Student Profile: Danielle Davis
- By Daniel Joseph Harvey
Our featured student in the April 2017 issue of IMPACT is Danielle Davis, an NIH Predoctoral Fellow from the Department of Psychological Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at UVM.
IMPACT: Danielle, tell our readers where you are from and what you studied as an undergrad student.
Danielle Davis: I’m from outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and went to college at a small liberal arts college, Georgia College & State University. I knew I always wanted to do something with Psychological Science, but it wasn’t until I started taking courses in learning theory and behavior that I got really interested in the topics that I currently study.
IMPACT: What inspired you to go to graduate school in the Northeast?
Danielle Davis: UVM was my top choice for graduate school because of the researchers here. My advisor, Dr. Stephen Higgins, along with the other professors in the Psychological Science Program, are highly regarded in my field. The research they’re conducting is exciting and interested me. In addition, UVM seemed very supportive of its graduate students with the resources they offered, so I knew it would be a good fit.
IMPACT: We are very pleased that you chose to attend UVM. Tell us about your experiences in grad school, and what it is like to work with faculty members and to do your own research and scholarship.
Danielle Davis: So far my experience in grad school has been very fast paced and hands on.
Day to day, I spend a significant chunk of my time collecting data for the studies we conduct in my department. This has given me a really good grasp of proper data collection. I work in the Vermont Center on Behavior & Health (VCBH) and work with faculty members in aspects of data collection and in developing my own studies. Working in this environment has taught me the delicate balance between managing classes and working on research projects, while at the same time maintaining my own research projects and ideas.
I really have enjoyed developing ideas for research projects based on what I’m noticing while I’m collecting data. My master’s project is actually based on an observation I had collecting data in one of our larger projects.
In addition to work in my own lab, I’ve been given the opportunity at UVM to do related research in a second lab run by Dr. Mark Bouton. This has been a great experience to expand my knowledge and skill set.
IMPACT: Are there any faculty members in the UVM Graduate College that have been particularly important to you and why?
Danielle Davis: I’ve had great interactions with a lot of the grad faculty. Obviously my advisor Steve Higgins has been really elemental in my success here, but in addition a lot of the staff who have appointments with the graduate school have been very encouraging in my success. Dr. Diann Galeema, who is serving on my Master’s Committee, has been a constant resource, as well as Dr. John Green [chair of the Psychological Science Department] and Dr. Annie Close [Director of the General/Experimental Psychology Graduate Program]. Professor Green and Professor Close are so approachable and friendly. It is easy to tell that they really care about the success of their students.
IMPACT: Danielle, tell us where you are in your graduate education and what you plan to do after graduating.
Danielle Davis: Currently, I’m in the third year of my PhD program and am defending my Master’s in a few weeks. After getting my PhD in a couple of years, I plan to continue to work in academia or some sort of research setting. Specifically, I’m gaining a lot of training in the field of tobacco regulatory science and I plan to do future work in that area.
IMPACT: Anything else you can tell us about yourself?
Danielle Davis: As a non-native to the New England area, it’s been nice to experience all the great activities Vermont has to offer. Hiking, enjoying winter and all the snow, fall colors, and everything else has made living here so enjoyable.
IMPACT: Danielle, we wish you the best of luck with your research and scholarship and for taking the time to talk to us. Thank you!