Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology
- Bruce Hall, Suite 201
- tel: 610-499-1206
- fax: 610-499-4625
- Graduate Admission Support Specialist
- Kapelski Learning Center Room 120
- tel: 610-499-4188
Alumni Spotlight: Erika M. Dawkins '14
BS, Psychology, Howard University
Baton Rouge, LA
STS Clinical Team Lead Supervisor
Northeast Treatment Centers
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to pursue graduate degrees in clinical psychology and human sexuality?
Psychology has been an interest of mine since high school, after taking an honors psychology class. That introductory class opened my mind to the many different nuanced areas of psychological study, including the intersection of other disciplines like human sexuality. After college, I became interested in working with people, more specifically couples, around developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Interpersonal relationships impact our lives more than we often realize or even are willing to admit. Widener's dual degree graduate program in clinical psychology and human sexuality drew me to the university, and provided such a rich, unique and unparalleled training experience.
who was your favorite professor at widener? why?
While it is so very hard to chose one, my favorite professor at Widener had to be Dr. Maurice Prout. Dr. Prout set the bar as far as what carving out your niche and being successful in your practice could look like from day one. Outside of his command of the classroom and clinical knowledge, his warmth and genuine kindness for others and desire to see his future colleagues succeed made tackling any challenges encountered over the course of the program that much more bearable. The way he responded when I was met with several of those personal challenges during my 3rd and 4th years of the program is something that touched me to my core, and I will never forget. I am so very thankful to call him a mentor, and now, a colleague.
My Professional Experience
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your graduate program?
Don't feel like you have to have it all figured out to apply, or start this program, or pursue a career in psychology. Just have the desire to make a difference, and you can figure everything else out along the way. Don't let the cost deter you, and apply for every scholarship available, big and small (especially the APA Minority Fellowship). Engage in self-care often! Take time to recharge so that you can continue to do great work. Don't stress yourself trying to be perfect but seek to really understand and absorb the material. Definitely make friends!
what do you like most about your current position?
I like the opportunity that I have been given to do something I have never done before. I am in the unique position of being a young professional in the field, supervising folks who are years ahead of me, not only in experience, but also age. My current position has helped to develop not only my confidence in management of others but also my style as a supervisor. I feel that I have been able to earn the respect of my colleagues and those I supervise because I continue to respect what each and every person does at every level.