The Psychology Star

Informative Newsletter for Psychology Students & Alumni

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Department Spotlight

The Psychology Department is proud to introduce our newest faculty member, Dr Timothy Scott Thornberry Jr. Doctor Thornberry is from Lawrenceburg Ky. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University, and pursued his Masters in clinical psychology and Ph.D. at Auburn University. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 and performed his Post-doc, in *insert university*Oklahoma City. He is

a clinical psychologist with focus in parent child interactions, primary care based psychology, and public mental health.

Dr Thornberry will be performing research in Parent-Child interactions while at MSU when asked what that entails he said, “the coding I’m doing is really based on verbal interactions with parents and children. Is the parent using a lot of praise? Are they enthusiastic to be involved with the child? While also looking at the child’s behavior, are they giving the parent a lot of commands, or are they asking a lot of questions. Are we seeing what we call negative talk between parent and child?” He says that this is used to understand treatment goals and progress while helping both children and parents facilitate better and more positive communication.

Dr Thornberry did have a few things to say while talking to him about psychology in general. He said, “a lot of people look at the sciences and just think that’s hard, but the cool thing about psychology is we study people...and because of this those trained as psychologists will always have a place and more to understand.” When asked what advice he would give to the undergrads here in the department he said, “my advisor would always tell me, follow you heart, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” and “when in doubt ask the faculty, and your advisors, were here to help you and would love to answer questions”

Dr Thornberry will be teaching a Psychology 399 Workshop class in Pediatric Psychology next semester.

Graduate Schools in Psychology

This month we will be highlighting Morehead State University’s Department of Psychology Masters programs in Psychology. The Department of Psychology offers two different Psychology masters programs. The first program is in Clinical Psychology. The Clinical Psychology program is a 60 hour program that consists of 18 hours of psychology core classes, 27 hours of clinical core classes, 12 hours of supervised practical experience, 3 hours of electives, and final oral examination. This program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology Association Council (MPAC).

The second program is Experimental Psychology and has two routes that students can take. The first route is an experimental route that requires 12 hours of core classes, a thesis, and 21 elective hours. The second route is a general psychology route that requires 9 core hours, 18 hours of area requirements, 6 hours of electives, and research project.

Both programs prefer a GRE score of 151 or higher for verbal reasoning and 148 for quantitative reasoning, an application, 3 letters of recommendation, and a purpose statement. The Clinical Psychology prefers a 3.5 or higher GPA but a minimum of 3.0 and an interview, while the Experimental Program prefers a 3.0 or higher. For admission requirements and general program information, please visit and click on the graduate program you are most interested in learning about.

Professional Organization Memberships

Did you know that as a student, you can get discounted memberships that come with many perks such as access to job databases and publication opportunities? This month we are highlighting two professional organizations for you.

Kentucky Psychology Association (KPA): As an undergraduate you can join KPA as an affiliate member for free. Although you will be a non-voting member, you still receive access with ways to connect to other members and see what’s going on in statewide in the different fields of Psychology. For more information on how to join and additional benefits visit

Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS): The fee to join KAS as an undergraduate student is $15. Membership in KAS offers benefits such as discounts, job postings, research grants, and free online access to publishing opportunities in the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science. For more information on how to join and additional benefits visit

Psi Lambda

If you're a psychology major and you haven't heard of Psy Lambda yet, start listening. Psy Lambda is an academic fraternity for anyone interested in psychology whether you're a psychology major, area of concentration, minor, or if you just really liked your Intro to Psych class. The only requirement to join is to be a Morehead student in good standing with the university, there aren't any dues unless you want to buy one of the Psy Lambda t-shirts that run at a low price of $15. Psy Lambda hosts many activities including movie nights - in Reed and at Morehead Cinemas - karoke night, game night, hiking, and bringing in speakers to talk about their experience in the psychology work force. If you're interested in learning more about Psy Lambda contact Dr. Lynn Haller at

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I

Psych Specialty: Forensics

Forensic psychology is the intersection between psychology and the justice system. It involves understanding fundamental legal principles, particularly with regard to expert witness testimony and the specific content area of concern, as well as relevant jurisdictional considerations in order to be able to interact appropriately with judges, attorneys and other legal professionals. An important aspect of forensic psychology is the ability to testify in court as an expert witness, reformulating psychological findings into the legal language of the courtroom, providing information to legal personnel in a way that can be understood. Further, in order to be a credible witness the forensic psychologist must understand the philosophy, rules, and standards of the judicial system. Primary is an understanding of the adversarial system. There are also rules about hearsay evidence and most importantly, the exclusionary rule. Lack of a firm grasp of these procedures will result in the forensic psychologist losing credibility in the courtroom.

A forensic psychologist can be trained in clinical, social, organizational or any other branch of psychology.

Generally, a forensic psychologist is designated as an expert in a specific field of study. The number of areas of expertise in which a forensic psychologist qualifies as an expert increases with experience and reputation. Forensic neuropsychologists are generally asked to appear as expert witnesses in court to discuss cases that involve issues with the brain or brain damage. They may also deal with issues of whether a person is legally competent to stand trial.

What's the difference between a psychologist and a magician? A magician pulls rabbits out of hats, whereas a psychologist pulls habits out of rats.

About Us

This newsletter is operated by psychology majors:

Shelbi Hall

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