Grad profile: Sarah Duhart

Fully set on going to another college, Sarah Duhart changed her mind last second after being offered a position at the WOU’s Writing Center straight out of high school. She says that she hasn’t regretted her decision one bit because it gave her opportunities she would not have had otherwise. Because of the support provided at Western, Duhart thrived.

In her time here, Duhart became lead tutor at the Writing Center. Duhart discussed how nice it was to help people grow and develop through a huge passion of hers and even went on to say, “It’s one thing to be good at writing, it’s another thing to be good at teaching writing to others.” Though it was exhausting at time Duhart found the writing center to be her favorite place to be even during times she wasn’t working because she was always surrounded by friends.

Writing isn’t her only passion however, Duhart will be graduating with a major in psychology with a strong pull towards criminal justice and forensic psychology. She is distressed by the gap between psychology and its use in the criminal justice systems and plans on helping close that gap. She plans to do this by attending a graduate school to get her Ph.D. in forensic psychology. Until she gets accepted into a program, Duhart plans to hone in on her skills by getting a job where she can continuing to conduct research.

In her time here, Duhart was also part of Dr. Brannan’s research team. As part of the team Duhart was put in charge of the daily studies that were conducted as well as the helping recruit participants and collect data. As the part of the team she gave various presentations of the data and has been to a variety of conferences and meetings. Duhart hopes to work on a paper for publication based on the research that she conducted on her own, outside of the team, as well as contribute to the publication of the team’s findings.

Along with her work as part of Brannan’s research team, Duhart was also greatly involved in Western Oregon University Psychology Student Association (WOUPSA). This past year she was treasurer for WOUPSA and worked very closely with Associated Students of Western Oregon University (ASWOU) to get proper funding for WOUPSA. Duhart also helped organize a guest speaker from Oregon State Hospital to come and introduce the idea of music therapy. Duhart said being in WOUPSA helped her build connections with a variety of students, faculty, and professionals.

Off campus Duhart was also involved in an internship at Oregon State Hospital where she was a research assistant, psychology intern. During the internship she had a variety of duties that involved working with both conducting research projects and working with patients. She stated that most of the patients she worked with were waiting to go to go to court. Duhart would help the patients with their legal skills and treatment meetings. This internship gave her a unique hands on view into what she wants to do.

Even though she has accomplished a lot, Duhart recognizes that she has not been alone during her academic career and says that she owes her success to her research advisor Brannan and her Writing center supervisor Dr. Schmidt. Duhart also received outstanding support from both her mom, Beth Duhart, and her fiancé, whom she met during her freshman year her on campus. Though Duhart will be sad to leave the campus she loves, she is also excited to get out there and do some research. Congratulations to Sarah Duhart, Class of 2016!