" I became initially interested in psychology when I was
helping a friend who was having problems at home and was considering suicide. I felt so
helpless trying to deal with his problems that I decided to learn more about human
behavior and how to help those in need. This experience led me to enroll in an
introductory psychology course in order to understand more about what motivates people. I
have become more and more interested in the field of clinical psychology during my four
years at college.
addition to my educational experience, I actively pursued work experience in
psychology-related fields. I worked as a resident assistant in one of the dormitories
during my junior year. In this role, I encountered students who had problems relating to
their family, depression, suicide, alcohol, and drugs. I attained an internship position
during my senior year as a residential supervisor at the Indianapolis Center for
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, a facility dedicated to teaching brain injured
individuals not only to deal with their handicaps, but to overcome them. I witnessed
counseling of both clients and their families, and I learned to administer and score
several psychological tests used in clinical assessment (e.g., the Wechsler Memory Scale
and the MMPI). My work experience has proven to me how much more I need to learn before I
can attain my goal of becoming an accomplished researcher and teacher.
I became interested in research
as a sophomore when I enrolled in a research class. By the time I graduate, I will have
presented a total of five papers on a variety of topics at undergraduate research
conferences. My experience with the first study, an examination of mood effects on time
perception, led to other research endeavors on topics including student evaluation of
faculty, academic integrity, and comparisons of personality profiles of brain injured
individuals. The relevance of two of these projects, academic honesty and student
evaluation of faculty, led me to present my results at two College Forums. At St. Louis
University, I am specifically interested in the research efforts of Harvey Austrin
(hypnosis), Nancy Brown (child adolescent psychotherapy outcomes), and Thomas Grisso
(clinical, personality, and community assessment). As an undergraduate, I have learned the
importance of working closely with members of the faculty. A great deal can be
accomplished by working with someone who is already an expert in the field.
I have become firmly committed
to the beliefs that the most appropriate way to answer "real world" questions is
through basic research and that these answers should be communicated in a professional
manner to those audiences who can benefit most from them.
experiences have inspired me to continue my education in graduate school so I can further
my research and make a meaningful contribution to the field of psychology."