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Department of Psychology Alumni Spotlight

Melanie Hall

Melanie Hall received her BA in Psychology with honors from USF in 1985. She went on to get her MA from USF in Guidance and Counseling in 1988.

For over 25 years, Hall has worked to better the lives of children and families in the Tampa Bay area. She began her career at Moffitt Cancer Center as a Child Life Specialist helping pediatric patients and their families. Hall is now the Executive Director for the Family Healthcare Foundation.

In recognition of all her accomplishments, Hall (shown on the left, above) received the 2015 Distinguished Undergraduate Psychology Alumni Award.


Melanie Polkosky

Melanie Polkosky received her doctorate in Cognitive and Neural Sciences from USF in 2005. Since then, she’s been an R&D technology designer, user experience consultant, teacher, entrepreneur, writer, trainer and corporate/executive coach, and worked on international philanthropic projects. Polkosky has had 2 children and survived breast cancer. She also self-published a book called "Uncovering Truffles: The Scarcity and Value of Women in STEM."

Polkosky returned to USF in the fall of 2015 to speak to the department and to students at USF’s Office for Undergraduate Research about her experiences and in August 2016 to address the USF STEM Academy.

Polkosky lists five key aspects of her USF experience that have helped her in her career:

  1. Since I developed and taught my own course at USF (introduction to Human Factors Psychology), I’m now very comfortable putting together client workshops and trainings, which I’ve done in several different roles.
  2. Statistics and methods: Statistics skills have been extremely helpful in differentiating me in the human factors field.
  3. Writing: USF gave me the opportunity to hone my skills in academic forms of writing, which I’ve been able to expand into a variety of different roles.
  4. The breadth of psychology: The reason I love psychology is that it impacts everything-everything eventually comes down to people.
  5. Independence of thought: USF taught me how to be an independent thinker-how to go into a new area, ask what don’t I know and use my knowledge of behavior and methods to quickly put together an approach.

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