Deborah Ward.

Deborah Ward

PhD in Social-Personality Psychology, UB;
Assistant Professor, Higher Education

I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience as a graduate student at UB. Even from my first visit as a prospective student, it was clear that the community was extremely welcoming and supportive. Since graduate school is a stressful time for most, it is so important to be in a warm environment that promotes one's individual growth. My faculty mentors were not only excellent models of scholarship, but consistently provided me with the encouragement and resources I needed to become a successful teacher-scholar. I was also privileged to be part of—and learn from—an amazing group of fellow students. My favorite memories from grad school are of collaborations with my classmates, from generating research ideas in lab meetings to planning campus-wide research symposiums. So, a big highlight of my experience was the people!  

My UB Psychology degree prepared me extraordinarily well for my current position as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at a primarily undergraduate university. This position requires me to balance teaching and research, by providing high-quality educational experiences to undergraduate students in the classroom and in the lab. Through the many teaching and research opportunities UB afforded me, I was able to gain the experience and skills needed to become independent and confident in both of these domains.

During my interview weekend at UB I asked the faculty, "What do you wish you knew about graduate school before you started?" One faculty member told me that she wished she appreciated the type of freedom being a graduate student allowed, expressing that graduate school was the time to learn about yourself and explore your areas of interest. I took those words to heart and tried to experience as much as I could while at UB—not only in terms of research opportunities, but in terms of campus life and the broader Buffalo community as well. This is to say, make the most of your time in graduate school. Don't limit yourself to only being a student—try new things, meet new people, and become invested in your communities!