Meet the Scholar, Lauren, a Graduate Council Research Fellow at the University of Alabama in the Department of Psychology. She is currently in the third year of pursuing a PhD in Social Experimental Psychology with the goal of remaining in academia at a research-oriented university.
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Lauren’s research examines the interaction between affect, cognition, and personality. She utilises electroencephalography (EEG) and facial electromyography (EMG) to examine psychophysiological variables associated with emotion, attention, motivation, and personality. In addition to that, her research also examines drug cue reactivity, and the cognitive and neurological consequences of drug (e.g. alcohol and tobacco) cue exposure.

Lauren talked to Stylish Academic about her personal style:

Dressing well has always been an important part of how I like to present myself. I have always believed that how we choose to present ourselves to others communicates a great deal about who we are and our values, and social psychology research on self-presentation and impression management would suggest that is true. Besides this, I find how I dress to be a way to express myself and one of my stress-relieving hobbies is shopping for clothing.

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I rarely wear full suits, but am often found in a combination of classic and chic pieces with trendy pieces mixed in. I enjoy wearing things that make me stand out, like bright colors and overly feminine touches like full skirts, floral prints, and bows anywhere I can put them. I do my best to wear what makes me happy, but without drawing unnecessary attention to myself. Although my personal style is very important to me, I would never want it to distract from the fact that I do good research and have important things to say about science.

I adhere to Oscar Wilde’s policy that you can never be overdressed or overeducated, so I often find myself being asked why I am so dressed up. In my field, people often dress very casually so I do sometimes stand out. But, dressing the way I like to dress makes me feel confident in myself as a woman and as a scientist. Especially when I am teaching a course or in a leadership role among undergraduate research assistants, I think that dressing professionally is a key to commanding respect.

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Lauren’s Defense Outfit

Specifically about what I wore for my Thesis Defense:

This semester I defended my master’s level thesis. During this meeting, I presented my completed project and then fielded questions from my committee. Choosing an outfit for this meeting was difficult, because I wanted to come across as professional and competent, but not look boring.

I chose a dress with a conservative silhouette that went well past my knee. I paired it with a classic pearl necklace. For a pop of fun, I chose to wear pointed-toe heels with a metallic cap toe. This outfit made me feel put together and confident.

I think there can be pressure to dress in somewhat boring business professional clothing for big events like presentations and conferences. But, I didn’t want to just wear a plain black suit with a boring button-down. I think that it is okay to wear something with a little more personality, as long as you keep the look classic and polished.

 

Lauren blogs at ivorytowerchic.com, and you can follow her on Instagram.