Courtney Nelson

graduate student profile

Courtney Nelson

Ph.D. Student, Industrial/ Organizational Psychology

Courtney's interest in Industrial/Organizational Psychology began after summer work in two separate doctor's offices. While each office had similar goals and responsibilities for their employees, the difference in how their day-to-day tasks were managed were worlds apart. One was grappling with a negative culture as a result of a dysfunctional manager while the other fostered a supportive team atmosphere which dealt with issues quickly and professionally. The comparison between these two offices showed Courtney how varied organizations could be and she wanted to learn more.

After completing her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Saint Louis University, Courtney knew she wanted to find a research institution that could support her interests in organizational cultures while providing a welcoming atmosphere for her studies and extra- curricular activities. She felt that TU's I/O Program "had a strong reputation and I really enjoyed the campus, faculty, and students during visitation day." Since joining TU, Courtney has maintained an active role in the graduate community, serving as a member of departmental organizations, Graduate Student Senate, and the Annual Student Research Colloquium while also presenting at a number of professional conferences across the country.

Methodological developments

Within the context of organizational cultures, Courtney is particularly interested in leadership development, program evaluation, and job attitudes. The research skills she's learning as part of the TU program will allow Courtney to contribute to organizations in meaningful ways, enabling them to make scientifically-based decisions for future employment and train- ing choices. Her research has also included interdisciplinary work with members of TU's 13 computer science program, measuring creativity capabilities in software design and its integration into educational environments. This work was presented at the International Conference on Computational Creativity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Occupational design

Following the completion of her Ph.D., Courtney hopes to pursue a career as an organizational consultant, in either an internal or external capacity. Her past experiences with business-based strategies and methods for employee development and training lacked a strong foundation in science that she feels her training in Industrial/Organizational Psychology can rectify. Courtney's time at TU has helped her to develop the skills and mindset of a researcher that she can apply to future professional consultations for real-world improvements.