A recent UWindsor graduate will spend the next two years studying at two of the most highly regarded universities in the western hemisphere.
Franklynn Bartol, who completed her studies this spring in the behaviour, cognition and neuroscience program, will depart for England this fall where she’ll spend the next academic year at the Anna Freud Centre – named for the daughter of founding psychoanalyst Sigmund – at University College London.
The following year, Bartol will be off to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, for the second year of the shared Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology master’s program, which accepts only about 10 students a year, she said.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d get in,” said Bartol, who graduated with a grade point average of 12.5 out of 13. “It’s pretty exciting. It’s an intense program. I’ve already started reading for it.”
Bartol, who grew up in Windsor and went to Walkerville Secondary School where she studied dance, vocal performance, drama, and art, said she was looking for opportunities to study abroad. She’s been to London once for a short trip to visit her older brother, who studies at the University of Leeds in northern England.
“I got a little taste of the city and saw that it would be a very exciting place to live,” said Bartol, who hopes eventually to earn a PhD in clinical neuropsychology.
A lot of hard work and some great experience contributed to her successful acceptance into the program, she said. In her second year, she started working in Carlin Miller’s lab in psychology where she received some excellent mentoring from upper year and graduate students. She also worked in Cheri McGowan’s lab in kinesiology, where she learned about cardiopulmonary functioning, research methods, and the relationship between physical and mental health. Under Dr. Miller’s supervision, she wrote a thesis about research which measured for callous or unemotional traits in students with disabilities like ADHD, psychiatric disorders, and learning problems.
“It’s nice to reflect back on it, because I feel like I really grew a lot here,” she said of her experience at UWindsor.
For her practicum, she was placed at Mental Health Connections, a local rehab centre for people with moderate to serious mental health issues, where she ran day programs, teaching classes on practical life skills. She also taught Zumba classes there, and with the help of fellow student Katie Chauvin, implemented classes on positive psychology, which encouraged patients to express themselves through art projects.
“We got so passionate about the placement when we saw how meaningful it was for the clients,” she said. “Compared to learning from a text book, you see how much more complex mental health really is.”
And as if being a top student wasn’t enough, Bartol is an accomplished jazz singer who likes to cover old Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday songs, as well as rearrangements of current popular songs. She will give a final performance before departing for London at Taloola Café on Saturday, August 3, accompanied on the guitar by her younger brother Brigham.