College:College of Sciences
Degree Programs:Clinical Psychology MA
Clinical Psychology PhD
Research Focus:Gut-brain axis and its implications on psychological distress and disability
Emily Ross began her academic journey at UCF by earning her bachelor’s in Psychology and has been an advocate of the university since the start. “I am a big fan of UCF and believe it has an excellent reputation for academic excellence, research, and collaborative efforts,” she says. Although Ross received a degree in Psychology, her academic career did not begin there. Planning to become an optometrist, she switched from health sciences to Psychology after a clinical internship at an optometrist’s office expanded her perspective of the field. “I found that what I enjoyed most was conversing with the patients and learning about them. I started taking psychology course work and found I was extremely interested in the topics, particularly in abnormal and clinical psychology. I changed my major to Psychology, and the rest is history,” she says.
Ross earned a master's in Clinical Psychology and is currently in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She was attracted to the program at UCF because of the scientist-practitioner model. This model trains students to generate and integrate scientific knowledge to further the field. “I was confident I could receive excellent clinical training to become a clinical psychologist, as well as gain research experience in Health Psychology.”
Her research is focused on patient-reported outcomes to investigate the role of health perceptions and psychosocial risk factors for chronic illnesses. Specifically, her dissertation project titled, Reciprocal Effect of Gastrointestinal Health on Psychological Distress and Disability awarded Ross a spot as a finalist in the UCF 3MT Competition. Here, doctoral students communicate their research in just three minutes to non-expert judges to win scholarship awards. Along with this, Ross has also received funding from UCF Graduate Studies to publish her manuscript Gastrointestinal health: An investigation of mediating effects on mood and quality of life in the Health Psychology Open journal.
Ross is also a founding member of the Clinical Psychology Graduate Mentorship Program. A program dedicated to increasing the equity of getting accepted and completing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and diversifying the field through the mentorship of underrepresented undergraduate students.
After graduation, Ross plans on pursuing a career in an academic medical center as a clinical health psychologist where she can conduct research and work clinically with individuals with physical and psychological diagnoses.
- 2020 UCF 3MT Finalist
- Founding member of the Clinical Psychology Graduate Mentorship Program
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