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We are happy to feature Olivia Gooch (’22 Psychology) this week!

Olivia Gooch

Olivia is currently in her junior year. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counseling and Human Services. As a student athlete, she is a mid-distance runner on the track and field team. She is now training very hard to qualify for the MAC championship!

Olivia is doing very well in her courses. In fact, she was invited to serve as the Teaching Support for courses such as Cognitive Psychology and Experimental Design and Analysis I. She is completing a research study that that focuses on political satisfaction and race with Dr. Metzger. Olivia is planning to apply for graduate programs in school psychology in the future.

When she is not in the classroom, research lab, or track, you can find Olivia working as a student leader. She is serving as a Secretary for the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Student Athletic Advisory Committee. These two committees are discussing about the implementation of NCAA regulations for event planning. Olivia is also an active participant of student clubs and organizations such as R.E.A.C.H. and Psychology Club.

We asked Olivia to provide some advice for fellow students about how to thrive in school, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Olivia said, “Time management is the best advice that I can give. I personally write everything down to plan out my day. In addition, your teammates are the best people you can talk to if you ever need help or support.” In her spare time, Olivia loves doing arts and craft to de-stress.

Interested in learning more about Stevenson’s very own track team? Visit the Go Mustangs Sports website to see their playing schedule.

Written by: Funmi Dada

We are proud to feature our alum Sophia Allen (’11 Psychology) this week.

Sophia Allen

Sophia is currently working as a Research Administrator at Johns Hopkins University. Her day-to-day duties include entering data, submitting IRB proposals, reviewing consent forms, renewing grants, amending protocol amendments, and monitoring patients for any medications or adverse reactions. Her excellent writing skills and extensive knowledge in research contribute to her success in this position.

Sophia has a strong research interest in HIV prevention. She is working on a project that aims to develop another form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication used for preventing the transmission of HIV. Additionally, Sophia is working on a project that develops medications for immunocompromising conditions. She hopes to work with underserved communities to raise awareness of HIV prevention.

Sophia was a nontraditional student who started college at Stevenson at the age of 21. Besides excelling in her courses, Sophia was very active on campus as she worked for ResLife and was a key member of the Psychology Club. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2011, and shortly after, Sophia started working for Johns Hopkins University.

“There is so much that you can do with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology,” said Sophia. “It is a really versatile degree and I encourage students to check in with their advisors about their future goals. When I was at Stevenson, Dr. Iannone provided with me with lots of help in honing the skills I needed to secure a job. The psychology program is like family to me, and it has prepared me so well for the real world.”

Congratulations to Sophia on her success and we wish her luck for her future endeavors. Please stay in touch!

Written by: Funmi Dada

In honor of African American History Month, we wanted to highlight our very own Psychology alumna, T’Niya Lawson (’20 Psychology)! 

TNiya Lawson

During her senior year, T’Niya completed her PSY 470 Senior Research Thesis under the supervision of our Department Chair Dr. Elliott. In her thesis, T’Niya examined how the race and attitude of a law enforcement officer (threatening vs. non-threatening) and the participants’ race influenced compliance with officer requests. Her results indicated that officer race, threatening attitude, and participant race did in fact influence compliance level. Her and research team found that compliance was highest in the non-threatening, same race as law enforcement officers conditions. Although the Psychology Student Research Showcase was cancelled due to COVID, T’Niya had the opportunity to present her work at the virtual Eastern Psychological Association Conference in March, 2020.

Looking back at her four years at Stevenson, T’Niya was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. To this end, she had held various leadership positions for many student clubs and organizations. For example, she had served as the Chair for Women of Resilience Tenacity, and Humility (W.O.R.T.H.) (a club focused on building sisterhood and creating a social environment for all women). She was also the Treasurer of Active Minds (whose goal is to empower students to speak openly about mental health and encourage help-seeking) and Treasurer of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Notably, T’Niya was an honorary member of the Psychology Program’s Honor Society Psi-Chi.

In Fall 2020, T’Niya started graduate school to pursue her Master’s in Clinical Psychology degree at Virginia State University. Although many students find the transition to graduate school overwhelming, T’Niya was taking everything in stride—all because of the excellent education she received at Stevenson University! For example, her professors took notice of her rich statistical knowledge and research experiences right at the beginning. After all, T’Niya had taken three research methods and statistics course and was involved in various research projects at Stevenson, and these experiences really made her stand out from her peers. Indeed, T’Niya’s first semester went so well that she earned a perfect GPA of 4.0! Moving forward, T’Niya will be taking clinical courses in her program and she is very confident that she is just as well-prepared.

We are so proud of T’Niya and look forward to hearing more about her future achievements! Please keep us posted!

Written by: Semira Nock

So Psyched is a new fun and engaging club dedicated to combating cyberbullying, helping students to become more mindful of their media usage, and analyzing how mental health is portrayed in the media.

So psyched

The main goal of So Psyched is to understand the relationship between social media usage and mental health outcomes. Specifically, the way we think about the world has a lot to do with our daily consumption of social media, viral feeds, hypes, buzzwords, and trending hashtags. To this end, So Psyched encourages students to discuss mental health as it pertains to pop culture, social media, and current events.

Angel Longus, a psychology major who is serving as the President of So Psyched, shared, “On the one hand, social media is fun and entertaining. On the other hand, the messages from social media can be extremely toxic and upsetting. As a club, So Psyched aims to help students to navigate their conflicting feelings, set boundaries for themselves to minimize media burnout, and establish healthy habits regarding the use of social media. So Psyched also wants to look at what students can do to advocate for mental health and reduce any stigma related to mental health in the social media.”

Vice President Jasmine Benning, a criminal justice major, encourages all interested students to join. She said, “So Psyched focuses on mental health and social media. Our topics are relevant because almost everyone uses social media. We have a lot of fun activities and discussions planned in the coming months and hope to see you there!”

Students who are interested in joining So Psyched should follow their social media accounts for more information.

Twitter: SoPsychedSU
Instagram: SoPsychedSU

Today’s featured student athlete is Samantha Baysic.

Sam Baysic

Samantha is a junior psychology major who also plays as goalkeeper for the Stevenson Women’s Soccer team. Samantha first became involved in soccer at the age of six as her parents signed her up for her local team. Quickly, she grew to love soccer and has been playing ever since!

Sam thumbs up

In terms of her major, Samantha chose psychology because she wanted to pursue a career in mental health. She has friends who have undergone therapy and noticed how beneficial it was for them. She then wanted to become a therapist one day, so that she can help others to restore their mental health.

As she has been maneuvering through this semester, Samantha found that staying motivated and organized was initially not the easiest. However, once she was able to transition back on campus as well as begin training with her soccer team, she was able to regain focus and organization with her assignments and projects. In terms of these assignments, the workload has not been too heavy for her, as she has been able to settle in a steady schedule of when she will get them done, making sure to write down key due dates and other important information. Samantha has been able to push through and receive A’s for her midterm grades! She also realizes how important it is to communicate with her professors outside of the classroom, especially now that everything is online. In doing so, she has been able to learn more about her professors as well as the Psychology Department as a whole!

Sam sunset

With all of the different changes that student athletes have undergone, Samantha wants everyone to know: “You can do this! As student athletes we are used to overcoming obstacles and juggling course work. Just think of this semester as a setback will encourage perseverance and make you stronger in the end.”

Written by: Semira Nock

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