Graduate & Professional Studies

Stories of Graduate Student Success:Kathryn Barber, doctoral student in the Department of Psychology

Kathryn Barber is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program in the Department of Psychology at Marquette University. Barber works in the Behavior Therapy and Research Lab and her research focuses on trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) as well as other OCD-related disorders. She participated in the spring 2024, Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition and qualified as one of the top ten event finalists. The 3MT is a global research competition that challenges participants to effectively explain their research in three minutes or less to a non-specialist audience. Participants can win prizes and represent Marquette University at the regional competition.

Barber’s 3MT presentation was titled, “Neurocognitive Functioning in Trichotillomaniaand her research focused on neuropsychological characteristics of adults with this disorder. When asked why she entered the 3MT competition, Barber said “the 3MT provided a unique opportunity to practice communicating my research in a way that’s concise, engaging, and accessible to a broad audience. Trichotillomania is a relatively common condition that can cause significant distress, yet it remains under-recognized.” The core of Barber’s research is to identify cognitive and emotional processes that contribute to the development and maintenance of the disorder. Barber hopes her work will inform treatment development and ultimately improve outcomes for people with trichotillomania.

Barber has presented her research at the International OCD Foundation Conference and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Conference, and has recently published her eighth first-author paper. Her research has been featured in Psychiatry Research, Behavior Modification, Cognitive Therapy & Research, and the Journal of Affective Disorders. Barber was also the recipient of the Wisconsin Psychological Foundation’s 2023 Graduate Student Scholarship.

When Barber is not engaging in research, she enjoys spending her free time with friends in Milwaukee, going to work out classes, and spending time outside (when it’s not freezing).

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