Psychology graduate program celebrates milestones

When Ashley Hosker-Field became the 50th Psychology PhD student to complete her program in December, it marked one of several significant milestones for the Psychology graduate program this year.

Hosker-Field joined the ranks of the many accomplished graduates of the program who now help make up the next generation of Canadian academics researching and teaching at universities, colleges and private facilities around the world.

Michael Busseri, Graduate Program Director, and Linda Pidduck, Graduate Administrative Co-ordinator, have watched the Psychology Graduate Program grow over the years.

“Over the past 15 years, the Department of Psychology has grown into one of the Top 5 most productive and impactful psychology departments in Canada,” says Graduate Program Director Michael Busseri. “Our past and present MA and PhD students have been an integral part of this growth, through their productivity and successes in research, their commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning, and their engagement around Brock and in the local community.”

In addition to completing post-doctoral fellowships and landing faculty positions at many of the world’s leading institutions, from the University of Toronto to Duke and Yale, graduates have also found success in private practice in mental health, medical and rehabilitation settings, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, and in statistical consultation and research.

“We are very pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of all of our graduates,” says Busseri. He said he also wanted to congratulate and thank past and current faculty mentors, as well as the department’s dedicated and supportive administrative staff.

A key member of that staff is Linda Pidduck, the program’s long-serving Graduate Administrative Co-ordinator. Pidduck was the first to notice that the program was coming up to several milestones in 2017-18. In addition to seeing its 50th doctoral student defend a dissertation, the master’s program turned 25 years old and will see its 150th student complete this year.

Pidduck, who has personally known all of the MA and PhD students to move through the program since the early 1990s, remembers the program’s beginnings and has been proud to watch the students grow and thrive during their time at Brock.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to see students enter the program — often unsure of whether they really belong in grad school — and then a few years later watch them head off into their careers, full of the confidence inspired by their training here in our program,” she said.

Angela Book, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, says she enjoys the opportunity to work with graduate students such as Hosker-Field.

“Watching the journey from student to colleague is an amazing experience,” says Book. “This is especially true for Hosker-Field, who joined my lab as an undergraduate student. She was easy to work with as she had a natural curiosity and passion for research. Her dissertation was quite ambitious and the findings will definitely contribute to the psychopathy literature.”

Hosker-Field was surprised to learn she was the 50th student to complete the PhD program, and the 10th to complete it in 2017. She said she’s proud of the program’s success.

“I think these numbers are a good indicator of the continued growth and success within our department,” said Hosker-Field, who teaches Forensic Psychology at Brock.

Linda Pidduck created a world cloud using the titles of all of the Psychology PhD dissertations.

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