All posts by KRamirez

About KRamirez

Psychology Research Assistant - Lab 8-161

Thank You Letters

Hey guys,

So we’ve had a couple of amazing and informative guest speakers come in to talk to us about their graduate school programs. And I remember Mindy telling us about how it would be a great idea to email a thank you note to any one of them who made an impact on us, as it would be very useful for us to have our names implanted in their memory when we’re applying to their programs! I especially enjoyed Dr. Sommo’s from NYU Silver School of Social Work and Dr. Harold Goldstein’s of the Baruch College Masters in I/O Psych talks. I hadn’t considered clinical social work, but after listening about how versatile the degree can be with the many areas that clinical social workers can work in, I am now looking into that. Also, I was always quite hesitant about even going near I/O Psychology, but after hearing Dr. Goldstein talk about it can be a very powerful tool for developing a more diverse workplace, I realized how amazing it actually is. Even though it is about working for the company, it is amazing to hear that there are some I/O psychologists working on making job applications that do not just target the “light male.” So in thinking about emailing these two doctors thank you notes, I searched online on how to write thank you notes to guest speakers and I found these useful websites. Some talk about how/when to write a thank you note to a guest speaker or professionals in general, such as after a job, internship, or graduate school interview, which can be very useful for us to know in the future!

General Thank You Notes:

For Grad School Interview:,d.cWc

Kisses of Death in the Graduate School Application Process

Hi everyone! As we are all currently working on editing our personal statements, CVs, and researching the graduate programs we want to get into, many of us may be wondering the mistakes we should avoid doing in our applications that may diminish our chances of getting into graduate school. We generally learn the positive things to do to impress admissions committees such as research experience, leadership roles, a high GPA, and strong letters of recommendation. However, this research article entitled “Kisses of Death in the Graduate School Application Process” suggests that we should take into consideration the negative things that many applicants have done that contributed to their not being accepted to the graduate school of their dreams. By presenting its insightful findings, discussion, and recommendations, this article offers excellent advice on how to avoid the 5 categories of mistakes (kisses of death) that psychology graduate admissions committees look down upon. I have listed these five categories here and I strongly suggest that each one of you print out the article and mark it for yourselves to see where you stand in your application thus far. I found it very easy to read and quite entertaining, but most of all, useful and applicable for my application process. I hope you all will too!

5 Kisses of Death (in descending order of frequency):

1. Damaging Personal Statements

2. Harmful letters of recommendation

3. Lack of Program Information

4. Poor writing skills

5. Misfired attempts to impress

Here is the article:

2014 International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED)

For anyone who is interested in eating disorders as I am, I am attaching here some information about an international conference that is going to be held here in New York in March 2014! Although it seems a long way from now, registration opens very soon on October 15, 2013. The price for registration isn’t available yet, but it seems like a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those of us who are yearning to partake in helping those affected by eating disorders and solving the mysteries of eating disorders!

2014 International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED):

Mark your calendars and plan to join your colleagues for the 2014 International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED) as we head to vibrant New York City. Registration begins October 14, 2013. The ICED is the premier gathering place for professionals and advocates engaged in research, treatment and prevention of eating disorders. Each year, ICED attendees, faculty, supporters and exhibitors create a unique, inspiring and intensive environment for education, training, collaboration and dialogue. Register early for the best rates.

The ICED 2014 Program Committee has organized an innovative program featuring a wide range of topics and diverse speakers from around the world discussing the latest research, treatment and prevention information, and innovations in the field of eating disorders. This year’s conference features a promises to greatly enhance your education, provide optimal networking and collaboration opportunities.

Join us!

2014 ICED Program Co-Chairs,

Bryn Austin
Nadia Micali

First Session Experience

This week, I finally got to run Sara’s Scenario and Puzzles study on my own, which I am really proud about! I had run it alongside Sara last week, where I got to learn firsthand what it takes to be a researcher: preparedness, following the script, directness, and, most importantly, consistency! I realized how important it is to be consistent in all sessions of a study because one small difference in the tone of the researcher’s voice or in how the lab is set up can impact the results of the study, making it less reliable.

Therefore, after Sara and I had done the first run of the study, we made several notes on all the things that we had to change in order to make sure that the future sessions would not be impacted by the hindrance of surrounding noises and objects, as well as what we had to keep consistent. For example, we have to make sure that all four participants in each of the sessions sit in the same four computers (there are six in our lab) and that all of their computers have no volume, and that our phone remains silent in all the sessions. We also had to add some notes to the script to let our other research team members know of other lines that they have to say to their participants (such as “Do not click the reset button or change the number of discs on a puzzle.”)

After improving on all of these things and updating the script with the new notes, it was time for me to run my own session. I had to come at 3:30 pm and prepare the lab with the appropriate items and websites on the computers. The participants then came in at 4 pm and I have to admit, even though I had practiced with Sara already, I was still really nervous since I was all by myself and because I didn’t want to forget anything that I supposed to say or do. However, I then told myself that everything was going to be okay as long as I followed the script word for word (even though it would make me sound like a robot!). What also encouraged me to not feel nervous was the fact that I am basically representing my team members and the purpose of this study, so I wanted to appear informative, enthusiastic, and confident about the study. In the end, everything did go fine and I was very happy for not messing up! I definitely feel more prepared for next week’s sessions.