Featured Alumni

Dr. Natalie (De Leon) Benedetto

Dr. Natalie Benedetto, 2013 Cohort

I have nothing but good things to say about my education from the MAPR program at Texas State. In hindsight, what stands out the most is the culture of the program. All of the professors were so respectful, willing to help students, and encouraged a work-life balance. I felt valued as a student and continue to feel valued as an alumni. My classmates became friends and we often relied on each other for help and ideas in research and classes.


Another valuable part of my education there was the guidance I received from my mentor, Ty Schepis. He helped me develop research skills, carry out a research project, improve my writing, and was instrumental in my application process for a PhD program. As a result, I entered my PhD program feeling prepared to do the work and feeling that I had developed the skills to perform in a PhD program and in an academic medical setting environment.


I graduated from Texas State University in 2015 and enrolled in a Clinical Psychology PhD program in August of 2015.  I have since completed the PhD program and affiliated internship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. There, I worked at the Moncrief Cancer Institute and Parkland Health and Hospital System providing diagnostic and therapeutic services to adults with comorbid health issues. My dissertation research examined a clinical program’s effectiveness by determining which patient characteristics (e.g., gender and age) and program elements (e.g., frequency of calls to patients) were associated with achieving a clinically significant reduction in depression symptoms. I now work at Wellness 360, a private practice psychotherapy company, as a postdoctoral fellow where I provide therapy to adults with a variety of mental health and health conditions.  I could not have imagined when I first started at TX State how my path would take shape and how fulfilled I would be in this career. Without the MAPR program, I don’t think I would be where I am now.

group of students at graduation in regalia
Students from the 2014 Cohort graduating.

Our alumni have been accepted to PhD programs at many universities including UT Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Texas-Arlington, Texas A&M University, University of California-Merced, Idaho State University, University of Groningen, Adelphi University, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, and George Mason University. Students have entered PhD programs in many areas of psychology including general psychology, clinical psychology, quantitative psychology, experimental psychopathology, I/O, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, psychological sciences, school psychology, and health and neuroscience.

While many of our alumni have gone on to continue their studies at doctoral programs, some have gone into the workforce. Some titles of our alumni include: scientific assistant, research assistant, data manager/analyst, researcher, psychosocial rehabilitation therapist, data consultant, research coordinator, actuary, data science intern, and adjunct instructor. Organizations at which our graduates have been employed include: Dept. of Neurosurgery at UT Health Science Center at Houston, University of Texas, Dell Medical School, University of Texas-Dallas, Hackensack Meridian Health, H2TrOnics, Research Now, Live Oak Living Community, NCD Cure, XPO Logistics, Media Science, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Washington State University, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Illuminas, and The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.

MAPR Alumni Panel

Five of our MAPR Alumni-Shannon Wilder, Dr. Natalie Benedetto, Erin Cowart, Morgan Snyder, and Callie De La Cerda- joined current students to talk about their experience in the MAPR program and their life after graduating.

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A contribution to the MA in Psychological Departmental Scholarship may be made through the Family Campaign here. Be sure to indicate the funds go to the "Masters in Psychological Research Graduate Scholarship."