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NKU Basketball Player Taryn Taugher Courts Career in Psychology


NKU Psychological Science student Taryn Taugher

Photo by Wayne Litmer

Taryn Taugher came from Freeland, Michigan, to Northern Kentucky University to play basketball on a scholarship. She'll cap her senior season with the Norse with a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science in Spring 2019.

"I like health, in general," the 5-foot-8 guard said. "I took a psychology class in high school that was very interesting. I tried it out when I got to NKU and my interest started growing."

When Taugher is not on the court or in the classroom, she is often in the laboratory doing research with a pair of faculty members.

"I work with Dr. Robin Bartlett doing research for career development in athletes. I'm interested in psychology in athletes. Then again, I like the scientific portion of psychology. That's why I do research with two different professors."

Taugher has taken some online classes, including labs, and likes the flexibility they afford her — especially with an extra hectic schedule during basketball season. In 2017-18, Taugher averaged 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds with 36 assists and 18 steals with five starts.

"It's very convenient and nice to communicate with the professor through Canvas," she said. "For example, when the team is on a road trip, and I'm trying to submit a paper but the WiFi isn't working, I ask them if it is okay if the paper is late. All of the professors are always very flexible."

She Shoots, She Scores

Taugher was a four-year starter for Freeland High School and earned All-Michigan honors as a senior. Her father, Terry, played for the University of South Dakota.

"I enjoy playing basketball, hanging out with my teammates and reading," she said. "My parents come down from Michigan to see me play when they can."

The Taughers are keen on a trip to Highland Heights to see their daughter complete this leg of her academic journey, which includes plans to earn a master's degree and a Ph.D. and become a college psychology professor.

"I like working with athletes because I'm involved with athletics, but I want to teach psychology to all students," she said. "My favorite class is [PSY 321] Lifespan Development. It was impactful with me because I have interest in psychology with children and how their brains develop as they become adults. That class was taught by Dr. Bartlett. I like that she has a lot of passion for the subject. It helped inspire me to want to teach, too."

Taugher knows the BS in Psychological Science program at NKU is preparing her to continue on with her higher education and laying the groundwork for her career. NKU also offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program.

"I especially like the research and getting to know how to work with data," she said. "The communication skills with the professors and understanding what they are saying are important for graduate school."

Taugher has learned a lot at NKU, on and off the court. The most important lesson she has learned as a psychological science student is to find an area of study soon.

"Get involved in research as early as possible," she said. "You might find something that you're strong and passionate about, and you will want to take certain classes in that area.

"If you're interested in children and development, you might be interested in lifetime development, school psychology or special education. It's important to figure that out early. Research experience is also important to put on your resume for graduate school."

Learn more about the NKU online BA in Psychology program.


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