Reuben Howlett

Profile photo Reuben Howlett

MA in Psychology (BCN)

Research Adviser: Dr. Kimberly Cote

Program Entry Date: September 2017

My research aims to explore a new area of research on poor sleepers that assesses their daily cognitive functions. The hope is to find differences in particular areas of cognition such as the ability to perceive emotions in other’s faces. This will further understanding of the nature of deficits poor sleepers experience in their daily functioning and could have implications for assessment and treatment. We are recruiting until March 2019!

What have you learned in your graduate education that you would share with future or current students?

Be proactive. As you develop yourself more you will start to develop your own research questions. If you develop your idea enough you can definitely find a way to research it through either the flexibility of your supervisor willing to integrate your ideas with their research, or with other collaborators. There’s also other experiences available like volunteering in the community at organization relevant to your area of development. These experiences will get your feet wet and be formative on where to go next, especially if you are thinking of a career outside of academia.

What are your tips for thriving in grad school?

I would recommend to turn to your neighbouring labs and make friends. Start local but keep expanding your network until you find a group that fits with you. Not only will you have more opportunities for collaborative research but you will also develop a support network of people that have had to troubleshoot the same emotional and intellectual problems and from whom you are able to receive helpful guidance and unconditional support.

What do you wish someone warned you about being a graduate student?

If you are a student applying to graduate school coming from a different school, there is not enough opportunity to feel out and have an accurate impression of the environment you will be entering. You should find out as much information as you can about things like department climate, supervisor style, as well as how supportive and collaborative the department and your lab are. The best way to find this information is actually to interview or talk with former or current graduate students from the department and the lab you are applying for. I am lucky to have a supportive lab and department.

What were the best parts of your experience at Brock? Why?

The best part is the sense of community at Brock. There is a greater likelihood here to actually meet and mingle with the same people regularly. This fosters friendships, partnerships and a supportive atmospheres! This is hard to offer at the larger schools where everyone is busy and you can feel like a silhouette in the masses. I would not be enjoying my experience with graduate school nearly as much if I did not have the chance to really meet and get to know most people in my department, and to make friends with everyone.

What are your next steps?

Unfortunately I have been aiming to do a career in an area that Brock does not offer – Clinical Psychology or Psychotherapy. There are opportunities in the community here, but for academic training I should seek out other locations that do offer it. You can’t always find everything you’re looking for in one place and it’s also important to have a diversity of experiences. I am most glad to have made the connections with genuinely good people here and hope to cheer them on when I have gone off to the next great thing!