Daphney Gaston ’16 is still a graduate student, but her career is just up ahead. She is poised to finish a master’s program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, and she's already secured a post. She studies human development with a focus on the trajectory of atypical development among children with special needs and children who experience trauma.
She will take a job as as an analyst of strategy and research at a Washington, D.C. health-care research firm that promotes the use of best practices for patient care in U.S. hospitals.
“Eventually, I see myself making the crossover from mental health to public health, where I can contribute to research and interventions targeting social determinants of health,” says Gaston, who majored in psychology and French at Hamilton. “My fondest career goal is to implement a system of health that integrates mental health care in primary health-care settings for marginalized families and increase access to mental health care in cities with high immigrant populations.”
Gaston says her Hamilton experience was integral to her career in academia. Her relationship with her psychology professors showed her that she wanted to work in human development rather than practice psychology.
“My diverse coursework in women’s studies, French, Africana studies, and psychology allowed me to adopt a more intersectional approach in my research. As a result, my current research interests include further understanding social determinants of physical and mental health, as well as exploring identity expression (gender and racial) among individuals on the autism spectrum,” Gaston explains.
She’s still convinced that her undergraduate decision to do a double major was the right one. “I am very much happy with my decision to study French at Hamilton, as it led to me studying abroad in France and exploring my identity as a Haitian American woman,” says Gaston, who still talks about her experience in France.