I fell in love with this city before Katrina. I accepted the scholarship to Loyola; I packed up my belongings and got on a flight to New Orleans, Louisiana. I was nervous yet optimistic for the next chapter of my life.My flight touched down at the Louis Armstrong Airport, and two days later, my classmates and I scrambled and scattered across the country amid rising floodwater and an uncertain future. I was stuck in a hurricane shelter just outside of the city for a week without power, beds or showers as the storm that devastated the city passed over us. I was displaced to San Antonio.
All I had were the clothes on my back and no way of contacting my family. My parents were convinced that they had just been accomplices to their daughter’s death by allowing me to attend Loyola. With Loyola ‘s assistance, I spent a semester at Georgetown University. Prior to the beginning of my second semester, I was given the choice: continue my education at Georgetown or return to New Orleans. It was a difficult decision; I had enjoyed my time at Georgetown, made friends and I have close family that lives in DC. Truthfully, I do not know exactly why I came back.
Perhaps I was. . I am back in this resilient city. I am proud to witness the city’s growth as well as my own since I left back in 2009. However, I am motivated to be closer to the science, closer to the patients, closer to the psychopathology and on the front lines of psychology.I have a particular interest in the extraordinary variability found in the way children cope with adversity, traumatic and stressful situations.
I am particularly interested in resilience as a trait and the biopsychosocial factors that may influence it, particularly in adolescents. The rigorous curriculum and training opportunities offered by Louisiana State University’s Clinical Psychology program is a perfect match for my career goals. Dr. Mary Lou Kelley’s work in examining the risk and protective factors of children’s adjustment and post-disaster resiliency fits perfectly into my intended area of study