Dorothy Arata Outstanding Graduate School Dissertation Award Recipient: Dr. Rivian Lewin

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Our 2022-2023 Dorothy Arata Outstanding Graduate School Dissertation Award recipient is Dr. Rivian Lewin. This award is presented annually by the University of Memphis Association of Retirees and celebrates the remarkable accomplishments of our exceptional doctoral candidates.

The official announcement of the award is scheduled for the UMAR Annual meeting on December 13, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony will be held in the Fountain View room at the University Center on campus.

In this article, Dr. Lewin shares a bit of her story, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs of pursuing a graduate degree alongside a bustling life.


Background and Academics:

Dr. Lewin hails from Phoenix, AZ, and completed her undergraduate studies in psychology and Spanish at the University of Arizona. She later ventured to Boston, MA, to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology at the UofM, graduating in August 2023.

Juggling Act:

Like many graduate students, Dr. Lewin understands the intricacies of balancing academia with various aspects of life. Despite the challenges, she has exceled as a postdoctoral clinical psychology fellow. Beyond academics, Dr. Lewin enjoys cooking, taking long walks with her dog, and exploring the nearby natural surroundings.

Noteworthy Accomplishments:

Dr. Lewin received the APA Division 29 (Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy) Student Excellence in Practice Award in 2021, a testament to her dedication and contributions to the field.

Tips for Juggling Responsibilities:

Offering advice to fellow graduate students managing multiple responsibilities, Dr. Lewin emphasizes the importance of recognizing the demanding nature of this chapter in life. She encourages others to acknowledge the challenges, practice self-compassion, and embrace flexibility when needed.

Why UofM Was the Right Choice:

Reflecting on her UofM experience, Dr. Lewin expresses gratitude for the opportunity to live in a diverse community that values inclusion and equity. She specifically acknowledges the support received from her advisor, Jeffrey Berman, and clinical supervisor, Neil Aronov. Jeffrey Berman guided Dr. Lewin throughout her graduate school journey, helping identify exciting research areas. Neil Aronov inspired Dr. Lewin to integrate the art and science of therapy into her clinical work, proving the impact of supportive mentors.

Dr. Lewin's story serves as an inspiration to current and prospective graduate students, demonstrating that with determination, self-compassion, and a supportive community, it's possible to thrive both academically and personally during graduate school.