Abby Teply: An Outstanding Student onto Big Things

Student, employee, intern, volunteer… Abby Teply does it all. Most recently, she was selected as the Outstanding Student in the Psychology program among those graduating Fall 2019. Each semester, up to two graduating students Psychology Option A or Option B (depending on the semester) are chosen by the department staff to be honored at the annual Evening of Distinction. Candidates are chosen who stand out in their academics, involvement and level of professionalism. They choose a candidate who has put in the work to be active in the program through internships, research and clubs, and who they believe will have tremendous success in the field because of their hard work. Abby and I have collaborated as student research assistants in the Psychology Department. I was so happy to find out that she was chosen as the Outstanding Student this semester, but not surprised in the least. We are here to find out more about Abby and just how she does it all!


Alexa Jo Schafer (AS): What are your major(s) / minor(s)? 


Abby Teply (AT): I am majoring in Psychology and have minors in Statistics and Gerontology.


AS: How have you been involved on campus? 


AT: I have worked on campus for Housing and Residence Life since my freshman year. I have worked as a Desk Assistant, Resident Assistant and Assistant Hall Director.


AS: Tell us about your extracurriculars- internships, clubs, research, etc. 


AT: I have been a research assistant for both Dr. Schreiber and Dr. Karr in the Psychology Department for a total of six semesters. Most recently, I have been conducting research on topics related to ageism. I have also completed two internships. One internship was at the Winona Friendship Center, which is a senior center designed to provide services, advocacy, education, and recreation for older adults in the community. I was also an intern at Saint Anne of Winona, which is a senior health center offering a continuum of care, in the recreation department. 



AS: What is something or someone that shaped you into the person you are today? 


AT: I would say that my mom is someone who has helped shape me into the person that I am today. She has always motivated me to seek out opportunities to better myself and has always celebrated my achievements and supported me through my struggles. 


AS: How do you do it all / what’s your secret?


AT: I think that staying organized and keeping a planner makes it much easier to stay on top of everything that needs to get done. I also think that it is really important to take time to have fun too. I think this helps to keep you from burning out. You need to find the right balance between your academics, work and social life. 


AS: What is your primary research interest?


AT: My primary research interest is any topic related to older adults. My goal is to one day become a clinical psychologist working with older adults. I am very passionate about researching topics such as ageism and stigma associated with aging.


AS: What are your plans post-grad?


AT: I am planning on going on to a PhD program in Clinical Psychology. I am still in the process of applying to programs.



It is no secret that Abby is intelligent, driven and successful. She genuinely cares about others and strives to make a difference. She devotes a majority of her time toward helping others, and because of that, she is beyond worthy of this award. It’s students like her that help us all to remember what we are working for and what we strive to be. Congratulations Abby, we can’t wait to see what’s next for you!