Natalie Fischer, a first-year student in the Clinical-Counseling program of the Department of Psychology, is the recipient of a Merit Fellowship. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, she completed her undergraduate degree at Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in psychology and behavioral neuroscience.
Fischer was initially considering a nursing degree but switched to psychology after taking a developmental psychology class where she learned about childhood trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s).
“What interested me was how many common and lethal medical complications in adulthood (such as hypertension, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.) could be traced back to early trauma. I was blown away at how I had never heard of the topic in medical literature, and here I am,” said Fischer.
Fischer spent two years of her undergraduate degree in a project that connected parent ACE’s to outcomes of their children. She ended up enjoying the legal literature and now incorporates much of this into her current ACE research.
After completing her degree, Fischer would love to work at a college counseling center. “Young adults and teenagers are the population I enjoy most,” remarked Fischer.
Other options she is considering is to apply to a Ph.D program for counseling psychology or work towards her two years of supervision to get fully licensed with her master’s degree. Fischer is interested in possibly working in the court system doing clinical evaluations of defendants.
Merit Fellowships are awarded to a select number of students based on their high academic achievement. To be considered for this award, applicants must excel in their course work prior to attending graduate school, having obtained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, among other qualifications.