Psychology Students of the Month - Archive
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.
“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).”