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Psychology News

Keyword: experiences

During the Spring 2020 semester, Psychology Senior Lauren Wright applied for the competitive summer research program offered by the National Science Foundation. Lauren's application was accepted and was offered to work at Purdue University as well as University of Texas at Austin, which are both top research institutes in our country. 

Lauren Wright

Lauren Wright

Although both opportunities ended up being cancelled because of COVID-19, Lauren continued to stay in touch with the researchers of the two programs and was accepted by both of these schools' graduate programs. In order to be best prepared for these amazing opportunities, Lauren took the time to learn more about research and eventually got connected with Dr. Frank Worrell of University of California, Berkeley. Following their conversation, Lauren was even offered a chance to be mentored by Dr. Worrell in grad school. This is simply amazing!

What can fellow students learn from Lauren's story? First, it is interesting to see how one opportunity often leads to other opportunities. For Lauren, these opportunities came about because of her decision to apply for the research opportunity at National Science Foundation. Second, always be prepared and do not be afraid to reach out to others. It is through these conversations with the researchers that Lauren gets to introduce herself and learn about their work.

It is important to note that Lauren is working very hard during her undergraduate career at Stevenson. Besides keeping an outstanding GPA and research record, Lauren is going into her second year serving as a Teaching Support for Dr. Spada’s Writing for Psychology course. Overall, Lauren has been incredibly grateful for all the experiences, opportunities, and guidance she has gained from working with the Psychology department at Stevenson University.

A quick note from Dr. Wong: Julia Wingard was a very quiet student when she first started. Guess what! She is now one of the most engaged, motivated, and active students you can find on campus! Her transformation in recent years has really impressed me. I have thus invited her to share her journey with us via this blog post.

Hello, my name is Julia Wingard and I am a junior psychology major. I was invited by Dr. Wong to write a blog post to document my amazing transformation at Stevenson.

Julia Wingard

Julia Wingard ('21 Psychology)

I have to be honest with you that my first year was rough. I actually did not start out as a Psychology major. I was majoring in something that my family had told me to, but soon realized that it wasn’t for me. I was very quiet, reserved, and anxious about nearly everything. I was struggling in my classes and other aspects of my life as well.

During my first year, I took PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology and fell in love with it. I then conducted some research about psychology careers and the courses that students need to take as psych majors. Finally, I decided to officially switch my major to Psychology. It turned out to be an excellent fit. I cannot tell you how happy I feel with this decision!

As I gained more confidence in my academics, I started to develop a clearer vision of where I was heading. I then experienced a change in my attitude and mindset…

  • Slowly but surely, I began to open up and raised my hand more often in class.
  • I met with instructors outside of class to learn more about their work. This landed to an opportunity for me to become one of Dr. Schurtz’s research assistants.
  • I became proactive in finding opportunities. Just this past summer I landed in a job through a program that was affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.
  • I was able to find way to hone my leadership skills. For example, I am currently creating my own service-learning project for one of my classes. I participate in various activities on campus (e.g., I am a member of Best Buddies and the new sorority on campus Phi Sigma Sigma).

I am very busy, but am learning so much through these various opportunities!!

Looking back, this shy, quiet, and reserved girl who always sat in the back of the classroom has truly transformed into an active and engaged student. It did take me a great deal of courage to step out of my comfort zone, but after all, it wasn’t that bad! I am now thriving, stretching my limits, and reaching my fullest potential. I can’t wait to provide you with an update about my next step after graduation!

By: Julia Wingard

I am proud of every student who presented their work at the Psychology Student Showcase this morning! More images can be found on the Facebook Page, Instagram, and Twitter accounts! Be sure to follow us to see more.


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