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Two Important Influences

Posted on July 3, 2008

Nancy Gonzales (bio) talks about researchers as social innovators.


I think there are two, probably two very important influences that kind of propelled me in my career development. I think one is being able to see that psychological research, clinical psychology in particular, could actually provide benefit to the communities that I care about. This notion of the utility of the research that we do, the clinical application and utility, was very exciting to me, and I saw really wonderful examples of that even as an undergraduate student.

So that the notion that we could be social innovators and develop programs that really are going to ultimately benefit the community. I felt like that's something I could really get behind. I really liked science, and I liked being able to think about things theoretically. And that excited me, but it was really its connection to the applied part which has always held my interest.

As a clinical psychologist, you have the option of going in a more treatment clinical direction or going in a research direction, and I had wonderful models of people who were integrating those. And that's always been very exciting to me. And that sort of raises the second major influence, which has been: I've had terrific mentors.

I was an undergraduate at the Prevention Research Center where I now am faculty. I had wonderful mentors who were really interested in engaging students in their research and engaging students and thinking about the ideas and the potential for research.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2008 Developing Interventions for Latino Children, Youth, and Families Conference in St. Louis, MO.

Arizona State University's Prevention Research Center


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