Megan Giroux, Class of 2014
Hometown: Columbia, Md.
Major: Psychology and Dance
Graduation Plans: Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology; Giroux would like to work in a legal setting where she can provide professional testimony regarding the flaws of eyewitness testimony, deception detection methods, and other legal proceedings based on understanding of human memory and the influence of suggestive interview techniques, the media, and other testimonials. “It would be an important step toward creating a more just legal system,” Giroux says.
Current Work and Research Project:
This fall Giroux began research alongside Dr. Gabrielle Principe in the Psychology Department. Dr. Principe’s research is focused on how child memory can be influenced in different situations and how that is relevant to child eyewitness testimony. “This research is very relevant to what I am interested in doing in the future and will provide me insights into possible career opportunities,” says Giroux. This past summer Giroux worked as an intern at Sheppard Pratt, a psychiatric hospital in Towson, Md. In the Adult Crisis Stabilization unit where she engaged patients in conversations, encouraged them to go to group sessions and sat by their sides through their stay at the hospital.
Plans to promote the common good:
Giroux hopes to reduce the incidence of unjust convictions and incarcerations through research as well as develop more valid deception detection measures. She plans to question the validity and reliability of suggestive questioning and the influence of memory and eyewitness testimony on verdicts in criminal cases. “I’d like to prove that there is an especially prominent issue with child eyewitness testimony that dramatically affects the outcome of legal proceedings,” she says.
Most interesting leadership experience so far:
Giroux is acting President of Escape Velocity, the student run Dance Company at Ursinus. She is also an ambassador for SPINT (Special Interesting Housing), holding the position of Programs Coordinator (PC) for her specific SPINT house – the Wellness house.
“I plan programs each semester that coincide with the overall theme of wellness and help the residents of my house with planning their programs, budgeting their activities and promoting the SPINT community and activities to all Ursinus students,” she says.