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Psychology Graduate Student Association

The goal of the University of Tennessee Psychology Graduate Student Association (PGSA) is to bring together students from across the department working with a diverse faculty and with a variety of interests to improve the academic and social climate from within. In addition to fundraising to support student travel, professional development, guest speakers, and other academic activities, PGSA plans social events for all students in the department. These vary from year to year, but in the past have included tailgate parties and grouped seats for football games and other sporting events, hiking and camping trips in the Smokies, BBQs and cookouts, and much  more, not to mention our monthly “happy hours” at local pubs.

More than just a social organization, PGSA is here to help you navigate Knoxville, your graduate program, your department, the university, and grad school in general. We also proudly serve our fellow graduate students as a liaison to the faculty and administration, both in the department and out. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please contact any of us directly or submit something anonymously via the portal at the bottom of this page.  You can also find out about upcoming events on our Facebook page. As always – Go Vols!!!

Meet the executive board of PGSA

Brittany CoppingerBrittany Coppinger – Vice President
bcopping@vols.utk.edu

I am a 5th year experimental (biology) PhD student working with Dr. Todd Freeberg. I study animal behavior, specifically animal communication and social behavior. My dissertation work investigates different social variables that influence the way groups of Carolina chickadees (and related birds) communicate with each other. When I’m not out in the field or in the lab, I enjoy watching football (go Steelers!) and cuddling with my dog! I served as Secretary for PGSA during the Fall 2016 – Spring 2017, and Vice President from Fall 2017 – Spring 2018. As president, I am excited to continue to work towards enhancing the graduate student experience in our department. Go Vols!

Marjorie PerkinsMarjorie Perkins – Vice President
Mperki16@vols.utk.edu

II entered UT in 2017 after completing a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. I am a second year Counseling Psychology student in Dr. Gina Owens' Military Stress and Health Lab. My research interests include trauma, intersectionality of identity and traumatic experiences, moral injury, and servicemembers' well-being. I am currently placed at the University of Tennessee Student Counseling Center for practicum and am gaining experience providing brief, short-term therapy. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors, playing with my dog, and sewing.


Pamela RosecrancePamela Rosecrance- Treasurer
prosecra@vols.utk.edu

I am a 3rd-year graduate student in counseling psychology with Dr. Erin Hardin. My research interests focus on career development and college student success among rural low-income first-generation college students pursuing STEM careers.  I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and then lived in California for four years before moving to Knoxville. In my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with friends, reading, hiking, cooking, and dancing.


Ashley RussellAshley Russell
Amorri58@vols.utk.edu

I entered the University of Tennessee Clinical Psychology Program in 2016 after completing my M.S. in Clinical Psychology at Morehead State University in Kentucky. While completing my Master's, I completed research on components of the parent-child relationship, such as intergenerational trauma and attachment. Here at UT, my research explores romantic relationships, and understanding the factors that produce healthy relationships. I currently am a practicum student-therapist at Cherokee Health Systems in Maynardville, where I provide therapy services to a rural population. I am also continuing to provide therapy services at the UT Psychological Clinic in downtown Knoxville. In my spare time, I enjoy spending quality time with family, reading novels and poetry, and traveling to National Parks with my husband (and soon, our daughter due December 2018).

Elliot SpenglerElliot Spengler
espengle@vols.utk.edu

I'm a 3rd year in the Counseling Psychology department studying with Dr. Patrick Grzanka and the Social Action Research Team. My research interests are in the promotion of mental health through understanding and eradicating stigma surrounding it and improving the implementation of therapy. As PGSA Social Chair, my focus over the next year will be to co-create a sense of community and camaraderie throughout the program. We all know the rigor that is graduate school, but we also know the tremendous resiliency that social support brings about in relation to stress and the simple joys of being around one another. In that spirit, I hope to see you all at some of our events throughout the year!


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