By: D’Joumbarey A. Moreau
Barry University’s Department of Psychology graduates leave the university ready to contribute to society and to earn a living. Aaron Williams is one of these students. A 2014 graduate with a B.S. in psychology with a specialization in industrial/organizational psychology, Williams developed his knowledge and skills while engaging in research that was recently published in the undergraduate research journal Modern Psychological Studies.
Williams’s research project, “Personality as a Moderator of the Relationship between Stress and Academic Deviance,” considered some of the factors that may predict academic dishonesty in college students. The study’s primary goal was to examine the moderating role of self-control in the relationship between stress and cheating. Though he didn’t find the specific relationship he initially hypothesized, Williams’s research was impressive, and he presented his findings at the annual meeting of the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in 2013.
The accomplishment is special because most undergraduate students do not have the opportunity to take part in independent research. Those who do participate in such research rarely bring it to such a high level of professional acknowledgment.
“Research at Barry was comprehensive, holistic, and unyielding,” said Williams. “It was a demanding beast who would not accept lackluster attempts to slay it.”
Williams’s transition from a student with minimal knowledge of industrial/organizational psychology to an accomplished researcher did not happen by chance. He was steadily guided by one of his professors, Dr. Guillermo Wated, an industrial/organizational psychologist who directs the specialization. Under Dr. Wated’s mentorship, Williams achieved his goal of becoming a researcher.
“He taught me not only how to research, but its value in making evidence-lead decisions and its importance for furthering my particular career. I never saw myself doing research of that magnitude, but once he showed me the importance, I found that anything less would be unacceptable” said Williams.
Upon returning to his home in Trinidad and Tobago, Williams’s expertise in industrial/organizational psychology made him stand out. Within a week of graduating he was hired as a research analyst in the Court Research and Statistical Unit of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago. Williams now uses his specialization in industrial/organizational psychology in a variety of ways. He is involved in five major research projects in the organization. His activities include database design, travelling to different court sites to administer surveys to employees and customers, analyzing the data, and using the data to identify and solve organizational problems.
Yet Despite his achievements to date, this Barry graduate is only getting started. His ultimate goals include an advanced degree that will enable him to one day open his own business.
“A master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology is the more immediate goal, while a PhD would follow,” Said Williams. “Ultimately, I want to open a consulting firm where I can utilize my research background to solve organizational problems.”
The future is bright for Williams and thanks to Barry University, he can achieve his dreams.
For more information about undergraduate psychology degrees, visit: http://www.barry.edu/psychology/psychology-bs/.