Emma Marshall is a student who has worked hard and fully immersed herself in her academic experience at the University of Canterbury. She completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours, and then went on to do PhD research in psychology, which lead her to an amazing American opportunity.
In 2012 Emma received a Fulbright scholarship of $25,000, funding her academic year at the University of Minnesota in 2013. Emma’s PhD research in psychology focuses on the impact of the Christchurch earthquakes on the relationships of couples. I spoke with Emma about her time in Minnesota, the progress of her exciting research, and her plans for the future.
When faced with the decision of which University in America to choose as part of her Fulbright scholarship, Emma wisely based her decision on which university would be most beneficial to her research. The esteemed Dr Jeffry Simpson of the psychology department at the University of Minnesota swayed her decision, with his specialty in interpersonal relationships. On her time at the university, Emma professed “it was fantastic”.
For her PhD research Emma chose to focus on the psychology of couples in relationships in the aftermath of the earthquakes, as “couples capture how people deal with trauma better than individuals”. She noted that couples are also an understudied area in psychology, as they are much more difficult to study than individuals. For more on Emma’s research so far, see this UC media release from July.
Since returning to UC from the University of Minnesota, Emma has coordinated and taught a 400 level psychology course, Intimate Relationships, as well as continued her PhD research. Emma loved taking the course, which she believes also benefitted her PhD work as “teaching sharpens your research”. Emma also intends to continue teaching psychology, as well as undertaking further research beyond the completion of her PhD, which will be around March.
Emma highly recommends studying psychology at the University of Canterbury, particularly to new students in 2015. Her go-to advice for all students in general is to “surround yourself with the best people, and you will emulate them”. Great advice coming from a UC student who has achieved so much!