Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

woman smiling

Dr. Tess Yanish

Psychology and Social Intervention Alum

Graduation year: 2022

Dissertation title: Demographic, Social, and Spiritual Predictors of Volunteering in New York.

Principal Advisor/Mentor: Dr. LaRue Allen, Dr. Erin Godfrey

Current position: Senior Research Associate at Consumer Reports 

Did you earn a masters degree before entering your doctoral program? No

Undergraduate Major/College: B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin College

What was the most influential part of your experience in your program?
I could point to specific classes or people or activities--my practicum at a nonprofit was probably key in why I'm working at one now--but honestly, overall, the most influential part of the program to me was the constant steeping in ideas and discussion. Everyone is a geek about methodology and policy and knowledge; everyone wants to make the world a better place; everyone is doing fascinating work. Being around that all the time molds you!

What is something you wished you would have done differently during your academic years in the program? 
I wish I had done more research with other PSI students. I was Dr. Allen's only doctoral student at this point and ran one of her research teams, which was incredibly valuable in terms of learning how to manage and mentor and organize people. That, in turn, set me up to be a good candidate for other training/teaching/leading positions, so that was largely what I ended up doing. There's nothing wrong with that, but I didn't branch out into other projects with other PIs as much as I probably should have. As a result, I did not collaborate with peers very much outside of classes. I wish I had been more proactive earlier on in seeking out that kind of role. I learned a lot about leading and teaching, but there are things I could have learned about the research process and how to think about more complex ideas by having that kind of conversation with my colleagues.