Dissertation Defense!

TUnew

Super long delay in any posts! Why? Because I’ve been writing my dissertation! About to set my defense date!

Looking forward to *hopefully graduating in May 2015 from Temple University!

Is Dancing Good For You? Can It Make You Smarter!?

Absolutely! Get out and shake that booty!

FROM NEJM: “Among leisure activities, reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments, and dancing were associated with a reduced risk of dementia.”

Discussed here.

I will be dancing this weekend!

boyler room

The Post-Accomplishment Blues

I have been fully brainwashed (hehe). The mission to instill the irrational desire to publish scientific writing has been accomplished. I have celebrated my first first author publication!!!(still in press, will cite later):). Immediately afterwards I ask myself “What’s Next?“. Now I feel a certain melancholy, a lull in energy. I also feel, almost for the first time, a bit daunted by my decisions about which type of research, which paper, a new idea for a project, or an old manuscript idea? “What paper is next?” “How do I spend my time?” These are serious questions.

When in doubt, make a priority list:
1. Dissertation Proposal (of course)
2. ANYTHING!! (have fun be creative!)
– quit smoking smart phone apps
– my public health media portfolio
– grant writing
– ????

Next, schedule time for top priorities?
Having trouble? Set smaller goals.

Best of luck!

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vidal Sassoon

Social Media and Online Identity: About.me pages

Keeping this blog alive, I will share my About.me page. This particular social media site allows sizing and position of 1 image and text through 4-7 information/biographic information fields with text, links, html, etc. Just enough to get the idea across in a light-weight, online editor. The result is a clean, effective splash page to convey yourself.

about.me/mccormicksean
Sean McCormick self

Here’s the bio on that page in case you don’t want to continue to it.
Sean P. McCormick
Temple University – Health Behavior Research Clinic
My research examines modifiable cognitive-behavioral factors in mind-body health such as the extent to which emotions can be used to inform problem solving, task behaviors, and stress reactions in everyday living.

CLinically, I provide conduct smoking cessation research within health education, and drug dependence counseling for individuals and groups. The Health Behavior Research Clinic specializes in local, under-served and low-income populations, especially those with histories of co-morbid mental health issues and substance use.

I have a secondary interest in environmental health and social justice programs. In this area, I aim to help organizations and projects maximize impact, improve processes, and pursue data with high value for translation into real world impacts. Through design with evaluation in mind, environmental and social justice interventions can benefit from monitoring and self-informing processes that aim to maximize program effectiveness.

I also enjoy teaching and education design. I have previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses in public health/psychology including behavioral health, environmental health, drugs & society, health disparities, etc. I have also given guest lectures and provided health education at various universities, hospitals, and community health centers in Philadelphia.

MASH-UP TIME! Social Cognitive Theories of Health Behaviors with Associative Learning

I am not a huge fan of music mash-ups, made famous mostly by artists like Dj Earworm, and Girl Talk. Yet, I wanted to post about mash-ups because they have been useful tools for me in explaining to myself my dissertation, and how the theories serve the broader purpose the research; using theory and evidence to inform decisions in terms of educational content, type of program (e.g. individual, group, telephone, web, mobile app) that will enable people to most consistently overcome difficulties quitting smoking.

Mash-ups are one or more songs, usually in the same or complimentary key signatures and are often at the same tempo. This allows the songs to fit together. Here’s a decent example .

Instead of trying to create new music, I will be layering two theories of smoking relapse as well as their respective descriptions of successful quit smoking attempts to better prevent relapse for people wanting to quit smoking (or changing any other behavior).

Instead of Gagnam Style vs. Ghostbuster’s Theme I used Associative Learning Theory (part of Pavlovian/classical conditioning) vs. Folkman and Lazarus, and D’Zurilla and Nezu, Transactional and Social Problem-Solving frameworks of stress, negative affect, and maladaptive coping ( high smoking-risk situations).

The basic assumption is that identifying these patterns could enable more effective support to high negative affect and stress-response smokers; those most likely to have difficulty quitting due to vulnerabilities in problem-solving, generating alternate solutions, managing negative emotions, and other such cognitive-affective-behavioral characteristics, that especially under stress are hypothesized to lead to relapse.

P.S. Next stop! Structural equation modeling of social problem-solving, negative affect, and smoking urge in baseline cue exposure data! pre vs. post exposure models! Details in the manuscript in the coming months. My dissertation is also at the publishers! For now find our work on Research Gate: Sean McCormick. 

Inspiration!!! Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan’s first meeting

I usually reserve this blog for health-related research, but I think it’s time to expand it a little into the world of teaching and education.  I am on a career path that will involve some teaching at the college level, and with hopefully some mentorship.  Even though I am still early in my career, I have already had the privilege of mentoring some students (I am an instructor/coordinator for undergraduate internships at Temple University).  This experience has already been extremely rewarding.  

This video of NGT describing his first experience with Carl Sagan reminded me of how important it is to be uber-supportive of those coming up in your field of study.  I hope to continue to grow as both a mentee and mentor.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Recounts His First Meeting with Carl Sagan

Neil deGrasse Tyson is set to host a follow-up series to Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/cosmos-to-get-a-sequel-hosted-by-neil-degrasse-tyson/

SO COOL!