Name: Jeritt R. Tucker
Raised in: Nevada, Iowa
Attending: Iowa State University
Studying: Counseling psychology
Expected to graduate: May 2016
What my fellow students don’t know about me that would
surprise them: I think at this point it’s probably no longer a
secret, but I am in an indie-rock/electronica fusion band called
Supertree. I sing and play the synthesizer and saxophone. We’re
by no means rockstars, but we’ve got a few gigs coming up soon.
Dream career: I’m interested in a clinical role in an
integrated-care environment, helping clients attain whole-person health. Working in an outpatient hospital would give
me direct contact with underserved groups where help-seeking
stigma may be high. I would feel unfulfilled, however, without
continuing to research, teach and consult.
If I could choose to have any superpower, it would be:
Clairvoyance — that would take being a psychologist to a whole
new level. If everyone had superpowers. we’d need persons
whose sole job is organizing people into high-performing
super-powered groups. Maybe that could be a new field of
psychological study and specialization.
The psychologist or historical figure I like most: Viktor
Frankl. I credit reading his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”,
with forcing me to transition from philosophy to psychology in
my undergraduate major.
If I could clone myself, my other self would: Read every
possible work of classic and modern fiction he could get his
hands on; I think I’m missing out on the vast majority of novel
ideas and theories by sticking to nonfiction.
What I learned from my latest research project: My latest
research project involved disentangling mental illness and help-
seeking stigma. With support from my professor, Dr. Nathaniel
Wade, I found the two stigmas impact different components
of one’s self-view — as socially inadequate, blame-worthy
or shameful — and that they offer unique and combined
influences on the decision to seek help. Extending this finding,
my colleague, Daniel Lannin, led a study in which I participated
examining how mental illness and help-seeking stigma are
internalized. We found strong evidence to support different
pathways for the two stigmas ( The Counseling Psychologist, 2014).
What’s most interesting about my research: The process
of contextualizing my ideas and data in past findings; I’m very
interested in how theory can be dis/confirmed or become more
nuanced through each new study. For my thesis, I really enjoyed
adding to a long legacy of great stigma research by people like
Erving Goffman, Bruce link, Patrick Corrigan, David Vogel,
Georg Schomerus, and Matthias Angermeyer. Knowing that I’m
a part of something larger than myself is very rewarding.
How studying psychology has changed me: I relate to
others in a more self-aware way. I tend to recognize my own
resistance and defensiveness in interactions, note my own
biases and worldview, and am generally able to relate to myself
in a more authentic way. This helps me to bounce back from
setbacks more quickly, take myself less seriously, have more
fulfilling relationships and generally enjoy my life to a greater
Title of my grad school autobiography: “Mundane
Philosophy: The Search for Meaning Among Too Many Emails,
Too Little Time, and Too Much Caffeine.”
The annoying habit I wish I could change: Caffeine
addiction. I have an approach-avoidance conflict with coffee.
It is just so warming in so many ways during these cold Iowa
winters. Yet it’s a constant internal battle as I struggle with my
own willpower to resist.
Greatest frustration: Statistical syntax.
What I treasure most (besides family, friends and world
peace): After breaking my collarbone on it, I traded my moped
for an acoustic-electric guitar in the seventh grade. I don’t even
play the guitar all that well, but making music with it is like
escaping to a world beyond graduate school for a minute or
Every issue, gradPSYCH invites a graduate student to tell us
about himself or herself. You might be next.
Jeritt R. Tucker