Faculty Friday: Meet Dr. Nick Mian

Friday, November 16, 2018

Nicholas Mian, assistant professor of psychology, and psychology student Jasmine Huffman '19, right, working on a study that measures emotions in young children.

Dr. Nick Mian has focused on connecting UNH Manchester students with real-world experience since joining the faculty as assistant professor of psychology in 2015. Bringing his expertise as a clinical psychologist, Mian’s courses allow students to explore child and family psychotherapy first-hand.

Mian has focused much of his research over the years on understanding anxiety in young children, in an effort to design and implement effective early intervention and prevention programs. An advocate for applied learning, Mian’s students participate in this research by working directly with children and parents, giving them practical experience in real-life scenarios.

As part of a grant-funded project, Mian developed a video-based training program to help pediatric residents at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and Boston University better identify childhood anxiety disorders. He is now working with residency programs around the country, including Orlando Health in Florida and Duke University School of Medicine. Two of his student research assistants are traveling to Washington, D.C., to present their research from this study at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual conference.

Mian is especially invested in his students’ transition to the workforce, overseeing the internship course for both the psychology and neuropsychology programs. He recently received a grant to study UNH psychology and neuropsychology majors’ decisions and attitudes about behavioral health careers. In addition, Mian continues to provide psychotherapy services for children and families through his own private practice.

Mian earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, an M.A. in General Psychology from Boston University and an A.B. in Psychology and Art History from Bowdoin College.

What do you like best about your job?

A theme in several of my classes is that human growth is possible when we are willing to challenge ourselves to overcome the things that hold us back. My favorite part of my job is challenging students to face their fears. Seeing students choose things that are difficult for them and take steps out of their comfort zone is inspiring.

What is your favorite UNH Manchester memory?

When one of my students was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship—this was a proud moment as a mentor.

Tell us your favorite:

  • Manchester restaurant: That’s easy—900 degrees. I’m a bit of a pizza snob, so that is high praise!
  • New Hampshire destination: Anywhere in the White Mountains
  • Book: For a long time, it was For Whom the Bell Tolls by Earnest Hemingway. More recently, I would say The Road by Cormac McCarthy or The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
  • Movie: The Lord of the Rings (all three of them)
  • Childhood book: The Hobbit (I probably read it six times as a kid)
  • Childhood TV show: Ren and Stimpy

What are your hobbies?

Hiking, skiing, and fly fishing. My kids are now old enough that we can do these together, so they are even more fun.

Best vacation ever?

My most memorable vacation was going to Costa Rica with my wife, shortly after we got married. I had fantasized about being in a rain forest since I was kid, and it was an amazing experience to actually be there.

We’d be surprised to know that…

Before going to graduate school, I built my own apartment in an old industrial space—everything from designing to building the walls to doing all the electrical wiring and plumbing. It took three years, and I lived there for six.

Which 3 famous people, living or dead, would you want at your fantasy dinner party?

Joshua Chamberlain, Jimmy Page, and Michelle Obama.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?

A carpenter.