Psychology — Letter of Application

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my application to be accepted into the Psy D. program at Marshall University. I am competent, committed, and caring undergraduate student at Marshall with a powerful work ethic which propels me to the goal of achieving my doctorate. I am a psychology major with a 3.34 GPA and I will graduate in May, 2013.

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I am focusing like a laser on my goal so I may (upon completion of my doctorate) provide sorely-needed professional services to rural West Virginia, where I grew up and have lived my entire life.

Indeed, my parents have lived in southern West Virginia for 36 years; my mother was raised in McDowell County, West Virginia, where, according to the U.S. Census, 35% of the population is presently living below the poverty line — and 43.4% of those under the age of 18 are currently living in poverty.

I am highly motivated by description of the Psy D. program because it seamlessly meshes with my own desire to become a “…highly skilled generalist” who will be “…sensitive to the psychological and health-related issues confronting [rural West Virginia] and are prepared to serve the communities in this region.”

I challenge myself every day to put forth the time and effort to fully meet and exceed the academic requirements for an undergraduate, and my continuing commitment to academic excellence will be unwavering when I am part of the Psy D. program.

Among the objectives of the Psy D. program is that students are expected to develop the ability to “…form productive partnerships with clients, peers, supervisors, faculty and community members.” Indeed, I have shown leadership skills and I have formed partnerships and alliances. I currently work two part-time jobs while in attendance at Marshall University: I am a Zumba fitness instructor at the Princeton Fitness Center — we embrace various forms of dance to make our workouts energetic and fun in order to promote good health — and I am also a little league swim coach.

Moreover, I am presently the community service chair for the Order of Omega (an Honor Fraternity) and for the Delta Zeta Social Sorority. While attending Marshall University as an undergraduate I have carried out sincere efforts as a service partner with: a) the American Red Cross; b) the Little Victories Animal Shelter; and c) the Hospice House.

In addition, I have worked for three years (2010, 2011, and 2012) as a mentor for the Energy Express, an organization that provides mentoring for under-served K-5 children who need professional support in order to raise their reading comprehension levels.

I enjoy conducting research on issues and topics of concern to our West Virginia communities. To wit, according to a report produced by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, “…There appears to be a higher prevalence of mental health disorders in the Appalachian region as compared to the rest of the nation” (Zhang, et al., 2008). The report was presented to the Appalachian Regional Commission.

In fact the research conducted by NORC shows that “…serious psychological distress and major depressive disorder are proportionately higher in Appalachia than in the rest of the nation,” Zhang asserts in the report.

If many adults in Appalachia / West Virginia are suffering from serious psychological distress, that certainly means many children are highly likely to be at risk for mental health problems. Hence, I have a professional passion to learn at Marshall University, to achieve a doctorate from the Psy D. program, and ultimately, to become an influential source of psychological support for needy children and others in West Virginia.

Works Cited

Zhang, Zhiwei, Infante, Alycia, Meit, Michael, and English, Ned. (2008). An Analysis of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disparities & Access to Treatment Services in the Appalachian Region. National Opinion Research Center / University of Chicago. Retrieved December 27, 2012, from