Angela Nyhout

PhD Psychology

Angela Nyhout“As children become independent readers, and pictures and images become less frequent in the books they read, they must be able to do much of the work on their own to construct characters, their actions, and their environments,” explains Angela Nyhout, PhD student in the Developmental Psychology program, “however, this is a process we know very little about.” She focuses her dissertation research on narratives or stories, specifically children’s ability to represent spaces and settings in stories. Angela entered the Psychology department’s direct-entry PhD program after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario. “This is a research-based program that typically takes the same amount of time to complete as a Master’s plus a PhD.”

When asked why she chose UWaterloo, Angela replies, “The Psychology department at Waterloo is certainly one of the best in the country,” adding that the research interests of the faculty combined with the vibrancy of the school were an important draw. “Since I have joined the Developmental area in the department, we have had two new faculty members join. With several faculty members who are in the early stages of their careers, our division is very driven and engaged.”

Angela has taken advantage of many opportunities offered by UWaterloo during her time here. She has completed the Fundamentals of University Teaching program and will soon have completed the Certificate in University Teaching through the Centre for Teaching Excellence. “Through workshops and programs at the CTE, I feel prepared to go off and teach university courses using interactive, evidence-based teaching methods.” She has also participated in her departmental weekly divisional seminars where she is able to practice presenting and receive critical feedback. “Our faculty really pushes us, which helps to prepare us to start our own careers.”

As for the future, Angela would like to stay in academia. “There are still several research questions I would like to investigate, especially related to the way we comprehend stories and the ways in which the stories we consume influence our lives.” She also describes her love for the teaching side of academia; with her Certificate in University Teaching almost obtained, Angela will be teaching her first complete Psychology course in the fall.

October 2013 Megan Scarborough

University of Waterloo

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