It's been a little more than three years since we learned that Alex McCord was pursuing a new career in psychology. Now it looks like The Real Housewives of New York City alum is quickly heading to the top of her field.
Alex recently announced on Instagram on July 20 that her work has been recognized with an award. "Thrilled that my research on which my first peer-reviewed journal article was based has also won a national award - Elsie Harwood Award by Australian Psychological Society for excellence in aging research for an Honours or Graduate thesis," Alex shared in the post.
The Australian Psychological Society's Elsie Harwood Award "aims to raise awareness in the field of psychology and ageing and to encourage students to carry out research in this field," according to its website. "The award is for the best empirical research project in the field of ageing, submitted as part of an accredited fourth year program in psychology or an accredited Masters by coursework program in psychology."
Alex, whose legal first name is Sara, was recognized for her work, “Effects of Action Video Game Training on Executive Function in Older Adults.”
The RHONY alum previously shared in March that her first peer-reviewed journal article, "Short video game play improves executive function in the oldest living in residential care," had been published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.
In May, Alex announced the happy news that she had earned a Master of Professional Psychology from the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. She was also recognized as a Vice-Chancellor's Scholar "in recognition of outstanding endeavour and excellence in academic performance at the University of New England."
Alex opened up to The Daily Dish during an interview in 2017 (clip above) about how she got into psychology, explaining how she and husband Simon van Kempen had decided to explore new career opportunities upon their move to Australia in late 2014. "When Simon and I moved to Australia, we both decided that this was a time of midlife reinvention. What had we not done yet that we wanted to do? It's sort of like the world is our oyster. OK, new life, what are you gonna do?" Alex said. "Simon decided to go to law school, and he's halfway through at this point. And I decided to get a degree in psychology."
However, figuring out what's going on in other people's brains is something that Alex had been doing even during her time on RHONY in Seasons 1 through 4. "I have always lived my life pushing myself out of my bubble. I think that if you stay in your comfort zone, you're not growing. If you're not moving, you're not growing. And so, kind of when I've been offered opportunities in my life or faced with decisions, I tend to go for the scariest one, because I think that that's probably what will help me grow. In a way, that's how we ended up on Housewives. And it's just been a long process to psychology and what makes people tick because I did try to figure that out a lot while I was doing RHONY," she told The Daily Dish in 2017. "Ever since then, I've always been interested in how people age. But actually, getting in there and showing up for someone and listening to them and trying to help is terrifying. And so, I think that's probably the way to go."
In her latest Instagram post about her award, Alex also shared that she's already started work on new research, revealing that she "just got ethics approval for the next project!"
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