Psychology Students of the Month Archive
| Rebecca Frick
Rebecca is a senior at GCSU majoring in Psychology. She is involved with the Sigma Alpha Omega sorority and the Psychology Club. In her spare time she enjoys reading, watching reality TV, and taking naps.
Dr. Dandy has been the most influential person in my academic career and I am extremely grateful for all the help she has provided me. She has helped guide me in determining my future academic path and has always been available to answer any of my questions and concerns. What I love about her teaching style, especially in lab, is that she gives us just enough information to get started on something and allows us to figure out the rest, make our own mistakes, and then learn to fix them. I appreciate the trust that she gives her students which has allowed us to come up with our own research ideas. I am grateful for her encouragement and her never-ending belief in her students and their abilities.
I really enjoyed Social Psychology. Our social environment has always fascinated me and I enjoyed learning more about the mechanisms working behind our social lives. It was one of my first psychology courses and it helped to shape aspects of psychology I enjoy now.
Current Projects, Future Goals
Currently I am in Dr. Dandy's Behavioral Pharmacology Lab, and this will be my second year in her lab. As of now we are working on designing a study looking at rats' preference of novel or familiar objects when in a group setting and individually. I am also in Dr. Chiang's Social Emotional Developmental Lab. This year we are focusing on working with children showing autistic symptoms and we will utilize iPad technology to teach these children. Right now we are observing children in order to get a better understanding of autistic characteristics. Both labs have taught me how to work in a team with others who have different ideas and opinions than my own. I am able to see how an idea for a study is begun and how it is carried through to experimentation. Working with rats and children has taught me how to be flexible depending on what situation I am in. I've been able to see the different ways data is analyzed and how we make sense of these numbers. I've been given the opportunity to practice speaking skills by participating in conferences and look forward to going to more this year. The experiences I've gained would not have taken place had I not joined these labs.
I am planning on graduate school and am beginning the process of filling out applications. I am applying to programs with a focus on studying Indian culture and language.
My short-term goal is to be accepted into a master’s program. Long-term I hope to end up in a PhD program and ultimately in a career I find joy in.
“It’s always said but so true: get to know your faculty! The best way to do that is to get involved with labs. Talk to professors and let them know you are interested in their lab and continue to be in contact with them. The professors are wonderful and so easy to approach. They really enjoy interacting with their students. It's the best piece of advice I could offer.”
Raisa is a senior at GCSU majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. She is a founding sister of Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority Incorporated, the first multicultural sorority of the nation. She says that she enjoys playing soccer and softball but also has a “small obsession with German soccer too.”
Dr. Bendersky has been my most influential experience in Psychology. I came to her my freshman year with a bunch of ideas and she has guided me down a path of success. She has been the most nurturing and helpful mentor I have ever seen/heard of. I wish there was a way to put in words how grateful I am for her help but I don’t think I would do it justice. She has helped me make it to two conferences, develop two fantastic research projects, and develop my speaking and writing skills to a level I thought I would never reach.
I have a feeling though that the Seminar of love class I am in right now will rank among my favorite classes. I love seminar styled classes where we apply our knowledge to a grander scheme.
Current Projects, Future Goals
Right now I am working on a follow up study. My primary research question over the past 4 years has been exploring what affects minority students’ pursuit of higher education. In an exploratory study we conducted last year we found that mentorship, funding, and father’s level of education, were important to minority students’ pursuit of higher education. Similarly, minority mentorship programs increase completion rates of higher education. Acculturation, stigma consciousness, and mentorship have not been applied to minority students’ decision to pursue higher education. The current study tests these factors’ impact on minority students’ perception of higher education attainment.
I plan on attending grad school. My hope is to go straight into a Ph.D. program and I really think that is possible with my extensive experience with research and conference attendance. If I am lucky I will be able to apply for an assistantship as well.
In the long term I would love to work in a system or agency that directly works with minority students. My dream would be to apply my research findings to the real world to actually make a difference in the education system for minority students. I think it is important because although there are many factors hindering their educational growth, with the proper support and guidance they will be able to increase their likelihood of higher educational attainment.
“START EARLY!!!! The earlier you involve yourself in research the earlier you can begin to develop your interests and get to know the faculty. Everyone has a different story and all of them have something to offer. It’s just a matter of stepping out and finding out who you would like to work with.”
Sean is a senior at GC majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. He is a member of DSF fraternity and says that he enjoys “music of all sorts ranging from Norwegian black metal to dubstep and dirty south gangster rap".
Without a doubt, Dr. Isaac and Dr. Dandy have most influenced my experience by guiding and developing my research skills and interests, helping me apply for graduate school, and exposing me to a broad wealth of information regarding brain-behavior relationships and other psychological phenomena.
The course Advanced Behavioral Neuroanatomy thoroughly expanded my understanding of the organization of the brain and its component structures and how they interact to give rise to behavior. I believe the course prepared me for graduate-level course-work and gave me the tools necessary to navigate neuroscience-related scientific articles by reinforcing the 3D organization of the brain through hands-on learning in the laboratory.
Current Projects, Future Goals
The project I am currently working on is examining the effects of varying doses of tobacco smoke on activity and place preference in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus. The experiment utilizes a passive smoking chamber for drug administration, a conditioned place preference paradigm to test for preference or aversion to tobacco smoke, and an open field to measure activity. Because of the insecticidal properties of nicotine, I predict that as dose increases, activity will decrease and subjects will demonstrate more aversion to (by spending less time in) the drug-associated chamber.
I hope to enter a PhD. program in neuroscience and psychopharmacology, focusing on drugs of abuse and their biopsychological mechanisms.
In the long-run, I would like to work in academia, assuming the role of researcher and professor. However, I think I would enjoy a short break from college, during which I may work in the pharmaceutical industry or a related field.
“Schedule a table talk with a faculty member to gain a better understanding of his/her interests, discuss research opportunities, gain insight into post-graduation options, and get a free lunch.”
James is a junior at GC and when he is not doing research or school related matters, he has a collection of hobbies that keep him very busy as well. He enjoys competing in endurance mountain bike events that last 24 hours and he also enjoys long distance stage racing. Recently, James founded the Milledgeville Bike Polo team and has spent a lot of his free time playing and competing in tournaments.
I believe the most influential professor in my time at GC was Dr. Gillis. I gained important advice and guidance which has helped me through challenging situations.
I have also gained helpful research skills, such as how to conduct experiments, which is a specific and fascinating tool that is hard to find elsewhere. I have found that this learning environment makes it easy for me to strive and learn new things.
My favorite class at GC was Interpersonal Behavior with Dr. Gillis because I gathered so many skills and gained knowledge that I believe has shaped who I am and made me a better person.
Current Projects, Future Goals
I am currently in Dr. Young’s lab doing research on a specific type of mnemonic device and memory, as well as the effect of certain behavioral backgrounds on memory capacity in general. I have been quite involved in the research and I urge students to log onto the GC Sona system to be a part of all the amazing research being done in the department.
I have many possible career goals in mind and am excited about my potential array of choices. I am interested in sports psychology with a specialization in the human performance threshold, adventure therapy, and working in the cycling industry.
In addition to my career goals, I have developed short term and long term plans as well. Because I am fascinated by so many things, I hope in the short term to gain a great deal of knowledge about them through jobs, apprenticeships, and/or traveling. My long-term plan consists of utilizing my knowledge from all walks of life and experiences in a career that will make me happy and successful.
I might develop my career in a psychological field, but I have also dreamed about owning a bike store with a coffee/bakery section and an attached record store in the back. We will see where life takes me.
“There are so many opportunities available to us as undergraduates and to not take advantage of them is ridiculous. Go out and learn. It's really easy to do.”
Rachel is a senior at GC and she spends her extra-curricular time as the Philosophy Club's Secretary and as an aspiring mad scientist.
In her private time, she enjoys drawing, painting, singing, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family.
I've had a lot of influential people in my Psychology experience. My great-grandfather, Eugen Kahn, worked closely with Emil Kraeplin and was the first Chair of Psychiatry at Yale. He passed the tradition of psychology on to two of my great-aunts, and my grandfather married a psychologist.
Now my father and uncle are practicing psychiatrists, so really I'm just continuing the family business.
In terms of my favorite class at GC so far, I'm a big fan of Cognitive Psychology, but I'm also really looking forward to Behavioral Neuroscience.
Current Projects, Future Goals
Currently, James and I are conducting an undergraduate study looking at a specific type of mnemonic device and memory, as well as the effect of certain behavioral backgrounds on memory capacity in general. I'd like to tell you more, but then I'd run the risk of confounding my results, so if you're curious you should participate!
I'm working towards my ultimate goal of earning an M.D./PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and continuing to conduct research regarding the mechanisms of neurology, cognition, and behavior.
In the short-term I would like for my current research project to produce results that are significant enough to repeat with a clinical population. In the long-term, I would like for the comparison between a clinical population and general population to be interesting enough to submit to the Yale Review of Undergraduate Research in Psychology.
Quotable Quotes“You will get out of your time at GC what you put into it, so get involved! Get to know your professors and do things outside of your classwork. The experiences you can have if you are willing to put in the extra work are incredible (and look great on applications to graduate programs to boot).”