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APSU to award 1st M.A. in I-O Psychology on May 2

Five years ago, while an undergraduate psychology student at Austin Peay State University, Jennifer Purdom decided to obtain a masters degree in her field.

A faculty member encouraged me to go to graduate school when I was a sophomore in the undergraduate psychology program, Purdom said. I had never really thought about graduate school before then. Since that day I made it my goal to obtain my masters degree in psychology.
Five years ago, while an undergraduate psychology student at Austin Peay State University, Jennifer Purdom decided to obtain a master's degree in her field.

“A faculty member encouraged me to go to graduate school when I was a sophomore in the undergraduate psychology program,” Purdom said. “I had never really thought about graduate school before then. Since that day I made it my goal to obtain my master's degree in psychology.”

During APSU's Spring 2008 Commencement on Friday, May 2, Purdom will be the first recipient of APSU's Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program, which became completely online at the beginning of the Fall 2007 semester.

The online master's in I/O psychology provides students knowledge of the theories and research methods used in the field and applications of those in work settings. Particular expertise can be developed in a variety of areas, including personnel selection, training and development, performance appraisal, motivation, team performance and leadership.

Purdom, a Clarksville native, earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2005. When she decided to enroll in APSU's graduate program, she knew she wanted to concentrate on training and development. The flexibility of the online format enabled Purdom to begin her career before completing her master's degree.

“This degree program has allowed me to achieve my goals, and I am already reaping the benefits of my education in my position as a training specialist at Servpro Industries Inc.,” she said. “I will be so proud to walk across the stage this Friday and receive my master's hood with honor.”

As training specialist for Servpro Industries Inc. in Gallatin, Purdom assists with the new franchise training program and manages the business model. More than 1,400 Servpro franchises in 49 states provide cleanup and restoration services, specializing in fire and water damage.

The Servpro National Training Center is equipped with an indoor, two-story house where new franchise owners are taught hands-on restoration processes. Last year, 90 new franchise owners were trained, Purdom said.

“I must say it is a dream come true to begin my career with a company that makes training its No. 1 priority,” she said. “In fact, I spent my first three months going through intense training myself. I have Austin Peay's Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program to thank for this opportunity.”

Purdom is married to Tom Purdom, and they reside in Nashville.

For more information, contact Dr. Uma J. Iyer, associate professor of psychology and coordinator of the online M.A. in I/O Psychology, by telephone at (931) 221-6331 or by e-mail at iyeru@apsu.edu. -- Melony A. Jones