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Performed Research in Bulgaria Focused on Creating Substance Abuse Aftercare Settings

 

Ronald Harvey has traveled the world to enhance his knowledge of psychology. His journey began after an 18-year career in computer science. “I knew I wanted to go back to school, but I didn't know where or in what field. A friend in the PsyD program at Argosy University, Chicago, suggested I attend an open house, where I learned of the accelerated BA program in Psychology.”

He enrolled and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2005 from Argosy University, Chicago. Then Ronald took off in pursuit of a career in international community psychology research. He began working toward a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from DePaul University, performing comparative research and evaluation studies of systems that influence substance abuse aftercare homes and community re-integration of marginalized individuals in both the United States and Eastern Europe.

In 2009, Ronald was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant to Bulgaria to study the needs and feasibility for creating aftercare settings in Bulgaria.  And just recently, he was awarded a 2015-2016 Fulbright Core Scholar award to Bulgaria perform follow-up research and deliver a series of lectures on community psychology at New Bulgarian University in 2016.  

After his Fulbright to Bulgaria, Ronald returned to the U.S. to work as a project director for a large, two-year longitudinal study of alternative aftercare settings for justice-involved individuals after substance abuse treatment. After the project was completed in 2014, he began his position as co-project director for a study of justice-involved women and the role of aftercare settings on HIV risk behaviors.

Ronald admits that going back to school as an older student was challenging. “I learned very quickly that basic research was not my calling. I wanted to do applied research on a large scale, so discovering international community psychology was my saving grace.  I've also been challenged doing research abroad in Bulgaria, but this has been a much more positive challenge than I could have ever hoped to experience. I love doing international research!”

Ronald uses his personal experience to let students of all ages know that they can change directions in their lives and careers at almost anytime. “I appreciate professional schools like Argosy University, Chicago, because they give very specific, high-quality training for individuals who know exactly what kind or career they want to pursue in the most time-efficient manner.”

Ronald adds that his instructors eased his transition back into school, making it fun and exciting to learn something that was brand new to him. “I was lucky to have great instructors who took a special interest and encouraged me to apply to graduate school. This may sound corny, but Argosy University, Chicago, made me realize how fun it was to be learning again, and how stimulating it was to be around smart people. I'm glad it was the place I returned to study, and I'm glad it awakened my interest in psychology. It changed my life.”

Since 2010, Ronald has served as board secretary of the Fulbright Association, Chicago Chapter, the alumni organization of the Fulbright Association. “I also served as president of the Fulbright Chicago chapter from 2012-2014, and currently am vice president of the Chicago chapter. I am also a member of APA, member of Division 27 Society of Community Research and Action (SCRA) and Division 50 (Addictions),” he says.

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