Application process for undergraduate students and postbacs interested in joining the lab:
We are very excited to hear you are interested in joining ACCTION Lab!
For Fall 2023, our lab meetings are Mondays from 11-1 in Coffey Hall. To be part of this lab, you must be available at this time. RAs in the lab should expect to complete 4-12 hours in the lab each week, some in-person and some on their own time.
Please email Dr. Z (email@example.com), Terumi Randle (firstname.lastname@example.org), Marcus Flax (email@example.com), Victoria Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) your current resume/CV, unofficial transcript, schedule, and answers to the following questions:
Planned graduation semester year (e.g., Spring 2026)
Tell me what your research/clinical interests are (e.g., are you interested in children, teens, adults; development of ADHD; intervention work; diagnostic assessments; statistics, etc.).
In this lab we serve adolescents and their families who are Black and Latina/e/o in the Chicagoland area. Explain your interest in working with adolescents who hold these systemically oppressed identities.
Describe your understanding of intersectionality of identities.
Tell me about your past experiences (e.g., experiences in mental health field/wellbeing, what classes you have taken and plan to take). How will these experiences help you in the lab?
Tell me about your experience working with people from a different cultural background than yourself.
What are your goals for after college?
Frequently Asked Questions for prospective PhD students interested in joining ACCTION lab:
Are you accepting new graduate students for fall 2024 admission?
Yes! Can't wait to read your applications.
Please note that as a clinical faculty we have determined that we cannot meet with applicants prior to interviews for equity reasons.
What should I do in my application to signal that I want to work with you?
In your personal statement state your interest in working with me (use Dr. Smith, although I appreciate the use of Dr. Z, it confused other people who read the statements!), why you're interested in ACCTION lab, and how your prior skills/experiences/etc. will help you be successful in my lab.
I also HIGHLY value lived experience, whatever that may mean to you and I recommend including information in your personal statement or CV when applying directly to work in the ACCTION Lab. We have a big focus on how intersecting identities inform our own knowledge and experience with research and will be something highlighted in lab meetings, individual meetings, classes, clinical work, and more.
What are you looking for in a graduate student/application?
There are many different types of students who will be successful in ACCTION Lab. My research is assessment and clinically focused, so students interested in later academic, academic medical centers (AMC) clinical, AMC neuropsychological, and research careers will benefit from being in my lab. I aim to recruit students seeking rigorous training in both research and clinical practice as both skill sets inform and improve the other.
Students who show and have a strong commitment to serving systemically oppressed youth and their families. Advocacy and dissemination are very important parts of ACCTION lab, so students with experience and interest in these areas will be a good fit. It will be important for students to actively engage in thinking through and discussing how system-level factors affect mental health, particularly for adolescents from systemically oppressed backgrounds.
People who are reflective of their own cultural background and how that affects their beliefs and work in the lab.
Interest in and experience with community- and school-based work. Experience can look like research, volunteering, clinical work, lived experience, etc.
Prior research, clinical, or assessment experience in clinical or developmental populations.
Focused on serving adolescents and/or children and their families for graduate school and as a career.
A large focus of the lab is working with adolescents with ADHD. Students are not required to have prior experience working with adolescents and families with ADHD but do need to be interested and willing to learn about assessments and interventions for youth with ADHD.
Motivated to learn and grow! People that are curious and engaged with work tend to do well working with me.
What are some research areas I will be able to pursue as a PhD student in ACCTION lab?
Culturally responsive assessments for Black and/or Latine adolescents with ADHD (See Project CRAFT).
Creating culturally responsive interventions for adolescents.
Measurement/psychometric properties of assessment measures.
Cognitive Disengagement Syndrome (formerly known as Sluggish Cognitive Tempo):
Association with impairment (e.g., academic, executive functioning, sleep, neuropsych, anxiety, depression, etc.)
As long as students are interested in working with adolescents in community-based research, we can also discuss additional related areas (e.g., comorbidity of anxiety/depression, neuropsychological correlates, etc.)
What does your mentorship look like?
There are many aspects to mentorship. I am here to help you reach your goals and I take into account your prior experience and knowledge to help you move forward and grow as a graduate student.
I will hold time for 1-hour weekly meetings with graduate students. This will be time to discuss the program, classes, research, clinical work, specific lab-related questions, joys, successes, problem-solving, interests, Chicago, growth areas, and anything else you feel like it would be helpful to discuss related to your goals/values. Students are not required to meet with me each week, but I do suggest when working on thesis/dissertation and grant proposals that we work together closely on the project and have at least bi-weekly check-ins.
Mentorship is extremely important to me. I value feedback, I value growth. When I take a graduate student, I'm invested in their growth and success, whatever that looks like for them.
Am I able to receive mentorship and experience in upper-level statistics?
Absolutely!! I LOVE talking about stats and learning. I am particularly skilled at psychometric work (CFAs, bifactor analyses), SEM, and LSEM and have experience with HLM/MLM and some experience with qualitative coding. In ACCTION lab we have access to MPLUS and SPSS and I am able to teach students how to use both. I am a stats consultant, so I have a lot of experience with these types of models!
Can I talk to prior students who have worked with you?
If you are selected for an interview, you will be able to speak with students who have worked with me. I am a new faculty member (started in 2021), so have two graduate students at the moment, but have also worked with and mentored many graduate students over the years. There are many pros to being one of the first graduate students to work with a faculty member (papers, get to shape projects, energized faculty member) and there are some cons (faculty is still learning about the university/requirements for students-I'm a quick learner though).
Your most recent papers seem to be on spina bifida, is that an area of research you are focused on?
Good eye! These papers are through my post-doctoral year with Dr. Grayson Holmbeck, who is also faculty here at Loyola. He has graciously provided data in areas of interest and I mentor some of his students in statistics. Although people with spina bifida are a group I care about, I am not actively pursuing this for my own research team. We are focused specifically on serving Black and/or Latine adolescents with ADHD and their families and have many projects in-process (CRAFT), about to start (CROSS - a survey study), grad-student run (systematic review of coping skills use by Black youth), in conjunction with RISE UP Lab (ADHD LGBTQIA+ study with adults), and RA-run (college student study). We also have a few grants submitted and in the works to focus more on assessment, intervention, and dissemination of project CRAFT.