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Scott Squires

Clinical (MSc 2)
Dr. K. Harkness

When I was in undergrad, I went through plenty of undue stress that I believe could have been alleviated had I been directed towards a senior student mentor. Now, I have the opportunity as a graduate student at Queen’s to offer my experience as a mentor to those new to post-secondary education and the academic environment. It is exciting to have this opportunity and I am very excited to chat with you!

Here is some info about me: I am currently in my second year of my M.Sc. in the Clinical Psychology program here at Queen’s. I am supervised by Dr. Kate Harkness and I do my work out of the Mood Research Lab. My Master’s research aims to identify biopsychologically defined subtypes of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) by examining the relationship between resting state brain activity, captured via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and MDD symptom profiles (e.g. depressed mood, lack of interest, concentration and sleep difficulties, etc.). I then aim to investigate whether each of the MDD subtypes are associated with a history of severe childhood maltreatment (i.e. abuse and neglect) overall, as well as sexual, physical, or emotional abuse in particular. If there is a link between childhood maltreatment and MDD subtype, then we would have strong evidence for early life stress as a psychosocial contributor to particular forms of MDD, which could guide the development of future treatment plans. The data used for my Master’s work comes from the Stress and Reward in Anhedonia (SARA) study being conducted by the Mood Research Lab in collaboration with Drs. Roumen Milev and Jordan Poppenk at Queen’s as well as with the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND).

I graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2014 with a B.Sc. consisting of an Honours Specialization in Psychology with a Major in Medical Science. I did my Honours Thesis at the Action and Perception Lab, where I investigated the use of binocular depth cues during visual-motor priming paradigms by implementing 2D priming stimuli that visually matched the real objects being grasped.

I worked part-time as a Research Assistant in the Action and Perception Lab for two years after I graduated. During that time, I also worked part-time as a Research Assistant for the Mental Health Research Group at London Health Sciences Centre and volunteered with Western’s Mood Research Lab. Through these experiences, I learned about various research techniques and equipment, how the academic culture conducts itself, and also how to thrive under various supervisory styles.

In addition to my research work, I am also a Teaching Assistant for PSYC 202 and PSYC 100 Online, and I also have practicum placements as a Clinical Psychology student. I will soon be finishing my placement at the Queen’s Psychology Clinic with Dr. Tess Clifford and will be moving on to my next placement at the Regional Academic Resource Centre with Dr. Melanie Edwards.

I look forward to questions regarding graduate school at Queen’s, the Clinical Psychology program and its associated practica, the application process, scholarships and anything else you think would be useful to know as an undergraduate student. I can also offer some insight into the various studying strategies I used to get through undergrad, how I gathered enriching experiences that can be applied to future graduate studies and occupations, and also how to become content when plans don’t work out the way they were intended. There is no doubt that undergraduate education is tough, and I sincerely hope that I can be helpful in being some form of guide during your studies.

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We will be back in the Fall. Have a great summer!