Taylor Smith is a second year graduate student in the Experimental program on her way to earning a Master’s of Science in Psychology.
As a Missouri State alumna, she knew there was no where she would rather attend for graduate school. Her Master’s
education as a Bear also provides the opportunity to continue researching in Dr. Adena Young-Jones’ educational psychology research lab; Taylor just began her fourth year with the group.
With Dr. Young-Jones’ mentorship, Taylor has found her passion in teaching with a focus on diversity within and outside of the classroom. As an instructor and graduate assistant for the Introductory Psychology courses, she spends the majority of her time helping students to succeed in the realm of academia. Keen to pursue valuable opportunities, Taylor was the graduate representative for Southwestern Teachers of Psychology (SWToP) and a level 1 partner for the Bears for a Just Community Living Learning Community on campus. Additionally, she coordinates with local middle schools to host and facilitate a workshop for students which encourages critical thinking about diversity while incorporating fun activities.
These and other achievements have not gone unnoticed by peers, faculty, and regional representatives. Taylor is the 2017 Missouri State University’s Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award recipient. “There are so many amazing TAs on campus; I could hardly believe I’d won! Teaching undergraduates has been a priceless experience that solidified my ambition to become a professor of psychology.” Additionally, she is the first MSU student to be awarded the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Award for her innovative philosophy. “It’s important to vary teaching methods within the classroom to keep students’ attention and return focus to content mastery and improvement instead of grades.” Ultimately, she desires to pursue a doctorate within the field of Social Psychology.
See more information on the MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award webpage.