Craig was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, where he lived until he moved to Long Island, NY for graduate school. He completed his Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He pursued his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Stony Brook University, and his predoctoral internships and postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University. He joins the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2020, where he will will continue his research in the Stigma, Psychopathology, & Assessment (SPLAT) Lab.

Lab Twitter: @Haus_of_SPLAT
Lab Website: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/splat-lab/

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Not right now ….. But I am definitely a dog person.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

No

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Cooking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

There was a time I considered myself fluent in Spanish. I need to brush back up on it though!

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Probably Opera or RnB singer (at this time those are only done in closed cars or in the shower)

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

None really. I left medicine because I always wanted to do clinical psychology. I’m pretty happy in this field.

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Trinidad and Tobago (For context: this is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic and the T&T borders are currently closed. This is the longest I’ve gone without visiting home and seeing my family. Such is one of the difficulties of immigrant life.)

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

To eat any and everything without gaining weight!

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

My favourite book in high school, and to this day, was The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. I would always recommend listening to anything by Mariah Carey, but in particular the song Outside off the Butterfly album. Both the book and the song deal with themes of belongingness and social exclusion.

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Get up early, drive to Maracas Beach in Trinidad, and lie down in the sun with a good book, some good music, and the salt water on my skin.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Fried chicken, Mariah Carey music, and my family (and friends). I might have hit four there depending on how you look at it 😉

15 What beverage gives you life?

Tanqueray Gin & Tonic is my typical go-to

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Chrysalids: It was all about living with a concealable stigma and striving to blend in until a person could escape to somewhere where it felt safer to be who he/she/they truly were on the inside.

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

Clinical Psychologist. However, I wanted to be a full-time therapist as a kid. When I started grad school I developed a passion for clinical research and now truly appreciate the importance of both.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

My research is largely me-search. I study populations to which I belong. Largely, I think of my research contributions as one way of giving back and helping out in my communities.

19 What got you excited in science?

That’s a 2-part answer. On the one hand, I am invigorated seeing the ways in which the science we conduct leads to real, and long-lasting impact on society. Now that I’ve gotten the diplomatic (and true) part out of the way, I have always been someone who enjoys arguing with others. Science allows me to get at both of these domains.

20 What excites you about science now?

That I’m in a place with a little more privilege and power than I had in grad school such that I can be more vocal about changes that need to be made in academia when it comes to discussions of privilege, power, and access to resources.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

After getting my workout in early on a Saturday morning, I typically get fried chicken (lots of it) and eat it while laying in bed/on the couch watching Netflix/Hulu for literally the entire day.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I think I can cook pretty well. I also would like to believe I can sing somewhat decently.

23 What is your favorite game?

MarioKart hands down! Particularly Double_Dash! Did I mention I might be a tad bit competitive?

24 What is the last book you read?

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

I’m not a religious person, but my mother always told me “do your best and let God do the rest”. It’s still a concept I use in most areas of my life. I try not to be too concerned about the absolute outcome in any event, but more concerned about whether I’ve given the best that I could. If I’ve given the best I can, whatever the outcome I can stand proud. Did I mention my mother is the bomb?

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Get professional singing lessons and go kill a karaoke session crooning some Miguel (perhaps without the need of a little liquid courage)

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

You’ll realize in time that you really enjoy your solitude. Embrace it!

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

If I’m stressed I’m either listening to a Mariah Carey inspirational playlist (I’m happy to share my personal playlist) or watching The Golden Girls.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

How to Get Away with Murder

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

I don’t know if I’ve had anything that strange in my bag. One year, after leaving Trinidad and Tobago carnival, my suitcase was filled with my headpiece and I was forced to leave all my clothes in my parents’ house to get it to fit.

31 What is your favorite animal?

As a kid I was obsessed with horses. I suppose that now I really like dogs.

32 What is your favorite book?

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Trinidad KFC (it tastes fundamentally different from anywhere else in the world)

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Christmas (it’s a time when I’m used to being around family and friends)

35 What is your favorite plant?

Not such a plant person. I couldnt even keep a bamboo plant alive :/

36 What is your favorite science fact?

If you double the amount of garlic in any recipe, it will taste better! (Caribbean science perhaps?)

37 What is your favorite season?

Summer

38 What is your favorite smell?

The smell of the beach!

39 What is your favorite sound?

Mariah Carey’s voice

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’d like to think I’m pretty outspoken which has taken a while to develop. But now I can’t shut up, and I appreciate it.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

Maldad

42 What is your proudest moment?

Being able to fly my mother to the US to attend my Ph.D. graduation.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Julie Mango Tree (Caribbean favourite)

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

I live in the US right now. However, the best thing about Trinidad and Tobago is the people, and the warmth about the ways in which we interact. There’s really a homey feeling that I miss about the Caribbean.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I have a butterfly tattoo that’s taken from a music video. I often test people to see if they know the music video for my own giggles.
I also will always cry whenever I watch the following Golden Girls episodes: S2E25, S4E8, S5E19, & S6E12. Check them out!

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Juliette McClendon, Enrique Neblett, Devin English, Lauren Hallion