On a Path of Infinite Possibilities: Roberto Wingfield ’15

By Lauren Jefferson | May 24th, 2019

ROBERTO WINGFIELD ’15 first developed an interest in interdisciplinary research while at EMU, and his current position as a project coordinator at the internationally renowned Moss Rehab Research Institute in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, means he’s smack in the middle of IRBs, protocols, participant samples and data collection — “all skills and knowledge that are applicable wherever I go next,” he said.

That will most likely be to graduate school in clinical or educational psychology; in a previous position, Wingfield was a behavioral interventionist with children on the autism spectrum.

Now, his primary assignment is administering neuropsychological assessments to patients with mild TBI, recently admitted to the emergency department. “In addition, he said, “we are investigating whether information from normal smartphone use can help better predict and understand recovery patterns following a mild brain injury, by downloading a smartphone app onto the participant’s phone which both actively and passively collects an array of data.” Until that project begins, however, Wingfield has been assisting with management of a pending multi-year study funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to investigate factors related to treatment outcomes of African American patients over age 55 who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) at least five years ago.

Gaining experience in both practice and research settings has helped him narrow down future possibilities. His intellectual interests in college weren’t drawn magnetically in one direction. Wingfield “took a lot of classes in whatever I was interested in” and doubled down on two cross-cultural semesters in Morocco/Spain and the Middle East with concurrent research projects in cognitive psychology and generational trauma. He graduated with a double major in history and psychology, a combination that in retrospect makes sense:

“I was always interested in people, behaviors, motivations and interpersonal relationships,” he said. “The historical side of that includes shifts in society, mass movements, and change on a large and small scale.”

One “mass movement” the former cross country and track athlete jumped into feet first is Ultimate Frisbee. Wingfield co founded EMU’s club and now plays competitively with a traveling team in Philadelphia, a part of the Philadelphia Open Program. The sport is “fast and fun,” a good break after a long day’s work inside, and one sure thing in a world of infinite possibilities.

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