April Schantz

Degree: Ph.D. in Psychology

College/School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity, College of Arts, Sciences & Education

The journey to higher education has been nearly 30 years in the making for April Schantz.

A military brat, April was born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina and Florida. At 17, she gave birth to her first child. Dreaming of a physics career, she enrolled at Miami Dade College in 1987. April then had two more children. By 22, she was working, studying and raising three children.

After earning an associate degree in 1991, April enrolled at FIU. One year later, Hurricane Andrew barreled through South Florida, wreaking havoc on countless families. Left homeless, April moved in with family in North Florida to get back on her feet. She put her academic goals on hold to focus on her family’s needs. She found a career in human resources. But April always hoped to go back to school.

April returned to FIU, earning a bachelor’s in psychology in 2012. That year, she began the Ph.D. program in industrial/organizational psychology. April has dedicated her Ph.D. research to studying the well-being of emergency first-responders. She found first-responders who don’t receive enough job performance feedback experience higher levels of burnout. This finding can inform work evaluation policies and improve the health of first-responders.

After graduating, April will begin her role as an assistant professor at the University of West Florida.

By Evelyn S. Gonzalez
Account Manager, College of Arts, Sciences & Education