Now that I’m a few years out from my time at USM and in BAR Lab, I can really see how much membership with this group has shaped my career. BAR Lab enabled me to be a part of a group where I learned how to design both individual research projects and to envision and implement a line of research that could answer much larger questions. I am certain that finishing my dissertation would have been so much more difficult without the support of students and especially faculty that are a part of this team. My membership in BAR Lab proved a “leg up” on the competition when applying for jobs, as I was able to demonstrate a strong foundation in substance abuse work and an active interest in research, something many candidates are lacking. Further, while many students can discuss the scientist-practitioner model from a theoretical viewpoint, I am able to describe it from the standpoint of an active participant. This ability helped me not only as a student, intern, and licensure candidate, but it also continues to help me every day as a licensed psychologist in private practice in forensic psychology. BAR Lab not only helped me obtain my degree and compete for the jobs I wanted, but it also made me a stronger clinician and a better professional.
Dr. Margo Villarosa-Hurlocker (Ph.D. 2017)
As I reflect on my training experiences in the BAR Lab, I can easily attest that the opportunities, teamwork, diligence, and encouragement of the lab has shaped my development as a clinical researcher. I learned early on that the BAR lab was more than just developing my research skills to complete required scholarly projects. The BAR lab has also helped me to develop leadership skills, establish collaborative relationships, apply scholarly knowledge to practice (and vice versa), and foster innovation consistent with my career goals. The challenging yet supportive atmosphere Dr. Madson created with the BAR lab has truly informed how I would like to establish my research lab in the future. It was the direct results of my work with the BAR lab that led me to my current position as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions. I am grateful for the values instilled in me from the BAR lab and I look forward to carrying those values into my career as a clinical researcher.
Dr. Jeremy Noble (Ph.D. 2014)
I am a few years removed from the BAR Lab and can easily say, as a licensed, practicing psychologist, that my most valuable experience as a graduate student was being a member of the BAR Lab. The emphasis of BAR is that of leadership, teamwork, hard work, achievement, and camaraderie, which are all important traits in the professional world. Dr. Madson creates an environment that challenges members to reach their full potential by providing the necessary tools for success. As a military psychologist, I am involved mostly in clinical and consultative work with the freedom to conduct research if desired. Thanks to my time in the BAR Lab, I have a strong appreciation for research and the scientist-practitioner model. I am currently the principal investigator on a research project with the Army and plan to continue this sort of practice for the remainder of my career. I can thank BAR for the know-how to conduct such a project and for the discipline to see it through.
Whitney Stubbs (MS, 2013)
As a master’s student at the University of Southern Mississippi, I served as an active member of the BAR lab. During my time in the BAR lab, I obtained the skills necessary to design and conceptualize a study, formulate and test hypotheses, and appropriately report results and interpretations of data. I was able to present several posters and even obtain second authorship on a publication during my time in the lab. I found this to be one of the most valuable aspects of the team—everyone was encouraged to use their strengths and creativity to contribute to the process. As a current third year in my Ph.D. program at The University of Memphis, I still fall back on the skills I learned in the BAR lab. I see my experiences in the lab playing out in my present work in terms of my high standards for empirical research, the systematic approach I take to each step of the process, and my ongoing advocacy for evidence-based practice in counseling. Overall, the BAR lab has played a major role in shaping my development as a scientist-practitioner and my confidence in my skills and abilities.