What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?
My sessions doing play therapy with students from Cayuga Heights Elementary School are what I am most proud of. I feel like working with these kids has really humbled me and helped put my life in perspective. Through this work, I have learned my strengths and weaknesses as a future mental health professional. I initially thought that this field practicum course would be just another psychology class that would count toward one of my majors, but it ended up helping me define my career path. I will always be grateful to Professor Harry Segal for giving me the opportunity to not only work with him, but also enabling me to impact the lives of the local children that I interacted with.
What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?
I participated in a few research projects in Professor Melissa Ferguson's Automaticity Lab with my lab supervisor, Thomas Mann. I helped investigate the ways in which human social behavior unfolds in an unintentional manner, specifically, understanding how people develop and update their first impressions, pursue goals and control their behaviors. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to publish a paper after completing an independent study in the College of Human Ecology under Professor Gary Evans, with graduate student Casey Franklin. With this research team, we were able to not just develop a sustainability app (Humble Bee) for Cornell students, but also gain further scientific insight into how college students understand and conceptualize sustainable behaviors.
What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Next year, I hope to be enrolled in a pre-med postbaccalaureate program in New York City. My ultimate goal is to become a psychiatrist. I hope to use my future skills to provide mental health services for those who are disadvantaged or uninformed about the benefits of good mental health. I have seen the stigma that people have toward mental health and I have made it my life’s mission to change that. I want to increase the awareness of mental health services in hopes that it will no longer be a taboo to seek mental health help.