My name is Celeste Lonsbery. I am currently a senior at Southern Oregon University and expect to graduate Magna Cum Laude June 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Human Communication. After I graduate from Southern Oregon University I want to extend my studies into a graduate psychology program.
My academic interests include the following: grief therapy, weight loss and self efficacy, pet loss/pet grief, communication within relationships, couples and family therapy, traumatology, PTSD, and psychological aspects of the human-animal bond. I am excited about current research going on in these areas and am eager to see what more will be discovered in the coming years, perhaps with my assistance.
Dogs have always been a part of my life and each one has taught me something different. Last summer my beloved canine companion, Gypsy, passed away. Her passing was devastating for me and it was very much like having lost a child. The experience changed me and I am currently helping to develop resources for those who have lost a beloved companion animal in Southern Oregon. After I obtain my doctoral degree, I want to teach at the university level as well as assist those who have suffered trauma.
Currently, under the mentorship of Southern Oregon University Professor Dr. Fraser Pierson and Dr. Gay Bradshaw of the Kerulos Center, I am conducting research on social and self identity in regards to complicated grief following the loss of a companion animal and the human-animal bond. In addition to my research, I am assisting in the development of a guide for helping professionals on how to counsel someone who is going through pet bereavement. I am also gaining experience in bereavement counseling by volunteering with WinterSpring Center.
|Celeste and Gypsy, May 2009|
In the upcoming school year I will continue my commitment to service by being an integral part of student leadership as the President of the Southern Oregon University Chapter of Psi Chi and Psychology Club, as well as Vice President of the Southern Oregon University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. Both positions will provide me with the opportunity to give back to the community and university that have helped me and continue to assist me on my journey.
As a result of stimulating experiences at Southern Oregon University, my commitment to my education and personal growth has never been stronger. I am very excited about the future and the possibilities of expanding my learning through a doctoral degree in psychology.
J. Fraser Pierson, PhD, Professor of Psychology
SOU McNair Scholars Journal Spring 2012 – Vol. 8
2011 McNair Scholar Symposium
|Presentation: The Role of Self-Identity in Prolonged Grief and the Human-Animal Bond (PDF)|