Not everyone knows what their college major is going to be at 12-years-old, but Semira Nock ‘21 knew by then that her purpose in life was to help people—and pursuing studies in psychology was the key. She believes in the fundamental roots of psychology: “In order to change one’s life, you have to change one’s mindset and thought process.”
Having driven by the Owings Mills campus a countless number of times throughout her life, Semira initially didn’t think twice about attending Stevenson when it came time to apply to colleges since it was so close to home. “It wasn’t until I finally decided to visit that made the entire difference for me.” When touring campus and connecting with the Psychology department and students, she could hear the same theme being echoed: “The professors are genuinely invested in their students and because of this, [have] a high rate of students who attend graduate school.”
Semira now feels that her Stevenson experience is a testament to what those students had expressed during her visit. Her favorite aspects of the psychology program are the comfortable atmosphere that her professors harbor and the versatility that comes with a psychology degree. “Psychology is a fundamental tenant in many career paths.” Semira’s professional minor in real estate isn’t as separate from her passion for psychology as one might think. “I believe that psychology plays a role in relating to people when dealing with tenants and other companies. This real estate minor is focused on the commercial side rather than residential, but there are still important tidbits that can be applied for both.” Semira plans on getting involved in real estate on the side while pursuing her degree in psychology.
From her studies, Semira has fine-tuned her skills in critical thinking, conducting research, and analyzing data. When she’s not in class or fulfilling her duties as President of the Psychology Club on campus, Semira is a student worker in the psychology department where she helps with data entry, event organization, tutoring, and writing for the department’s blog.
However, what has made all the difference for her is the mentorship from faculty, particularly the Chair of Psychology Dr. Jeffrey Elliott. “He is my supervisor, so I see the majority of things he has to juggle and accomplish every day, and the fact that he is still able to meet with students and talk about their career goals […] He’s truly the embodiment of the core values that Stevenson upholds.”
Semira attributes this unparalleled level of support to Stevenson’s small school population. “Most universities are medium-to-large, which makes it harder to develop relationships with faculty members. SU is unique in terms of the psychology program because 50% of each graduating class is accepted to graduate school immediately after graduation. This is more than twice the national average! So, I have had the opportunity to be part of program that prepares me for these [career] goals and possibilities post-graduation.”