October 2011 - Student of the Month - Amber Martinson
Amber Martinson, a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology is the Graduate School's October Student of the Month.
Graduate School: Where are you from originally?
Martinson: I was born in San Diego, California, but my family and I moved to Maine when I was one and have lived here ever since. I always have to mention this caveat since “true Mainers” make it quite clear that you have to be born in Maine to be considered a Mainer. I lived in Old Orchard Beach prior to my coming to the University of Maine.
Graduate School: What undergraduate institution(s) did you previously attend?
Martinson: I attended the University of Maine and graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008.
Graduate School: Why did you choose to attend UMaine?
Martinson: I decided to come to UMaine as an undergraduate after I had visited and toured other state universities nearby (e.g., UNH, UMass) and realized that the education offered at UMaine was just as good, if not better, than similar institutions for a fraction of the cost. I believe that I got a wonderful undergraduate education that fully prepared me for graduate school. My experiences at UMaine were so positive that I decided to stay at UMaine to pursue my doctorate in clinical psychology despite being offered positions at other competitive universities.
Graduate School: What degree program are you pursuing?
Martinson: I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (adult clinical track) under the advising of Dr. Sandra Sigmon. My research interests include trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and how such factors relate to biological correlates of health.
Graduate School: What are your plans after graduation?
Martinson: Following my training at the University of Maine, I hope to attend an APA accredited clinical psychology internship program for one year, followed by a year (possibly two) of post-doc to obtain specialized experience in health psychology/behavioral medicine. My long-term goals are to continue conducting research on stress and health and teach in an academic setting and/or secure a position in a behavioral medicine setting.
Graduate School: What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?
Martinson: The dissertation process can be a daunting one and so I would have to say that designing and completing my dissertation proposal are perhaps my most important accomplishments thus far. I hope to continue to collect data for my dissertation over the 2011-2012 academic year and complete my dissertation soon after.
Graduate School: What is the highlight of your academic experience so far?
Martinson: The first time I ever presented my research at a national conference was a memorable experience—I was a first-year graduate student and attended the annual conference for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Orlando, Florida. I’ve been able to present my research in similar venues in subsequent years, which have all yielded great experiences and memories.
Graduate School: What is your favorite place on campus?
Martinson: Since this will be my 8th full year at UMaine, I have acquired many “favorite places” on campus. I really like sitting outside on the benches/grass on the mall (weather permitting). The second and third floors of the library also come to mind. Of course, any place that offers food is always an easy favorite (e.g., Wells Commons).
Graduate School: What awards or other significant recognition (both on or off-campus) have you received since beginning your degree program?
Martinson: I have been the recipient of the Provost Fellowship Award; the Student Researcher Award, Women’s Issues in Behavior Therapy Special Interest Group, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies; the Presidential Teaching Fellowship Award; and have received two letters of commendation for overall performance in the Doctoral Training Program at the University of Maine.
Graduate School: What other important information about yourself would you like us to know?
Martinson: I really enjoy writing, music, softball, painting, and participating in local community and church activities. My husband, Tim, also attended UMaine as an undergraduate and is currently pursuing his second Master’s Degree in the Kinesiology and Physical Education program at UMaine.
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