Hildy Wen ‘17

Alumni Spotlight

Hildy WenUndergraduate Degree:
Major: Psychology
Minor: Education
Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Current Position Title and Affiliation:
Independent Researcher; Behavioral Health Specialist at Melrose Wakefield Healthcare

Summary of Position:
As an Independent Researcher, my work includes writing the IRB proposal, participant recruitment, data collection and analysis, and manuscript preparation. I’ve recently been collaborating with Dr. Katherine Dixon-Gordon to examine the relationship between Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) traits, emotion dysregulation and other psychological difficulties, and with Dr. Eli Somer to examine the association between depression and Maladaptive daydreaming factors on positive and negative emotions.

As a Behavioral Health Specialist, my role is to integrate mental healthcare in Primary Care offices. I work with patients to cope with mental health issues while helping them to connect with additional resources to aid their recovery.

Future Goals:
Future goals include Maladaptive Daydreaming research, teaching and writing poetry.

What do you love most about this career path?
Because Maladaptive Daydreaming is such an unknown and under-researched condition, there’s a lot of gratification in knowing that this work is helping a lot of people learn more about what they are going through. I also love the feeling of creating new knowledge, and the thrill of looking through the results knowing that I’m the first person to know what I am knowing!

How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
From the Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship, to my work as a research assistant in the Clinical Affective Science Lab, to the support Dr. Metevier offered as an advisor, the Psychology department at UMass gave me the opportunities and tools to chase my dream of becoming an MD researcher.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Dixon-Gordon, I was able to run a study on MD, Personality Disorder traits, and emotion regulation difficulties, which I would later present as a poster at the ISSPD conference in Germany. This unforgettable experience was the first step in my MD research journey.

Tips for Current Undergrads:
Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Especially in a field like psychology where options are so vast and diverse, it’s important to know what you’re looking for, from both your experiences here now and what you want for your future. Once you’ve figured out what you want, don’t let self-doubt stop you from taking that extra step and asking for it. This applies to your career, as well as every other aspect in your life. Recognize what you deserve, but don’t forget to work hard to deserve it.