Justine Piontek

Justine Piontek

Hometown: New York but have since called many places home  

Education and Career Background: I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I received my master's degree in Psychology overseas in Prague, Czech Republic. Prior to my master's studies, I worked in healthcare administration for over 15 years in various cities across the U.S.   

Year Started Program: 2020  

Advisor: Dr. Sara Bridges  

Research interests: I am particularly interested in exploring counseling psychology, doctoral students' academic and praxis journeys in working with marginalized communities. I appreciate qualitative inquiry across all my research interests.   

Current Research Team Membership: I am a member of the program's Poverty Lab with Dr. Rosie Davis, in which I am part of a research team investigating factors contributing to individuals' shifts towards anti-racist/allyship beliefs and behaviors.   

Graduate Assistantship: I work with Dr. Eli Jones investigating research self-efficacy for early career researchers. Additionally, I assist Dr. Leigh Harrell-Williams in various studies investigating statistics education.   

Why UofM: When I came for my admissions interview, I knew that this was the home for me. I was captivated by the open-hearted spirit of the faculty and students and the underlying program foci of social justice and working in the service of underserved communities.  

Outside interests: I am here in Memphis with my supportive wife, Amy, and our two dogs. I love spending my free time with them taking walks and going to the park. We've really enjoyed exploring all the nightlife, food, and music for which Memphis is famous!