Junior Alex Ray Is on His Way To Becoming a Psychology Industry Legend

Alex Ray (he/him), an honors junior psychology major, is committed to making a large impact in the fields of psychology and criminal justice. “I took my first psychology course and I was just really taken aback by the nuances of social sciences, the ability to question everything and, through the empirical research, [how] the answer is always changing and progressing.” Specifically, Ray recalls being very intrigued by the forensic psychology discipline. “I wanted to learn everything…it was unlike anything I had studied before,” he says.

These passions have also led Ray to diverse experiences working in research labs. His first experience was in a transgender identity development lab with Dr. Joseph Schwabb. “We were identifying qualitative data with master and alternative data and applying that to interview transcriptions of transgender individuals.” Ray also spent time in the criminal justice department working with Dr. Michael DeValve. Together, they have worked on multiple projects including an Oxford bibliography on zemiology, the study of social harms, and a book review about post-secondary prison rehabilitation programs to be published in the “Contemporary Justice Review”. Additionally, Ray conducts research with the Harvard Medical School’s Star program, “a clinical high-risk psychosis early detection clinic.”

Ray hopes to utilize his experiences in research to begin a local prison pen pal program. Following the passing of a new Massachusetts law that has now allowed free prison phone calls, Ray, in collaboration with others, plans to work with the Norfolk County Corrections Center. “The program is meant to destigmatize those that are incarcerated,” says Ray. “The entire population is deemed as bad but, really, some could just be in a difficult spot…The goal is to create a sense of connection with the incarcerated in the community.”

With his academic passions, Ray strives to advocate for underrepresented individuals and victims of the U.S. legal systems. He is currently pursuing a JD and Ph.D. in clinical psychology to fulfill his aspirations as a clinical/forensic psychologist and researcher. “If I can take social science and apply it to the law, I can make it better,” Ray states.

For more information about Alex Ray’s research, students can follow him on LinkedIn.

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