Student Profile in Wellness Intervention

Marielle Collins

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program

Mentor: Tracy Greer, Ph.D., M.S.C.S.
Undergraduate Degree: English Literature
Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

Awards/Fellowships: 2020 Outstanding Intern Award, UT Southwestern Medical Center, given to a psychology intern at the end of their clinical internship year; 2011 – 2013 University Honors, The University of Texas at Austin

Marielle Collins

How did you become interested in science and/or research specifically?

As the daughter of a pediatric neurosurgeon and a Navy chaplain, the connection between mental and physical health and wellbeing has always been important to me, and inspired my passion for health psychology. My interest in health psychology research grew out of my previous experience as a personal trainer and a recognition that mental health factors play a significant role in physical health. Research allows us to demonstrate how biological, social and psychological factors influence health and illness, and learn more about promoting health by applying this knowledge.

Tell us about your research project and its relevance to human health.

My dissertation project focuses on integrating a brief video-based mindfulness intervention into an Ob/Gyn clinic. The study tests a brief video-based mindful movement video that is played for patients on an iPad prior to their scheduled pelvic exam with the aim of reducing anxiety and pain. By designing a brief intervention that can be easily incorporated into the work flow of a clinic, it allows mindfulness to be utilized by patients when they need it the most and potentially reduce exam avoidance that is linked with discomfort or anxiety. This has relevance as it advances efforts to integrate psychological interventions into the medical setting, and speaks to the importance of recognizing the connection between mental and physical health.

Have you received any awards or fellowships during your scientific career, including high school, undergraduate and graduate school? Please specify the stage of career and the type of recognition. 2020 "Outstanding Intern Award", UT Southwestern Medical Center (award given to a psychology intern at the end of their clinical internship year) 2011 - 2013 University Honors, The University of Texas at Austin

Why did you choose to come to UT Southwestern for graduate school?

I chose UTSW for graduate school because of my passion for health psychology and desire to learn at one of the world's top academic medical centers. Since the UTSW Clinical Psychology program is embedded within an academic medical center, there are endless clinical and research opportunities available and a real excellence in training future health service psychologists. Students are able to collaborate with other medical professionals and engage in interdisciplinary research and clinical work through this unique setting.

In your opinion, what makes your specific program one of the top in the country?

The UTSW Clinical Psychology program is embedded within one of the world's top academic medical centers, and with that comes a high level of education and training in health service psychology. The clinical opportunities to work with medically acute and diverse populations are endless and the ability to do interdisciplinary research with other medical professionals gives our program a unique advantage.

What do you love about your program or why should a prospective student decide to get their Ph.D. here?

I chose UTSW for graduate school because of my passion for health psychology and desire to learn at one of the world's top academic medical centers. Since the UTSW Clinical Psychology program is embedded within an academic medical center, there are endless clinical and research opportunities available for students that made this program stand out. I also appreciate the collaborative spirit and supportive environment that I found at UTSW, alongside a passion for excellence and true desire to change the world through science and health psychology.

– Marielle Collins, Clinical Psychology Graduate Program