and the mind — the study of thoughts, emotions, and human interactions. It has many subfields, including clinical, social, cognitive, developmental, and biological. What I like most about my psychology major is learning about theories of why people behave the way they do. I especially enjoy learning ways in which you can respond to and treat people in order to help them work through difficult situations.

"My major prepares me for a psychology career by giving me a wide breadth of information and experience. It also prepares me to understand human behavior and to see multiple points of view. I want to eventually work in a balance between clinical practice and research.

"Psychology has taught me so much about not only the mind and human behavior but also many valuable skills for life, including both the analytical skills to study any question and the broader skills needed to give you a holistic view of the world. I think this is a unique perspective, and not many fields provide a balance between the two."

Conducting Research on Child Development in China and India

Mackenzie Trevethan stands next to the poster summarizing her research as an Undergraduate Summer Scholar.

"One of my most exciting learning experiences at Miami was participating as an Undergraduate Summer Scholar during summer 2018, with the support of my faculty advisor, Vaishali Raval. I was able to conduct research in close collaboration with her on a project entitled "Profiles of Mothers' Emotion Socialization Behaviors and Child Functioning in China and India.

"Emotion socialization is the process by which children learn social norms regarding emotional comprehension, experience, expression, and management. We investigated data collected from mothers in China and India regarding emotion socialization, identified profiles of parent responses, and examined how profiles were associated with child outcomes.

"My role in this project, which has been submitted as a paper for publication, involved using data that Dr. Raval and other faculty had collected to create the project proposal, conduct literature reviews on topics such as emotion socialization and parenting profiles, do statistical analyses, and write a manuscript detailing the project design and outcomes. I concluded the project by presenting a poster of the findings at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in Baltimore, Maryland and submitting my manuscript for publication. It is currently under review.

"This research experience was only possible because of Miami's excellent psychology curriculum and the tremendous support of Dr. Raval. It enhanced my research skills, allowed me to present my findings at an international psychology conference, and helped me find the path that I want to take in graduate school, making me a more competitive applicant. I'm so grateful that this opportunity has also helped me grow my confidence and passion to work in the psychology field!"

Advice to Students

"Get involved. There are so many amazing experiences available to you at Miami, both social and academic, and I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of them. Joining different organizations can help you find some wonderful friends and help you find what you are passionate about — or simply allow you to expand your horizons.

"Miami has an incredible Department of Psychology, so I encourage anyone to pursue a psychology major. You will be able to take part in amazing opportunities that are not available at some other universities, including working as an undergraduate research assistant in many different research labs. Getting involved in research not only helped me increase my skills but also connected me with a group of faculty and peers that have similar interests as me and have encouraged me to grow during my time here."

[October 2019]