Laura Michele Daniels: In It for the Duration
How did you choose your area of graduate study?It has been a bit of journey to where I am today. I attribute my choice of clinical health psychology and my journey on the path toward specialization in integrated primary care to having honest discussions with excellent mentors, support from my family and friends, and trusting my intuition. I chose clinical psychology based on my undergraduate research and the discussions I had with faculty and graduate students at my undergraduate institution. After applying to many programs, I accepted the offer from ECU because it was evident that the faculty were developing a gold standard clinical health psychology program that trains their students to be leaders and competent clinical psychologists amidst this evolving healthcare environment. Indeed, I have been trained by faculty who are experts in their field and have been supported me as I explored my interests in within clinical health psychology including neuropsychological research with an adolescent population, cognitive-behavioral weight management treatment across the lifespan, and development of chronic disease self-management programs for the primary care setting.
What is cool about your area of study and why should people care about it?
Tell us about any academic awards/recognitions/publications you may have achieved:
What recognition are you most proud of and why?My peers (and close friends) have told me that they admire my ability to maintain a healthy work/life balance. I am proud of that because it is a wonderful feeling to know that those you love and respect also respect your lifestyle choices and work ethic.
What would you say to someone considering ECU as a potential graduate school?Prior to taking the leap be sure to contact current graduate students and faculty in the program of study that interests you. Ask faculty what research and/or clinical practice work they aspire to do in the coming years, you will likely be involved with these projects. Ask students about the atmosphere the program and what they enjoy about their training. Unique to ECU, is the close relationship the university has with the community and its commitment to the health and well-being of those living in Eastern NC is evident. If you make the leap, prepare yourself to be swept up in the pride of Pirate Nation!
Hobbies: Gardening, yoga, golf, DIY projects
|7:00am-8:00am||Get ready for the day and prepare coffee, breakfast, and lunch|
|8:00am-8:45am||Commute to Kinston Community Health Center|
|9:00am-10:30am||Enroll 1 or 2 patients into the Prescription for Success (Success) Program|
|11:00am-12:30pm||Lead patient group meeting for the Success program|
|12:30pm-12:45pm||Eat lunch while debriefing with undergraduate assistant or social work intern about the Success program's group meeting|
|1:00pm-2:30pm||Enroll 1 or 2 patients into the Success program OR make recruitment telephone calls to patients who were referred by their provider|
|2:30pm-3:15pm||Commute to East Carolina University|
|3:30pm-4:45pm||Meet with mentor to discuss progress with lab research projects|
|4:45pm-6:45pm||Watch video-recorded session of cognitive-behavioral group therapy for chronic pain and rate session for integrity and fidelity to treatment manuals|
|7:00pm-8:00pm||Cook and eat dinner with my partner|
|8:30pm-9:30pm||Softball game - Go Varsity Club!|
|9:45pm-10:30pm||Watch a show on Netflix/Hulu and respond to emails|
|10:30pm-11:00pm||Turn in for the night|
College & Dept.: Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences; Psychology
Clubs & Organizations at ECU: Psychology Graduate Student Organization, The Privateers (Volunteer Organization made up of Psychology Graduate Students that engage in community service and volunteer projects aimed at raising awareness for clinical health and pediatric psychology issues)
Internships: Cherokee Health Systems
Most valuable clinical training experience: Family Medicine Center working as a Student Clinician in the Behavioral Medicine Dept.
Faculty who have influenced you the most: Dr. Lisa Campbell & Dr. Lesley Lutes
Dream job: A combination of 1) providing behavioral health care as part of an integrated primary care team, 2) training and supervising future clinical health psychologists and behavioral health providers, and 3) participating in research on patient programs for improving chronic disease self-management.
Your words to live by: These are not "my" words, but when I am making decisions about whether or not to take advantage of a new opportunity or when I am presented with a new challenge I am reminded by the quote, "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"
Significant life lesson you've learned while at ECU: I have learned many life lessons as a trainee in the clinical health psychology program at ECU, but one that stands out is that personal happiness and confidence comes from maintaining a healthy integration of work and personal life. I have learned that I can achieve this by comparing myself only to where I started and not to the successes/challenges of others and by being open to the fact that my career and life plans is a dynamic and evolving process.