Dr. Lawson is an active, present, and enthusiastic mentor and advocate for students at UTSA. Her commitment to mentoring is motivated by a genuine desire to foster personal and professional development among students in addition to promoting scientifically minded individuals who are armed with the communication and critical thinking skills that are necessary for employment, advanced graduate study, and for fostering the next generation of practitioners, researchers, and faculty members in Psychology. Dr. Lawson has mentored several graduate students and over 50 undergraduate students with interests in many diverse areas including psychology, biology, public health, criminology, medicine, and law. There are several ways for students to get involved to support the mission and vision of the GROWTH Lab at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels.

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Dr. Lawson is open to working with master’s and doctoral students with interests in child development, but special consideration is given to students with more specific interest in children’s autobiographical memory development as it applies to childhood adversity and legal settings. Dr. Lawson reviews applications for graduate students through the master’s and doctoral programs offered within the Department of Psychology at UTSA.

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Dr. Lawson currently offer two exciting ways for UTSA undergraduate students to get involved with the GROWTH Lab: (1) as a research assistant in the GROWTH Lab and (2) as a student in Dr. Lawson’s PSY 4953 “Practicum in Childhood Trauma” course.

Students interested in gaining hands-on research experience are encouraged to apply as a research assistant. Research assistants in the GROWTH Lab are actively involved in collaborating and assisting on real-world research projects that get presented at national and international academic conferences and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Typical responsibilities include data collection (working directly with families and children in our research projects) and data processing, such as coding observations of parent-child interactions and transcribing and coding of child narrative data. Students interested in becoming a research assistant are required to have at least 3 semesters remaining at UTSA that they can work in the lab. Research assistants are selected through an application and interview process. Applications are typically solicited towards the end of the semester for positions in the upcoming semester.

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Students interested in learning more about child development, including how early adversity influences development across the lifespan, but are not sure if they are interested in a research assistant position are encouraged to apply for Dr. Lawson’s Practicum in Childhood Trauma class (PSY 4953). In this class, students will learn about childhood trauma while also gaining hands-on experience mentoring youth in foster care. All students enrolled in this course are required to pass a background check. Students are selected through an application process. Dr. Lawson is offering this class in Fall 2023. Updates of when the class will be offered in the future will be provided here.