Senior Myla Johnson Honored with Research Award

Senior Myla Johnson Honored with Research Award

Trinity senior Myla Johnson was recognized for her exceptional research and writing skills when her research project proposal was awarded an Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience (APPLE) Program Award by the American Psychology-Law Society’s (AP-LS) Broadening Representation, Inclusion, Diversity, and Global Equity (BRIDGE) Committee. She has been awarded $3,000 to continue her work on her research paper.

Myla Johnson’s research study is titled “Predicting Emotional and Behavior Functioning of African American Boys: The Impact of Absentee Father’s in the Home.” She began her project in fall 2022 and continues to work on it this spring in her psychology course, “Undergraduate Research,” under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Bishop. She will be presenting her results at the 2024 AP-LS conference and has also been invited to attend the 2023 in-person conference luncheon.
Myla Johnson is a senior majoring in psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology, specializing in forensic psychology. She transferred to Trinity from Northern Virginia Community College, where she earned an associate of arts degree in psychology.

She enjoyed her first psychology course at Trinity, “Juvenile Forensic Psychology.” She says that in that class, Dr. Bishop recognized her academic strength in psychology and research. She took additional psychology classes which she enjoyed and cemented her love of the field: “Careers in Psychology,” and “African-centered Psychology.”
Bishop talked to Johnson after one of her classes about working on a research project. “I knew I wanted to focus on African American male juveniles because they are over-represented in the juvenile justice system,” she said. For her research proposal, she conducted a literature review and examined data collected by Bishop.

Johnson said that having her academic strengths recognized by a Trinity professor surprised and pleased her. “I can’t remember a time that a teacher or professor reached out to me, and it really boosted my confidence and my commitment to continue my studies in psychology.

Johnson said that at Trinity, she has forged many positive relationships with faculty. “Trinity professors make time for you, and they make it clear that they genuinely want you to succeed academically.” She also values connecting with other students at Trinity, with whom she studies, noting that together, “we create a strong support system for each other. That makes my Trinity experience very special.”

Johnson plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology, with a specialization in forensics. She’s interested in the intersection of psychology and the legal system. She wants to pursue two roles in her career, providing therapy and playing a key role in the legal system.
Before starting her doctoral studies, Johnson plans to take a gap year to gain professional experience, starting with an internship in the maternal and child health program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

Reflecting on her years at Trinity, Johnson said that “Trinity has given me a strong foundation for my studies and has helped me sharpen my writing skills. Psychology major are required to do a practicum, which I completed at the D.C. Superior Court Child Guidance Clinic and where I learned so much.”

“Honestly, the professors at Trinity are amazing,” said Johnson. “They are always willing to help. If you have any issues, they make it comfortable for you to come forward and talk to them. They are always available to students.”

The purpose of the APPLE program is to increase diversity within psychology and law by increasing the pipeline of competitive graduate school applicants from groups that currently are underrepresented in the field, including racial and ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, LGBT individuals, and disabled students. AP is designed to encourage faculty members to recruit students from underrepresented groups into their research labs. It provides financial support for the students to obtain meaningful research experience and attend the AP-LS conference as well as other opportunities for mentoring and development. It is the intention of the BRIDGE Committee that many of the students in the AP program will apply for graduate training related to psychology and law and ultimately become professionals in the field. The AP program primarily targets undergraduate students.

Trinity Media Relations Contact: Ann Pauley, 

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