It’s time to meet our next liaison in our campus liaison spotlight series. Meet Musheera Anis from the University of South Dakota!
Name: Musheera Anis
Hometown: Mansoura, Egypt
Current University: University of South Dakota
Program: PhD in Human Development and Educational Psychology
Advisor: Professor Harry Freeman
Q. How did you decide to go to graduate school?
A. I have been working as a child psychiatrist in Egypt for over 9 years when I realized that I want more out of my career. In addition to my duties as a clinician, I also enjoyed teaching and tutoring younger Psychiatrists and Psychologists. I felt the need to gain more experience in teaching as well as improve my research skills. I was also aware of the need of serious educational reform within the Egyptian school systems because of my work with families and children. I wanted to gain knowledge that will help me be part of that change. Looking into the different programs I chose the PhD program in Human Development and Educational Psychology because it would provide me with a strong research background and also help develop my teaching skills. I also liked that the program was flexible enough that I can focus on my individual interests and research.
Q. What did you do before going to graduate school?
A. I worked as a child psychiatrist in Egypt. I was in charge of the only center for children with disabilities in an area of a population of over 6 million people. I treated kids with ADHD and Autism as well as provided support to their families. In addition, I was an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. I was also involved in several projects that aimed at improving parenting skills within families and introducing the latest research on parenting to the general public.
Q. What do you like best about your program/school?
A. The department is characterized by a relatively small niche where faculty and students can form close academic and personal relationships. It was my experience that professors are genuinely invested in my growth as a teacher and as a scholar. My close working relationship with my advisor and my collaboration with other professors is of exceptional quality. Joining the program and coming to the US as an international student with two kids, posed certain unique challenges on both the academic and personal levels. For example, I had to live on my own for the first time in my life. Back home, like most Egyptians I lived with my family until I got married and then after marriage I relied on my husband in so many things, little things that I did not really think about at the time, like transportation or grocery shopping. I also had a nice lady who helped me 3 times a week doing all the house chores and a driver who took to work. I had to learn how drive, how to take care of a house and 2 kids on my own, How to balance a checkbook, and so much more. I was helped by the amazing faculty and graduate students in the department of Educational Psychology. They helped me maneuver a very different educational system as well as giving me the much needed moral support. I was also encouraged to share my experiences and skills within the university as well as the community. I believe that my experience here will impact my life beyond the years of graduate school and that this quality training will lead me to take steps forward to academic and professional success.
Q. What are your current research interests?
A. Attachment Theory, PDD, Trisomy 21, and educational reform.
Q. What career do you want upon graduation (Faculty or other)?
A. I would like to continue in academia as a university professor. In addition, I will continue to be involved in promoting and improving the lives of people with special needs and their families.
Q. If you could change anything about education, what would it be?
A. I would put less emphasis on standardized testing and more energy and focus on projects that impact lives and relate to the students environments.
Q. What is your favorite research article and why?
A. I do not have a particular article that I like but I enjoy reading about Attachment Theory and I find it very fascinating. Reading some of the original work by Bowlby and Ainsworth is always interesting.
Q. What was your proudest moment or greatest accomplishment?
A. Several of the educational psychologists that I trained in Egypt have opened up more good rehabilitation and special needs centers. Knowing that I inspired these people to continue within this field and that I contributed many children and their families receiving the care that they very much need, keeps me inspired in everything that I do.
Thank you for participating Musheera :-)