CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Music and mental health were the focus of the third annual Psychology and Sociology Department Fall Research Colloquium at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The program, held Oct. 19, featured projects by Dr. Olga Berkout, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Dr. Michael Ramirez, Associate Professor of Sociology.
Ramirez gave a presentation titled “Pursuing Informal Musical Careers in Early Adulthood,” which covered the desires and challenges faced by those who attempt to forge music careers later on in life, while Berkout spoke about mechanisms of dysfunction in maladaptive anger as they relate to and inform treatment development.
“My areas of expertise are in gender, race, class and inequalities,” said Ramirez. “I am hopeful this colloquium creates a little more exposure for the work I am doing about the musical aspirations of adults.”
Ramirez is currently working on a new book, “Destined for Greatness: Passions, Dreams, and Aspirations in a College Music Town.” It is due out in fall 2017. The book traces the life course trajectories of men and women who pursue informal careers in rock music in a renowned college music town.
“Right now, I am at the exciting phase of book publication where I am selecting photos for the cover and interior of the book,” said Ramirez. “I have always loved music and though I never seriously pursued music as a career, I always thought it was brave that other people did. The music industry can be unforgiving and making a career out of music can turn out to be a terrifying but great choice.”
Berkout was hired by the Island University in August 2016. Her research focuses on mechanisms of dysfunction in conflict and aggressive behavior and extending the reach of psychological services to underserved populations.
“I hope that my talk will interest students in my research in the areas of anger and aggression as well as helping to extend the reach of mental health services,” said Berkout.
Berkout received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Mississippi, completed a competitive National Institute of Mental Health funded postdoctoral research fellowship, before coming to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. She is currently involved in projects with a focus on variables influencing the use of mobile technology and traditional services for mental health and multi-site assessment of psychological constructs related to emotional function.
“Mobile technology offers a means to improve psychological assessment and efficacy of psychological services, as well as extend the reach of our interventions,” said Berkout.
The Psychology and Sociology Research Colloquium is held each semester, with students and faculty presenting their research in the spring and fall respectively.