2015 2015: Kiley Alpaugh: Embracing new experiences

2015 2015: Kiley Alpaugh: Embracing new experiences
Kiley Alpaugh: Embracing new experiences

Kiley Alpaugh won the Margaret Mullaney Panos Honors Essay Contest and was awarded third place in UMassD's "Three-Minute Thesis" competition for her Honors Thesis Project: "The Impact of Therapy Dogs on College Students’ Stress Levels."

‌Endeavor Scholar Kiley Alpaugh '15 joined the Honors Student Council her freshman year as Treasurer. The Watertown resident worked on becoming more involved and is now a Student Director of the council.

A psychology major, Kiley has participated with Compeer since her sophomore year. Compeer connects students with people who have mental illnesses and disorders to promote friendship, acceptance, and learning. Through the Psychology Department, Kiley interned with an after-school therapeutic program.

Kiley won the Margaret Mullaney Panos Honors Essay Contest and was awarded third place in UMass Dartmouth's "Three-Minute Thesis" competition for her Honors Thesis Project: "The Impact of Therapy Dogs on College Students’ Stress Levels."

Lessons in leadership

Through the Honors Program and the Student Council, I've been able to meet new people, attend great events, and even learn valuable leadership skills. It has been an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience. I feel much more independent because of the opportunities that I've been given, and I am able to work on making changes that benefit not only the Honors students, but all members of the UMass Dartmouth community.

I've learned many lessons about leadership, including how to get students engaged, how to be in charge of a group, what resources can be used and how to find them, and most importantly, how to truly work with others even through problems that unexpectedly arise.

Participation in Compeer

I've been able to go to a different Compeer service site each semester. The experiences that I've had with each site have been incredibly inspiring, and each place has taught me something new about both myself, and the people around me. Through Compeer, I've been able to work with different populations of people with mental illnesses, and this is helping me to know which population I want to work with once I graduate. I have a deeper understanding of other people, and I believe I'm more accepting because I have been able to make friends with people of differing ages, backgrounds, and mental statuses.

Internship: after-school therapeutic program

My internship has been at an after-school therapeutic program. It has been a great opportunity for me to experience what it's like to actually work in my field. Having this internship has helped me cement my plans to attend graduate school.

Research: therapy dogs and stress levels

For my Honors Thesis Project, which I’ve been working on for the past year, I’m bringing therapy dog teams to campus to interact with college students. My study, "The Impact of Therapy Dogs on College Students’ Stress Levels," is an incredibly rewarding and motivating experience that is giving me the chance to explore and research a topic I’m interested in and want to pursue further.

The future: graduate study in clinical psychology

I plan on taking a year off to gain experience in my field in either a residential mental health setting or a mental health hospital. I want to learn more about what I'm most interested in pursuing in graduate school, where I plan to work on a degree in clinical psychology.

A great experience: being an Endeavor Scholar

The greatest opportunity that I've had while here at UMass Dartmouth is being an Endeavor Scholar. I am in the second cohort of students, and the longer I am in this program, the more I've come to realize what an amazing opportunity it is. Because of the scholarship, I've needed to get involved on- and off-campus in ways that, if not for Endeavor, I would not have. By getting involved, I've met new people, found friends, and tried many things that I wouldn't have otherwise done.

Through Endeavor, I became aware of the many opportunities that UMass Dartmouth has, and I've been lucky enough to take advantage of them.

Advice for incoming students

Make sure to get involved on campus! There are so many amazing things to do, places to go, and friends to meet as soon as you are willing to join a group, try something new, or put yourself out there. It can be scary at times, but if you go out and find your passion, you will find that there are others here who enjoy the same things.

Take advantage of all that UMass Dartmouth has to offer, because the four years you spend here are going to fly by.

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