Dr. Allison Buskirk-Cohen is the incoming Chair of the Department of Psychology and an associate professor at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA. She earned her doctorate in human development with a specialization in developmental sciences from the University of Maryland. At Delaware Valley University, Dr. Buskirk-Cohen serves on various committees and is involved in student organizations. Her work has been published in industry journals and textbooks and introduced at academic conferences worldwide.
What continuing education is required for your role?
“Most faculty positions require a doctoral degree either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. (doctorate of psychology). It is possible, in some instances, to begin working at a college or university with a master’s degree, but a doctoral degree is often required to advance. Once in a faculty position, the learning never stops! Professors participate in conferences and read research journals to learn more about what they teach (discipline-specific) and how to teach it (pedagogy).”
Can you describe your duties as a psychologist?
“As a professor of psychology, there is no typical day which is what I love! College faculty are expected to teach, engage in scholarship and provide service to the community. I teach different classes and have a new group of students, so I’m constantly learning about the newest research on a topic, and thinking about the best way to present it to my students. Developing research projects allows me to be creative and analytic; plus, I love collaborating with colleagues and with students. Service can be accomplished in a variety of ways- on campus or on a national/international level through committees and other types of work.”
How has education prepared you for your career in psychology and social sciences?
“There are so many options available to someone who chooses a career in psychology and the social sciences! It’s important to find your fit so that you’re doing what you love. Learning how to prioritize and how to self-direct also are incredibly important. There are so many things to do in a day; you need to determine what truly needs to be done and make sure it actually gets done.”
What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in psychology?
“As you’re preparing to pursue a career, identify mentors and get real-world experience. I found multiple mentors and sought their advice (and continue to do so!). My mentors are people that I have something in common with, so they are easy to relate to, but I’m also inspired by them. Work alongside your mentors so you can learn as much as possible about the day-to-day aspects of the field.”
Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at http://firstsendmedia.com/