Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

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Graduate School Bound

Alicia Hammond

Alicia (Ali) Hammond, psychology senior, will attend UC Santa Cruz to study cognitive psychology with Dr. Meg Wilson. Hammond is very excited to begin exploring cognition, focusing on topics such as embodied cognition and dance cognition. Ali will work as a teaching assistant to support her studies. As she begins the next steps of her journey, she feels grateful for her time at Cal Poly, which has prepared her for this opportunity. She says, “I am especially grateful for my supportive professors Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti, Jason Williams and Jane Lehr. They have all contributed to my success in different but significant ways. Before I met these three professors, I had no idea that graduate school was even an option for me!”

Carol WangCarol Wang, psychology senior, will attend University of Houston pursuing a master’s degree and a doctorate in social psychology. She will work in the Culture and Health Research Center, researching the pivotal role culture plays in health and well-being outcomes for those who have faced extreme adversity (e.g., trauma, life-threatening illness, chronic stress).

As an undergraduate, Wang worked closely with professor Julie Rodgers, investigating the relationship between cultural thinking styles (analytic vs. dialectical) and well being, using both self-report and physiological measurements. She also ran her own independent research project examining the relationship between personality and speech under the supervision of professor Jason Williams. She says, “These invaluable research experiences, the knowledge I gained in my psychology classes, and support from faculty provided me with a solid foundation in preparing for graduate school.”

Claire Gleadhill with Denise DanielsClaire Gleadhill, child development senior, will attend Eastern Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine. The primary mission of this medical school is to prepare and educate excellent physicians who have an interest in primary care and a passion to practice medicine in underserved rural areas. This school is also committed to excellence in bio-medical research and dedicated to the improvement of healthcare in the Appalachian region. Gleadhill hopes to become a pediatrician.

Her time spent at Cal Poly in the child development program provided her with the resources and information she needed to gain acceptance to medical school. She says, “I have been able to explore my passion for helping and understanding children through rigorous coursework and compassionate professors. Professors Linda Lee and Jennifer Jipson taught me how children develop mentally, physically, and emotionally. Professors Jasna Jovanovic and Denise Daniels provided me with great insight into child development research, which undoubtedly helped me create my senior project. I firmly believe that with my background in child development, I will become an excellent pediatrician who can understand and relate to parents and their children.”

Ryan ManningRyan Manning, (Psychology, ’15) has been accepted into a doctoral program in Neuroscience at UC Davis. He is working in their laboratory of evolutionary neurobiology, which examines the anatomical connections and electrophysiological properties of neurons in the neocortex, the portion of the brain responsible for perception, cognition, learning and memory.

Manning says, “Cal Poly has prepared me for this position through the Learn by Doing method used to educate students. My active participation in research during my time at Cal Poly allowed me to gain research experience that will help me function in the lab setting. I would like to thank professor Taylor Smith for giving me the research experience and guidance that made me a strong graduate school applicant. Thank you to professors Laura Freberg and Jenifer Teramoto Pedrotti and my advisor Katherine Harris for all your help and guidance as well; I couldn’t have made it without you.”

Sevelyn Van RonkSevelyn Van Ronk, child development major will begin a master's program in positive organizational psychology at Claremont Graduate University in the fall of 2016.

Van Ronk began at Cal Poly as an industrial technology major, but after taking Intro to Psychology she knew she needed to be a part of the Psychology and Child Development Department. In her words, “After several months of hard work and with the help of several faculty members I switched into child development where I was mentored by two of my favorite professors, Jasna Jovanovic and Linda Lee. With their guidance I was given opportunities to perform research, get involved on campus, and was provided insight into the next steps for graduate school. The program at Cal Poly has inspired me to pursue a doctorate in positive organizational psychology. I was taught how to write compelling research articles, conduct my own research and, most importantly, how to learn. The number one thing I will take with me from my time at Cal Poly is the idea that we are never done learning, we can always expand our thinking, and finding the right mentors to help push you are the tools for success!” 

Silvia RodriguezSilvia Rodriguez (Psychology, ’15) will begin Case Western Reserve University’s Clinical Psychology doctoral program with a full tuition waiver for four years plus a stipend. Case Western is one of the few programs to be APA accredited since the inception of the APA accreditation process. Rodriguez says, “I believe the psychology program at Cal Poly equipped me through the Learn by Doing approach, which is evident in its curriculum, research, and internship opportunities. The Helping Relationship (PSY 323) and Research Methods (PSY 329/333) courses, along with Senior Project and the required internships provided me with evidence-based, hands-on experience that made me stand out during the graduate application process. More importantly, the brilliant and caring psychology faculty played a crucial role during my time at Cal Poly and beyond. Taking advantage of office hours and one-on-one time allowed me to develop relationships with my professors and facilitated my involvement in unique activities. Professors Debra Valencia-Laver, Jasna Jovanovic, Aaron Estrada, Don Ryujin, and Shawn Burn helped me make the most of my Cal Poly career in various ways and never hesitated to answer my [many] questions. My two cents: say yes to opportunity and initiate lasting relationships with professors and peers. It will pay off!”

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