Three doctoral students join ranks of University Fellows

January 13, 2012 | News, UToday
By Feliza Casano

Three PhD students at The University of Toledo — Michelle Roley, Gregory Erickson and Monica Gochioco Schick — have been recognized for their exceptional academic records with University Fellowship awards.

Showing off their certificates are University Fellows, from left, Michelle Roley, Gregory Erickson and Monica Gochioco Schick. They are pictured with, from left, Dr. Mike Dowd, Dr. Joseph Hovey, Dr. Laura Seligman, Dr. Frank Pizza and Dr. Patricia Komuniecki.

The fellowship award includes a tuition waiver for 12 hours of classes per semester and a stipend. It is the highest student award available from the College of Graduate Studies.

The students, who all aspire to careers as university professors, were recognized as new University Fellows at a Nov. 29 meeting of the Graduate Council.

“The fellowship has a competitive selection process and is one of our recruitment tools,” said Dr. Patricia Komuniecki, vice provost for graduate affairs and dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The award allows the fellows to pursue their studies without having to commit to other jobs or assistantships to support themselves financially, Komuniecki said.

Roley, Erikson and Gochioco Schick are joining seven students who are current University Fellows. There are a maximum of 10 at any time.

Roley and Erikson are pursuing advanced degrees in clinical psychology in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, and Gochioco Schick is in the exercise physiology PhD program in the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Service.

Roley, who is pursuing both an MA and PhD in clinical psychology, works with Dr. Joseph Hovey, professor of psychology, to research depression, suicide and substance abuse, particularly in adolescents and their families in underserved populations.

“The overall goal of my research is to add to the scientific community’s knowledge of underserved individuals’ mental health concerns while also providing useful evidence-based tools to community mental health clinics and agencies that will help overburdened clinics serve their clients better,” Roley said.

Roley hopes to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship and eventually seek tenure in a university department of psychology or psychiatry.

Erickson, who is pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, studies anxiety and depression in youth with Dr. Laura Seligman, associate professor of psychology.

“My main interest is in third-wave behavioral treatments and affective information processing biases in anxiety disorders, which includes over-reaction to threatening stimuli,” he said.

Erickson said he is excited to contribute to the research in the growing field of psychology, both in his studies at UT and in the future as a professor at a university or in a research hospital.

Gochioco Schick, who is focusing on muscle cell biology in her exercise physiology PhD program with Dr. Frank Pizza, professor of kinesiology, is thankful the fellowship will allow her more time to focus on research.

“I had to teach three units of classes when I started working on my degree,” she said. “It takes a lot of time. The fellowship will allow me to focus on research.”

Gochioco Schick also looks forward to her future career as a professor at a research university.

More information about the University Fellows program is available on the College of Graduate Studies website at or by calling 419.530.4723.

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