Q&A with David Parker, school psych PhD alumni

David Parker, school psychology alumni, PhD ‘12, is currently vice president for research and development at ServeMinnesota, which is Minnesota’s AmeriCorps commission. In this position, Parker leads program evaluation, development of innovative practices, and design of technical systems. ServeMinnesota helps AmeriCorps fulfil its purpose within and beyond the state, which is to provide committed individuals an opportunity to spend a year or more of their lives helping solve a community problem.

We asked Parker some questions about his experience in the school psychology program, here are his answers:

Q: How do you use or apply what you learned/your degree?

“My day-to-day work includes discussions of evidence, conducting rigorous evaluations, and working directly with data. These skills were built in the University of Minnesota school psychology program via excellent coursework, exceptional research opportunities, and access to world-class methodological and statistical expertise.”

Q: What would you like prospective students to know about your program?

“You will garner a cutting-edge skill set for school psychology practice and/or research. The program’s training on problem solving and a broad understanding of the context of learning difficulties—delivered by faculty who are leaders in the field—will help you advance the field of school psychology to improve student and system outcomes.”

Q: Do you have a book you would recommend to anyone?

A: “Get past Dr. Seuss’s well-known stuff. Do you have a child who struggles to sleep? Read the Sleep Book. Do you have a parent or family member who recently retired? Read You’re Only Old Once. Need a lesson on assuming the best? Read What was I Scared Of. They’re incredibly fun!”