Psychological Sciences graduate student selected for Minton Award
- WKU News
- Monday, April 26th, 2021
Dr. Jenni Teeters has high praise and high expectations for Shelby King, the 2020-21 recipient of WKU’s John D. Minton Graduate Student Award.
“I am so grateful to have gotten to work with Shelby during her time in our M.S. program and am very excited to see her develop into a clinical psychologist whose research and clinical work will make substantial contributions to the community and the field,” said Dr. Teeters, assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences.
King, who is completing her master’s degree in Psychological Sciences, will be recognized at the evening ceremony of WKU’s Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Commencement on Saturday.
“I feel incredibly honored and thankful for the opportunities I’ve been able to experience through WKU and the Psychological Sciences department,” said King, the daughter of David and Tracy King of Lexington. “I am really grateful to my mentor, Dr. Teeters, for not only nominating me, but for also encouraging me to grow as a student, scientist and individual over the last two years. Likewise, I feel exceedingly lucky for all the support I received throughout my undergraduate and graduate careers at WKU, especially from my undergraduate advisor, Dr. Diane Lickenbrock, and undergraduate research mentor, Dr. Andrew Mienaltowski."
King received her bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences with a minor in Neuroscience in May 2019. This fall she will enter the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at East Tennessee State University.
“I chose to earn my master’s degree in Psychological Sciences from WKU because of its superb reputation in preparing students for Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs,” King said. “Additionally, I was thankful for the chance to continue working with Psychological Sciences faculty.”
As a graduate research assistant and lab manager in the Technology Enhancing Community Health (TECH) Lab, King studied a wide range of substance use topics.
“I have had the amazing opportunity to serve as project manager for an NIH-funded mobile-based text messaging intervention targeting substance-impaired driving,” she said. “This experience solidified my passion for prevention and intervention research. Additionally, being in the TECH lab and working with Dr. Teeters has fostered my interest in integrating research and clinical practice. Unfortunately, too often the findings from research do not reach its targeted population, and one of my goals is to increase this integration and application into real people’s lives.”
King is also studying transdiagnostic risk factors underlying addiction and other risky health behaviors, such as emotion dysregulation. “For my master’s thesis, I conducted a longitudinal study of emotion dysregulation and alcohol use in high schoolers to assess how fluctuations in emotion regulation may impact alcohol use over time. This has been an exciting project and I hope to conduct future research examining other contributors to addiction as I believe this field has tremendous growth potential in its ability to improve society,” King said.
Dr. Teeters said King’s thesis research will make an important contribution to the substance use literature. “She is using a large, longitudinal dataset collected by Dr. Amy Brausch’s lab to examine whether certain emotion regulation deficits contribute to problematic alcohol use among teenagers,” she said. “For example, she has found that high school students who lack awareness of their emotions are more likely to start engaging in problematic drinking. This finding lends important information to leaders in school districts, counselors, and community clinicians as interventions that target emotional awareness among this age group can be implemented.”
In addition to King’s research skills, Dr. Teeters noted that she was first-author or co-author of 14 poster presentations presented at national conferences as well as other published research, a leader and mentor in the TECH Lab, a strong student with a 4.0 GPA in the master’s program and sought clinical experiences in local agencies.
“She is clearly passionate about becoming a clinical psychologist,” Dr. Teeters said. “She possesses strong research and interpersonal skills and I look forward to seeing her continued growth in both areas as a doctoral student over the coming years.”
In addition to the Minton Award, King was selected as this year’s Outstanding Graduate Student in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Outstanding Graduate Student for Ogden College of Science and Engineering. She also was awarded the Undergraduate Service Award in the Department of Psychological Sciences in May 2019 and received a FUSE grant in 2017.
Following completion of her doctoral degree, King hopes to work as a clinical psychologist in integrated primary care working with individuals with substance and behavioral addictions. “I am a strong advocate for early intervention and holistic care, both of which I believe can best be achieved through the integration of mental health and primary care,” she said.
The Minton Award, the Graduate School’s top award, is named for Dr. John D. Minton, who was a history professor and WKU’s first graduate dean and served as vice president for Administrative Affairs and as WKU’s fifth president.
Outstanding Graduate Students
In addition to King, The Graduate School also is recognizing the following Outstanding Graduate Students:
- College of Education and Behavioral Sciences: Ayanna M. Peake of Shelbyville, Doctor of Psychology, Applied Psychology
- College of Health and Human Services: Cathryn Duchette of Fort Knox, Master of Science, Kinesiology
- Gordon Ford College of Business: Dylan David Brown of San Antonio, Texas, Master of Business Administration
- Potter College of Arts and Letters: Georgia Ellie Dassler of Williamsburg, Virginia, Master of Arts, Folk Studies
#WKUGrad series: As part of our #WKUGrad series, articles on graduating students are shared in the weeks leading up to Commencement. See all of their stories at https://www.wku.edu/news/articles/index.php?view=default&categoryid=799&multinewsid=187