Jean Forney

photo of Jean Forney

  • BA in Psychology with a minor in Music Performance (2011)
  • participated in the Urban Leadership Internship Program
  • interned at the University of Chicago Eating and Weight Disorders Program
  • attended graduate school at Florida State University
  • 18 of the last 9 Honoree (2019)

My Profession

"I'm an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University. My job involves doing research and teaching graduate and undergraduate students. I'm also working on becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Ohio, which should happen in the next few months.

"As an undergrad at Miami, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to study. I changed majors quite a few times. As an honors student I participated in the Urban Leadership Internship Program, which helped me get an internship at the University of Chicago's Eating and Weight Disorder Program. This experienced solidified my interest in clinical psychology.

"After that, I did an honors thesis with professor Rose Marie Ward over in Kinesiology and Health. From there I went to graduate school at Florida State University in Tallahassee. I returned to the University of Chicago for my clinical internship. After I graduated, I started my job at Ohio University. My plan is to continue down this academic path with research and training students."

My Miami Experiences

"I took an honors Introduction to Psychology class my first year to meet some requirements and really liked it; psychology was always in the running as my major. Having that research experience at the University of Chicago is really what solidified my decision to pursue psychology.

"By taking various smaller seminar classes and getting research experience, I was really prepared well for graduate school. Looking back, I can’t believe how much time Dr. Ward and other Miami faculty invest in their undergrads. Dr. Ward even encouraged me to present at a conference as an undergrad, which was a rewarding way to continue along my academic path.

"In addition to studying psychology, I was a music performance minor. One of my favorite memories involves my really good friend, who was my pianist for my senior viola recital. He arranged a Lady Gaga medley for me. We had so much fun creating my recital poster. Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' video had just come out, and so we dressed me up like her for the poster. We made a little black paper hat to go along with my black sweater and sunglasses, and we took a picture of me looking into a mirror holding my viola. It was a lot of fun to compare the video with that photo of me and my viola!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"I like the overall breadth of the liberal arts, because it gives you different perspectives on how to collect knowledge and how to decide what is true. The breadth of the liberal arts curriculum was invaluable in choosing a major, whereas the major then gives you the depth of knowledge that you need. A liberal arts education is particularly meaningful for anyone who is very curious about multiple areas.

"There are numerous opportunities to work in the psychology and mental health field, whether that's providing services as a therapist or conducting research. On top of that, I believe that people tend to underestimate the value of being able to use statistics. There's definitely a lot of opportunities available out there for utilizing statistics in a career."

Advice to Students

"Take advantage of opportunities that are given to you — and seek them out to give yourself the breadth that you need. I think flexibility is important to be successful, because there are so many different routes and pathways that can open up to you. If you haven't prepared yourself adequately, you won't be able to really take advantage of them.

"And one more thing: take more statistics classes! I can't stress enough how important statistics are in psychology and many other fields."

[November 2019]