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Gamma Beta Phi

Applied Educational Psychology

Alyssa is currently seeking her MS in educational psychology with a concentration in the Applied Educational Psychology program. Originally from Knoxville, TN she received her BS in psychology from UT Knoxville and joined EPC in 2014. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

  • Selected to join Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society

I am one class away from completing my Master’s course work in Educational Psychology and achieving my own personal goal of attaining straight A’s throughout the program.

Current Occupation

Accounting Specialist
Treasurer’s Department
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

I currently work as an Accounting Specialist working with biweekly payroll for the Treasurer’s department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Personal Interests

I love spending time with my husband and our very large family. Reading is my favorite pastime. I love to travel and explore new places, and I hope to be able to do more traveling once I am done with school. After graduation, I plan on devoting my time learning Spanish, my husband’s native language and dabbling in creative writing.

Future/Vocational Goals

I would love to continue working for the university as an academic advisor, specifically working with first year freshmen. I am also passionate about working with low-income adolescents. I would love to be an advocate for kids who have never had anyone tell them that they can succeed in college. If I have learned anything from this program, it is that self-efficacy and motivation are two pivotal factors that drive success, and I want to help kids and young adults learn how to learn and achieve their goals.

What sold you on this program?

I was sold on this online master’s program the second I reached out to Cathy Hammon (program coordinator) and we had our first conversation about the specifics of the program. I did not think it was possible to develop such personal relationships with others in an online setting, but I have made so many friends and connections by becoming part of this learning community.

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

I would tell any incoming student joining the program or department that EPC’s faculty and staff members genuinely want you to succeed and are always available to answer any questions or concerns. I would also tell incoming students to not be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved. Not everyone may have the opportunity to be local in an online program, but for those who are local, I have found that attending orientations, dissertation defenses, or other events hosted by the department are a great way to meet people.

Student Spotlight: David Austin Willis

Adult Education

David is currently seeking his MS in educational psychology with a concentration in Adult Education. Originally from Parsons, TN, he received his BA in psychology and political science from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and joined EPC in 2015. We asked him to reflect on some of his past and current experiences. Read his responses below.

  • Selected to join the academic honor society Gamma Beta Phi
  • Appointed to the professional development chair in Gamma Beta Phi

Since I joined the Adult Education program I have created my own company, Davonos LLC. A consulting business that focuses on training and education system design. Davonos LLC is working with virtual reality to provide innovative learning for companies and educational systems.

Refer to Resume for more details.


Current Occupation

CEO and Lead Training Consultant
Davonos LLC

Personal Interests

I am a vested volunteer at Harmony Family Center at Montvale. I am recently engaged to the most wonderful woman on the planet. A day on the water and a night on a dock with some music is a perfect day. I love the mountains. I love the outdoors, especially golf. I am a sports fanatic. I love to put myself in uncomfortable situations because I believe that is how we learn the best. I am a passionate person that gives everything to what I am doing. I believe in love and try to make every person I interact with, see love. I want to be a professor in higher education and I hope to continue to a PhD Program. I am dedicated to creating innovative approaches to learning with my company. I am dedicated to the American system and I seek to serve the system in the future.

Future/Vocational Goals

I want to be a professor in higher education and I hope to continue to a PhD program. I am dedicated to creating innovative approaches to learning with my company. I want to build a learning platform that utilizes virtual reality to increase learning outcomes. I want to be a leader in technological learning solutions. I am dedicated to the American system and I seek to serve the system in the future. I strive to be the best husband I can be, and the greatest father once I have kids.

Group photo of students and faculty from adult learning and applied educational psychology.

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

I will quote the great Martin Luther King Jr. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Get out of your comfort zone, do things that scare you. I would look into research and all that it offers. Talk to your teacher and your advisors, for they are wonderful people. Get used to proving yourself wrong, and making a habit of it. If we can’t see what we are doing wrong then how are we to better ourselves. Don’t stay locked in your belief that there is one way to do something. Find the intrinsic motivational value that drives you to challenge yourself and find the uncomfortable areas of life. For if we can operate in the unknown, then we should be fine in the known.

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

The most challenging aspect of the program is getting used to writing a specific way: APA. The change for me from business writing to formal scholarly writing was very hard. I thank the lord that the teachers have been hard on me because as I move on to go to a PhD program, and work towards writing research, I now have a very solid base to fall back on. The most amazing teachers you will have are in this program. Listen to them and never be afraid to ask questions.

The most rewarding part of this is the connections I have made with staff, peers, and people around the program. What a strong community this program has. I didn’t expect in a online master’s program to have such a wonderful learning community. If you need anything, someone is there to help and guide you. The teachers go well beyond their job descriptions to make sure you have the tools you need, and that you feel comfortable and safe.