Amber Giffin

Applied Educational Psychology

Amber is currently seeking her MS in educational psychology with the Applied Educational Psychology program. Originally from Knoxville, TN, she graduated with her AA in English at Harper College in 2011 and a BA in indigenous studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 2013. She joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and EPC in 2017. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Accomplishments

Presentations

  • June 2017, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference, Institutional Accountability: The Academy’s Role in Preventing Campus Sexual Assault
  • October 2017, AAACE, Institutional Accountability: The Institution’s Role in Preventing sexual Assault on University Campuses
  • June 2018, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference, Campus Sexual Assault: It’s Everyone’s Problem
  • June 2018, AERC, Theorizing Best Practices for Preventing Sexual Assaults in Higher Education: Adult Educators’ Perspectives
  • November 2018, AAACE, There’s an App for That: Using Technology to Combat Campus Sexual Assault

Publications

  • June 2017, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference Proceedings, Institutional Accountability: The Academy’s Role in Preventing Campus Sexual Assault
  • June 2018, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference Proceedings, Campus Sexual Assault: It’s Everyone’s Problem
  • June 2018, AERC Conference Proceedings, Theorizing Best Practices for Preventing Sexual Assaults in Higher Education: Adult Educators’ Perspectives, http://newprairiepress.org/aerc/2018/papers/35/

Significant roles

  • Student Advisory Council member for the Center for Health Education and Wellness
  • President of It’s On Us, UT Knoxville Chapter
  • Steering Committee member for the AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference

Current Occupation

Intern
Title IX Office
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

I am working with the Title IX Coordinator to create a research group to help inform and improve sexual assault policies, prevention, and survivor resources on the UT systems’ campuses.

Personal Interests

In my spare time I enjoy writing and playing music and reading and writing fiction. I also volunteer at the East Tennessee Historical Society and various animal rescue organizations. I love live music, video games, museums, art galleries, and traveling.

Future/Vocational Goals

I am applying to educational psychology and research PhD major in hopes of earning my doctorate and going on to become a college professor.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

I would tell an incoming student that this is a fantastic program, full of supportive co-learners and faculty. The faculty really take the time to get to know the students and they help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. The professors in this department really care about their students, and it shows in everything they do. They love to share their knowledge, so don’t be shy about asking questions! A unique thing about this master’s program is that it offers conference funding, and the professors support your research initiatives, so take advantage of those opportunities. Also, keep a journal about the theories, theorists, and main topics of each class. That will help you when it comes time to do your comps.

What do you think has been the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

The most rewarding thing about this program has been the opportunity to work with this community of scholars and to present my research at several international conferences. I’ve met fantastic people in this program. The students and professors are just extremely supportive and amazing to work with.

The summer semesters are the most challenging aspect of this program. These semesters are so short that the information is crammed into your head at an alarming rate. The classes are extremely long because each semester only lasts five weeks. It’s really overwhelming, and after my first summer semester experience, I didn’t feel like I learned much. However, after things slowed down in the fall, and my mind had time to process all of the information it had been fed over the two condensed semesters, I found that I had learned a lot during that brief time period. My advice to new students who start in the summer or are experiencing their first summer semester is to hang in there. It will get better, and you are retaining more than you realize!

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