Student Success Story: Jennifer Dealy

Name: Jennifer Dealy

Undergraduate Institution:

B.A.-Psychology (Assumption College, Worcester, MA)

Graduate Institution:

M.A.- HDFS (UConn)

Ph.D. Candidate – HDFS (UConn)

How did you choose your particular internship?

“I have always been interested in translating my research interests in promoting secure parent-child relationships into community-based interventions. My clinical experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist, with court-referred divorced co-parents, piqued my interest in working on an intervention for parents early in the divorce process to promote adaptive co-parenting relationships to circumvent the negative effect of prolonged conflict on parents and their children.”

What new skills or knowledge have you gained from participating in your internship?

“I gained direct experience in working with court support services, designing and implementing a psychoeducation program, delivering professional presentations to family relations officers, training other parent education program facilitators, and writing a grant proposal.”

Who has been the biggest influence on your career-related decisions during your time in graduate school or on your decision to pursue an    internship?

“My supervisor, Denise Parent, has been invaluable in my choice of internships and my future career planning.  Denise encouraged and supported my decision to take on extra roles and responsibilities in the internship including delivering professional trainings and assisting with program development.  She goes above and beyond with her supervises helping them make professional connections and challenging them to pursue their interests.

Describe your role in your internship. What did your daily tasks consist of?

“My internship consisted of a variety of activities and responsibilities.  Some days I worked on program and curriculum development, others I performed analyses to evaluate participant feedback and to examine a parenting scale and conducted literature reviews to assist in grant writing. I also facilitated the parenting intervention monthly.”

What advice would you give to current UConn graduate students who are looking to go on the same path?

“I would advise all graduate students to participate in an internship that aligns with their future career goals. It is an excellent way to make professional connections and to gain valuable skills and knowledge in your field.”


What do you know now about graduate school that you wished you knew before entering?

“It is very important to pace yourself, particularly in a doctoral program. You are in it for a long haul.  Prioritize the tasks and academic responsibilities that are important for your future career but also make sure you have time for family, friends, and self-care.  Finding a healthy work-life balance made me a better researcher, student, and clinician.”



By Reid McLendon
Reid McLendon Web Development Specialist Reid McLendon