Mentoring Helps Student Pursue Goals

Tiffnay McIntire | 2014 Alumna | B.A. Psychology

In the short time since graduating from IUPUI with a psychology degree in May 2014, Tiffnay McIntire has started her career at Eli Lilly and Company as a human factors engineer, where she examines scientific literature to best inform her research to ask the right questions and improve the group’s research methods.  The sheer number of studies McIntire conducts would be daunting had she not been exposed to work like this as a student at IUPUI. Tiffnay McIntire

“It was overwhelming the first time I read a research paper in class, but it was also really cool,” she said. “When you hear the news sensationalize results from scientific articles it can be really hard to know what to think sometimes. The transparency that scientific articles provide in regards to methodology and results really helps readers to critically examine the findings.”

McIntire got involved in research by actively participating in her Industrial/Organizational Psychology courses with Michael Sliter, Ph.D, assistant professor of psychology. Her interest in class did not go unnoticed and eventually led to McIntire working in Sliter’s lab, helping sift through scientific information to help with his studies on how active workstations improve the physical and mental health of participants.

During her time working with him in class and in the lab, McIntire found a mentor in Sliter. He helped her feel as though she could pursue a Ph.D. in industrial engineering—a goal she is working toward.

“I’m the first person in my family to go to and finish college,” McIntire shared. “Dr. Sliter helped me identify what my strengths and interests were, which helped me realize how much I love research. I love being able to sit down and critically think and apply what I know. Dr. Sliter made me really feel like I really could do that.”

McIntire completed her first two years of coursework at Ivy Tech Community College before transferring to IUPUI. Despite this, McIntire feels a strong sense of connection to IUPUI, now participating in many alumni events like the Regatta and alumni panels for current students.

“I like to stay involved so that I can give back and help mentor students in the way that Dr. Sliter helped me.”

- Whitney Walker, Interdisciplinary Studies, ’16