Week 3:
Interview Day

Johnson Fellow in Suicide Research & Prevention

Seattle Pacific University | Seattle, Washington

February 28, 2020

On Monday I had my interview for the clinical PhD program at Seattle Pacific University (SPU). Every interviewee is a little nervous during these days, but I was feeling pretty comfortable since I was familiar with the SPU campus and I had already met my mentor (Dr. Keyne Law) and her grad students. So, my interview with her was actually very casual since we had been talking and getting to know each other during the past few weeks. Clinical PhD interviews usually last the entire day or even go on for multiple days, but this one went from 8-5 with several panels, group meetings with graduate students, and tours of the facilities on campus. I even saw someone I met at another interview at Oklahoma State University who was also applying to Dr. Keyne Law. Once you get more involved within this field, you realize how small it really is since many faculty members collaborate with others across institutions. My interview day went very well and I learned so much more about the program. I think this program would be an ideal place for me but funding is always a factor that needs to be considered before enrolling. I’m excited to see if I will get an offer for this program from my mentor, and I’ll then have to really consider my next steps in deciding if it’s the right time to enroll into this program. Overall, my interview day was pretty fun because I got to talk to a lot of people about the program and learn more about life in Seattle.

Me at the Woodland Park Zoo

After my interview day, it was time to get back to work. My project with Janelle (grad student mentor) is continuing to make progress. We are currently performing heart-rate variability (HRV) analyses (see last week’s post) on participant’s ECG data from Dr. Law’s dissertation. Again, we’re looking at the relationship between emotional regulation and acquired capability of suicide through this objective measurement. Since there are over 100 participant files we need to work with, Janelle and I are trying to first compare a few HRV analyses to make sure we are consistent. If we determine that both of our individual analyses on the same files are showing very similar results, then we’re going to divide and conquer the remaining files in order to move things along. By next week we are hoping to really work on these analyses so we can start writing a report on the project that will be submitted to a research conference.

Golden Gardens Park

Dr. Law reached out to me this week because she wants to do a separate project just with me. So, from the existing datasets we have access to in our lab from past projects, I set out to look at some of the variables and brainstorm a new project with her. I’m interested in the relationship between social anxiety, self-harm, and suicide risk. So, I found several variables in a few different datasets that I could potentially use for this new project. I’ve began to ask some questions about the relationship between these variables just to see the bigger picture. I’m going to meet with Keyne soon to discuss how we could work with these variables and then come up with an analysis plan together.

Woodland Park Zoo

John Bogucki '20

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