October 27, 2022

Introducing Gonca Soyer: Psychology's Newest Faculty Member

Gonca Soyer

Dr. Gonca Soyer is the newest faculty member of the Psychology department. Soyer received her master’s degree in human development and her Ph.D. in human development and family science from the University of North Texas. She has been working as an adjunct instructor since 2018.

What drew you to Utah State University?

We came to USU five years ago due to my partner’s job, and the mountains convinced us to stay. 

What would you like the public and potential students to know about your research?

My research is about families, specifically minority/immigrant/refugee families. I study parent-child relationships in relation to stress/trauma, child development, and parenting. 

What is your mentorship philosophy?

As a mentor, I seek to make a contribution to my students not only academically but also in personal development. As each student’s needs and goals are unique to them, it is my duty to provide mentorship in a way that fits both parties. I will help them develop universal skills and provide opportunities for them to exercise leadership.

What advice do you have for students pursuing a PhD?

Persistence is the key to any accomplishment (at least it’s been the key for me). Please know that this will be a challenging journey, but you will get to learn so much about yourself: your boundaries, needs, wants, and desires. Sometimes you will follow every step as it is prescribed, but still fall short. In those moments, do not lose hope. Make the hard decisions, find the spark, and keep persisting. Because you belong as much as anyone else.  

What do you love most about your job?

What I love the most about my job is the personal connections I develop with my students. I get to meet and connect with so many different people each semester, and it gives me an opportunity to challenge myself to learn something new from them. My students help me grow, and I only hope that I help them grow as well.