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Student Profile: Madison Edge Almond
I’m a second year MA student in the Clinical-Forensic Psychology graduate program and I also earned my undergraduate degree in psychology from SFU in 2019. Between degrees, I worked as a Research Coordinator at the B.C. Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. I hail from Vancouver Island, B.C. When I’m not pursuing my studies, I enjoy reading all sorts of fiction, hiking the beautiful trails around the Greater Vancouver area, traveling, and improving my amateur photography skills.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I knew I wanted to pursue graduate studies in clinical-forensic psychology and SFU’s forensic track has an incredibly strong reputation in North America. I was excited by the prospect of receiving supervision from leading experts in the field, such as my senior supervisor, Kevin Douglas, LL.B, Ph.D. Throughout my undergraduate degree at SFU, I received so many opportunities to be engaged in research, teaching, and student life. I assisted with ongoing research in multiple psychology labs, conducted my own research through a Directed Studies project and an Honours thesis, served as an undergraduate teaching assistant, and worked as a Student Information Assistant at Student Central. I knew I would find the same great opportunities at the graduate level!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH AND/OR PROGRAM.
I conduct research on the accurate prediction of an individual’s risk of violence and the relationship between criminal offending, mental illness, and the legal system. Specifically, my Masters thesis will focus on threat assessment, which is the practice of information gathering and systemic recognition of a threat posed by an identifiable person, group, or organization and the strategies and actions taken to mitigate that threat. I hope to examine the different risk factors and motivations of those who utter threats and those who threaten and go on to commit violence.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I love how there are so many diverse aspects of the Clinical Psychology program. A student may focus on clinical training one day through a clinically-focused class or practicum placement, then work on their program of research the next day, then engage undergraduate students in learning about psychology the day after that. I also enjoy interacting with the excellent faculty and my fantastic clinical cohort!
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR FUNDED AWARDS?
I was fortunate to be awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship at the Master's level to fund my second year of studies. This funding will permit me to focus on important aspects of my degree, like the various research projects I am a part of, and will allow me to save some money to attend and present my research at academic conferences, which are just starting up again post-pandemic. Personally, conferences are one of my favourite parts of being involved in academia - you can't beat an opportunity to simultaneously catch up with colleagues, make new connections, and explore a new city!
DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM FOR THOSE SEARCHING.
The Clinical Psychology graduate program at SFU offers superb training in research, clinical practice, and teaching, especially for those who are seeking a forensic specialization. In addition to the diversity of training mentioned above, the program is unique due to the number of faculty members with different theoretical orientations (e.g., cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic) and the many opportunities for graduate students to get involved in the department and in outside professional organizations.