Doctoral Student Spotlights

Michael McCutcheon

Counseling Psychology

I chose this Doctoral Program Because:
I have been a great admirer of Dr. Arnold Grossman's research for years. When I was fortunate enough to gain acceptance to NYU's Counseling Psych program and into Dr. Grossman's lab, it was a no-brainer. Also, when I came for my interview, I told Dr. Jacqueline Mattis that I loved her informational video on the Steinhardt website and she gave me a big smile and an even bigger hug. I knew I was home.
My academic passion is:
I love learning about the lives, experiences, and passions of others.
One of the things I enjoy doing in New York City when I'm not being a doctoral student:
I love to run and NYC has no shortage of trails, parks, and bridges to conquer.
A hobby I have is:
Finding new words, writing them down in my Moleskine, and then memorizing their meanings. (Now that I just typed that out and looked at it, it sounds really, really nerdy.)
My favorite place to get coffee or eat around NYU:
Escaping to Washington Square Park for lunch on a park bench or a coffee and a stroll. Smuggling Chipotle into a graduate study room is also a favorite past time.
Focus of my research of scholarship:
I am very interested in the mental health and happiness achievement of LGBT adolescents and their families.
I'm interested in this topic because:
We all deserve to feel loved and like we belong. This vulnerable segment of the population is in particular need of our attention, as there are a multitude of forces and voices attempting to make them feel otherwise.
Academic or other experience that most influenced my choice of doctoral study:
Studying and volunteering in the HIV-stricken townships of South Africa changed and influenced the way I thought about everything.
Research or scholar I most admire:
Arnold Grossman, Christopher Hitchens, and John Boswell.
Professor who has influenced me the most:
Dr. Rita Alfonso at Berkeley made me realize that I really could do and be whatever I wanted. And so I ended up taking all 4 classes she teaches.
Favorite course as a doctoral student:
Theories of Change with (the brilliant) Dr. Pamela Morris
What I like most about being part of a community of doctoral students:
When you haven't slept, consumed anything other than coffee, or washed your hair in days, it's really nice to look around and see a bunch of other tired, hungry, slobby faces wandering the halls.

Background Information

Where you grew up:
Toledo, Ohio
Career Goals:
After NYU I will work as a researching and practicing psychologist with a focus on LGBT adolescents and their familial bonds.
Honors, Awards, and Achievements:
UC Berkeley Leadership Award -- Scholarship UC Berkeley LGBT Alumni Pride Award -- Scholarship CA State Assembly Special Recognition for LGBT Community Service -- 46th District CA State Legislature Special Recognition -- 14th District Phi Beta Kappa -- UC Berkeley