When students join the lab, they are welcomed as junior colleagues to a collaborative and cooperative team. Lab members share interests in studying Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders as well as neuropsychology, epidemiology, caregiver issues, and health care economics and related topics. Students are encouraged to share ideas, help each other learn new skills, co-author research presentations and publications, and foster an open, collaborative and supportive working environment. Our research is multidisciplinary and as a result, there are opportunities to work with faculty, external researchers and students from disciplines outside of psychology. Participation in lab meetings and work group meetings is an expectation.
My mentoring style is flexible and generally follows a developmental framework in which I provide more structure and support for new students (i.e., weekly, individual meetings) and transition to one of greater independence for advanced students. I strive to accommodate students’ individual needs and priorities within the constraints of the program requirements and my own constraints. Over time, I expect students to become more independent and to support and mentor junior colleagues in the lab. Students who generally thrive in the lab are those who are self-motivated, flexible, curious by nature, enjoy working with older adults and in a team framework, have some facility for statistics (i.e., longitudinal research designs) and who enjoy learning.