Kiara Brown (’22)
Kiara is a Penn State senior majoring in Psychology with a specialization in Life Sciences. Growing up in Philadelphia, she saw many of her peers moving in and out of the justice system and experiencing community violence, which made her wonder whether these events could be shaped by the structure of neighborhoods and daily experiences within a community. This idea involves multiple intersecting factors that place the individual at risk within the context of a specific community. Consequently, her research interests lie at the intersection of clinical psychology and community psychology.
Kiara is pursuing her passion for understanding the community factors associated with risk by working in multiple labs at Penn State: The Relationships and Stress Lab under Dr. Amy Marshall, the Context and Development Lab under Dr. Dawn Witherspoon, and the Cognitive, Affect and Temperament Lab under Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar. In Dr. Marshall’s lab, Kiara works on The Children, Intimate Relationships, Conflictual Life Events, and Stress (CIRCLES) Study, examining the occurrence and spillover of inter-parental and parent-to-child aggression. She conducts literature searches, checks data collection instruments for errors, updates websites, and leads lab meeting discussions of empirical articles. She also performs behavioral coding of study participants’ laboratory interactions. Due to her hard work and dedication on this project, Kiara was offered a staff position as an interviewer, conducting data collection interviews about potential incidences of aggression occurring in the homes of study participants. Kiara is the first undergraduate student to be offered this position by Dr. Marshall. Through her work, she has demonstrated her intelligence, interpersonal skills, reliability, and strong work ethic. In the fall of 2022, Kiara will attend Virginia Commonwealth University’s Developmental Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy program and would like to eventually engage in research-informed clinical practice.
Outside of research, Kiara is a part of the Student Minority Advisory and Recruitment Team (SMART), enjoys watching Greys Anatomy, and eating Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice-cream.
The CSC wishes Kiara all the best in her future academic pursuits!