Week 1:
Getting Started in Seattle

Johnson Fellow in Suicide Research & Prevention

Seattle Pacific University | Seattle, Washington

February 14, 2020

After coming to Cornell College and taking courses in psychology, I learned about the different mental health disorders that many people face. I saw how difficult and debilitating these issues can be which made me want to help address them. I decided that pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology would allow me to achieve my goals of helping others through research on different mental disorders and by providing clinical services in practice. One particular interest of mine is the topic of suicide. During my time at Cornell I learned about the prevalence and nature of suicide which inspired me to want to make a positive impact in other people’s lives. So, I decided to apply to clinical PhD graduate programs in the fall of 2019, and this is where I found my internship site at Seattle Pacific University (SPU).

Dr. Keyne Law is a new faculty member there and she is doing some amazing research on suicide. I was attracted to her research interests and decided to pursue this fellowship with her lab in order to gain more experience and prepare myself for graduate school.

Taking a walk around Green Lake in the morning

I arrived in Seattle late on Saturday, February 8th. I had never been to Seattle before so I was very excited to see the city and absorb as much as possible during my first few days. During my time here I’ll live in a quiet neighborhood close to Green Lake, which is a great place for outdoor recreation. I’ve walked around the lake a few times already which is very relaxing and a unique contrast from the busier parts of Seattle. So far, I think Seattle is a really beautiful city with endless things to do! Before I actually started my internship, I was able to explore around Seattle and see some amazing places. I went to Gas Works Park and Pike Place Market which are two very popular places in Seattle.

Gas Works Park

I met with Dr. Law and her graduate students early in the week, and I got to see SPU’s campus. It’s relatively small but it’s in a great location within the surrounding area. I will be working closely with graduate students in Dr. Law’s lab. My main role as a research assistant will be to create several new projects that will eventually turn into poster presentations at conferences in the future. I’m very excited to have such a strong role in the lab by working on my own projects with the help of my lab team. I am incredibly fortunate as I will have my own office to work in since a faculty member is currently on sabbatical. Right now, we’re just brainstorming ideas for upcoming research projects and I’m getting all caught up on the current directions of the lab. This week has gone by really fast and I’ve settled in quite nicely already. I’m looking forward to seeing what direction our research projects will go towards and I’m excited to connect with everyone at SPU. I also have an interview for the clinical PhD program coming up soon, so I’m keeping an open mind about what this program has to offer and I’m considering if it would be a good fit for me.

Me working at my mentor’s apartment during my first day

John Bogucki '20

John is a psychology major and philosophy minor from Fridley, Minnesota.