Alumni Spotlight - Katherine Derbyshire

Alumni Spotlights feature MHS Alumni who have been nominated by others for the work they are doing or how they impact their community. Katherine Derbyshire has been nominated for her work in Psychology and the way she has used her passions and talents to give back to her community. Warrior Nation loves to see the amazing ways alumni are changing the world for the better!


Katherine Derbyshire

Class of 2007

1. What activities, clubs, or organizations were you involved with during high school?
National Honors Society, German National Honors Society, school musicals, choir, jazz band, marching band

2. What were you best known for in high school?
If anything, I'm fairly certain I would have been known for my more, well, academic involvements than anything else. I was certainly more of a nerdy-type, but I think it's worked out well for me!

3. How did your time at MHS impact your college experience?
I had several interests while in high school that I was able to pursue at MHS, such as music, theater, psychology, and German. By giving me an opportunity to explore some of my interests while in high school, I was able to narrow down my focus while in college, which made for a much more enjoyable experience. I felt as though I was prepared for college from working with staff at MHS, as well as taking A.P. classes which gave me a gentler transition to starting college instead of attempting more college-level work right away during freshman year of undergrad. 

4. What have you been up to since graduation?
After graduating from Muskego I attended the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities and earned my B.S. in psychology. After graduating college, I moved to Chicago to work at the University of Chicago for two years as a psychiatric research specialist in the Department of Psychiatrist. In 2014 I applied and was accepted to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science's Psychology Ph.D. program. I'm currently an advanced clinical psychology student with a focus in neuropsychology. I recently defended my master's thesis and am currently working towards proposing my doctoral dissertation. 

5. Are there any specific teachers who had a great influence on you during high school? In what ways did they influence you?
I would say that Mr. Wanner and Mrs. Pyne had the most influence on me during my time in high school. I was very involved with choir and musicals during school starting right away in freshman year, so Mr. Wanner played a significant role in my life all four years. He truly influenced my love of music and striving to always be better in my passions. He also instilled the importance of responsibility not just for myself, but that your actions can influence everyone around you. Mrs. Pyne's enthusiasm for teaching psychology really drove home for me that I wanted to work in mental health. Her charismatic teaching style and her own love of the subject inspired me to pursue my own career in psychology with the hope that one day I may also be able to instill a passion for psychology in others. 

6. In what ways are you impacting your community or making an impact in your field of work?
During my first few years of graduate school, I became heavily involved with a student-run, free clinic on campus called the Interprofessional Community Clinic (ICC). This clinic treated community members who typically did not have health insurance and could not afford medical services otherwise. Students from psychology, medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, nursing and physician assistants all worked together to deliver free care to our patients. I originally started out provided therapy services and eventually was elected to the executive officer board, a board of 13 students who oversaw ICC activities, as the research/quality assurance officer. The clinic is still in operation and still delivering free care to help the members of our community. Additionally, I have worked with psychology graduate student associations to provide education about psychology to other health professions, community members, college and high school students. 

7. Any advice you would like to give current MHS students or comments for the Warrior Nation community. 
To the current students - my advice would be to take this time in your life to start to establish who you are, learn what you care about in this world, but also be flexible as you're bound to change once you enter college or wherever life takes you after high school. Be yourself and pursue your interests that make you happy, rather than doing things that make others happy. Life might get stressful at times, but hang in there and surround yourself with positive influences that support you and your growth as a person. 


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