Everyone at one point has questioned the decisions they make ona day-to-day basis. People wonder whether the choices they havemade are the right or wrong ones, and whether there will be apayoff one-day.
Dr. Kayleen Islam-Zwart, an Assistant Professor of Psychology, hasfaced some of the same crossroads, but she has found her way andmost importantly found success and happiness in what she does.
She was born and raised in Minnesota where she attendedundergraduate school at Minnesota State University. Islam-Zwartgraduated with a degree in Pre-Professional Pschyology and a minorin corrections.
“I went down the path of trying different things, I even gotmy pilot’s license,” said Islam-Zwart.
However, she made the decision to return to school. She chose IdahoState University, a school similar in size to what she was lookingfor and accustomed to.
Islam-Zwart attended Idaho State University for five years, whichincluded a clinical internship. She chose to do an internship atthe Minnesota Federal Prison Hospital (a male inmatesfacility).
“I did forensic evaluations for the courts. For example, whena defendant claims reason of insanity we helped test that,”said Islam-Zwart.
She then went on to do a rotation involving neuropsychologicaltesting on people and examining brain functions. She participatedin giving a number of intelligence tests, along with studyingAlzheimer’s Disease.
After Islam-Zwarts internships were complete, she made the decisionto teach.
“Teaching was always an option, I knew I wanted to do avariety of things,” said Islam-Zwart. “Being aprofessor, I get to do everything I want to do.”
Islam-Zwart teaches many different classes at Eastern, among thoseare Psychological Statistics, Stress and Coping, HumanNeuropsychological and Psychology and the Legal System.
Her experiences and first hand accounts have allowed her to takewhat she has learned and teach the students.
“I got to testify in an immigration trial, and then I wasable to come back and tell the students about my experience,”said Islam-Zwart.
Islam-Zwart has gained knowledge from both school and real lifeexperiences. Like many students, she struggled with where she wasgoing and what she wanted to do, but it all came together.
“I enjoy teaching, and I hope to one day have the opportunityto go back to research in prisons and continue to gain experiencesto bring back to the students,” said Islam-Zwart.
Her advice to students is to go out and experience thingsassociated with your major.
“Who you encounter and who you meet shape your experiencesand your life,” said Islam-Zwart.