“It’s in my nature to listen to others, wanting to help them with their problems,” says Jill Holm-Denoma, “so becoming a psychologist seemed like a natural path. But as I progressed in my training, I was surprised to learn that I enjoyed conducting research even more! Thus, the Psychology program at Florida State was a great fit because of the focus on training psychological scientists.”
The department faculty members encourage their students to approach the study of Psychology through the use of theory-driven, hypothesis testing methods. Jill says, “I find it very rewarding to complete research projects on topics that might impact our understanding of psychological processes.”
And research she has. Her doctoral work encompasses a multilevel study of eating disorders and their related conditions, including genetic correlates, cultural and gender differences, cognitive processes, assessment, and diagnostic considerations. She’s also kept busy writing for academic journals (co-author of nine articles) and publications (co-author of three book chapters).
Because of her excellence in Social and Behavioral Sciences research productivity and innovation, Jill was one of the first recipients of Florida State’s Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award. She seems to be a magnet for awards. For her academic achievements, she has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. For being the top applicant at the dissertation level, the American Psychological Foundation awarded her the Ruth and Joseph Matarazzo Scholarship. The Academy for Eating Disorders gave her its Junior Investigator Travel Fellowship to cover expenses and attendance at career-planning workshops. To help her continue her research, Florida State awarded her the Dissertation Research Grant, and she received the Kellogg Dissertation Award for being part of a select group of advanced graduate students in the Psychology department.
Her hope for the future? “That my research might help therapists and other mental health providers do their jobs more effectively.”