New psychologist Emma Jayes celebrates University graduation with award-win and MoD job offer

NEW graduate Emma Jayes always intended to put the knowledge and skills gained from studying two psychology degrees into practice to help other people.

She had not expected, however, just how quickly she would find herself in a prominent position at the forefront of UK national security so soon after leaving higher education.

The 22-year-old, who graduated from the University of Chichester this week, is now a psychologist at the Ministry of Defence, conducting research projects from its Salisbury base which – in her own words – are “helping to defend the country.”

“I’ve used almost everything I learnt at Chichester in my new job with the MoD,” added Emma, who graduated from MSci Advanced Applied Psychology course.

The University alumna, who studied for both under and postgraduate degrees at the University, was recently awarded with the prestigious Tony Gale award from the British Psychological Society for her pioneering project that helps people with dementia.

As part of the initiative, undertaken as part of her dissertation, Emma created an early-diagnosis tool which used perspective memory to identify signs of dementia. “The current tool takes half-an-hour where my tool takes just 16 minutes,” she said.

“Early diagnosis of dementia is key for support and improving quality of life. I will miss life as a student but I’ve asked to come back and teach the next group of students about my work into the effects of dementia.”

Ms Sarah Twist, chair of the British Psychological Society’s Wessex branch, watched Emma graduate before presenting her with the Tony Gale award. She said: “It’s wonderful that a new generation of psychologists are leading on research which is having a such a positive effect on society.

“Emma is a worthy winner of the Tony Gale for her work into prospective memory. There are a lot of areas o that the British Psychological Society is investigating – whether poverty, mental health, or others – so Emma’s research is integral to a better and healthier future.”

Emma is now undertaking her PhD in psychology, which is supported by her work with the MoD.

Senior lecturer Dr Moitree Banerjee, (above), from the University’s psychology department, said of Emma: “Her contribution to psychology, and her work on prospective memory, will continue to have an effect in the field well into the future. Emma was always the leader of the group in class – she has a lot of potential and we wish her well for what will inevitable be a very successful career.”

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