My name is Erin Wood, and I am a graduate student at Oklahoma State University. I am a third year student in the Experimental Psychology Ph.D Program with options in development and comparative neurobiology studying under Dr. Shelia Kennison. As a developmental psychologist in training, my recent research has focused on the role that parents play in the development of risk-taking of their early childhood-aged and young adult children. Although parents play a large role in the development of risk-taking behaviors, by increasing my exposure to the literature in the field in my graduate training, I have realized that many of our behaviors are influenced by our biology. By taking a biopsychological approach to risk-taking I hope to find better explanations to the relationships between parents and children to promote resiliency and health.
In addition to conducting research to promote resiliency and health, I also have a passion for mentorship. As the laboratory manager for the Cognitive Science Laboratory, I am active in encouraging underrepresented populations to enter into STEM research careers by mentoring females, minorities, non-traditional, and first generation students. As a mentor, I encourage my students to present at research conferences, apply for scholarships and grants, or enter into their own graduate programs. My hope that is that my research will not only benefit science by providing a deeper understanding of the biological underpinnings of human behavior, but I hope that my research will also inspire my undergraduate research assistants to pursue graduate education in STEM fields to further expand the field of psychology.
You can learn more about me here. My published work can be found here.