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Student successes in graduate school: Kimberly Dreison

Kimberly Dreison | Ph.D. Student, Psychology | Department of Psychology IUPUI’s connection to multiple medical centers, such as Eskenazi Health, Riley Hospital for Children, and the Roudebush VA Medical Center, offers a range of diverse research and clinical training opportunities that I did not find at any other graduate schools.

What degree are you working toward?

Presently, I am working toward a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

There were several factors that contributed to my decision to attend graduate school at IUPUI. Firstly, the atmosphere in the clinical psychology department is extremely positive. The faculty are student-centered and the graduate students are cooperative rather than competitive. Secondly, I have the opportunity to work with a wonderful faculty mentor, Dr. Michelle Salyers. I was initially excited to work with Dr. Salyers because our research interests closely align. Now, having worked with Dr. Salyers since 2014, I am very appreciative of the support and encouragement that she provides, both in terms of professional and personal growth. Lastly, IUPUI’s connection to multiple medical centers, such as Eskenazi Health, Riley Hospital for Children, and the Roudebush VA Medical Center, offers a range of diverse research and clinical training opportunities that I did not find at any other graduate schools.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

My favorite academic accomplishment was being admitted to doctoral candidacy. Reaching this major milestone was extremely exciting, and the independent research project that I successfully defended in order to qualify for candidacy opened up many opportunities. For example, I presented my research on a panel at a conference in Atlanta, GA. Several prominent researchers attended the panel discussion, which was exhilarating (and a bit anxiety-provoking)! Additionally, the results of my independent research project are currently under review in a peer-reviewed journal.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

Having grown up in Los Angeles, CA, I particularly appreciate Indianapolis’ low cost of living and ease of getting around the city (in terms of both light traffic and abundant parking). I also enjoy the unique outdoor resources that this city has to offer, such as the Monon Trail and Canal Walk.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

My research centers on understanding factors that contribute to burnout in mental health providers. Burnout in the mental health field is a significant problem, affecting as many as 21% to 67% of providers. This is particularly troubling because burnout is associated with a number of negative outcomes for mental health providers and the people they serve. For my dissertation, I will be examining the effectiveness of BREATHE—a burnout reduction intervention co-created by my faculty mentor, Dr. Michelle Salyers.