Saturday is December 1st, you guys! You know what that means: it’s time for my November student profile! I have a special treat for you this month—I sat down with Vince, CSU senior, ASAP member extraordinaire, and psychology major. Vince has done, and been a part of, so many different things at CSU and he volunteered to share some of his experiences with all of you! Here’s the exclusive interview:
Kelly: Why did you decide to come to CSU?
Vince: I came (to CSU) because it was different from where all of my friends went, and also the Honors program. Getting into (Honors) was the final step.
K: What is your major, and why did you choose it?
V: Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Behavior with an emphasis in Pre-Med. Freshman and sophomore year I wanted to be a doctor—at least, my family told me I should be a doctor—and then I discovered psychology, and I went for it. I fell in love with research, and more specifically memory, metacognition, and attention. For research, you put a poor little freshman in front of a computer in a room for hours and make them memorize words. Point is: it’s boring, but I love it anyway.
K: Can you describe the psychology program at CSU, and daily life in the program?
V: Psychology is broken up into concentrations—there are a bunch of them to pick from. Being a general psychology major is kind of a waste. To get the full extent of what you want to do, you should concentrate in something. They all focus on different things, because psychology is a very vast subject—it dips into a lot of realms. I chose my concentration because I was already pre-med, and it was my interest. My daily life in the major: I’m a TA, I’m a research assistant, and I do my own research, all on top of classes. So I go in the morning and enter all of my data into an excel spreadsheets, and then I do another spreadsheet for other people’s research. I go to class, and then I go TA for Psych 100. So a lot of just psychology, and a lot of experience. I think that’s the most important part of the major—experience.
K: Can you describe your research, and what you do in other people’s research?
V: I’m doing my research for my Honors thesis—it is about mind wandering and different visual stimuli. I’ve been able to prove (with very low significance) that through the different visual stimuli that reading causes the most mind wandering, followed by listening to a lecture, and the least mind wandering is during the same lecture but with pictures. So you have two of the exact same lectures, but the one with basically irrelevant pictures has least amount of mind wandering. I have, like 15 or 20 participants. So that’s my research. And I’m helping with research for Industrial Organizational psychology. We’re trying to show how to efficiently learn, especially in older generations—mostly how to improve online courses and learning for individuals over 65.
K: Which student organizations or clubs are you involved in, and what is it like being a part of them?
V: So many! In the Honors program, I’m a peer mentor leader for a freshman honors recitation. I optimize the lesson plan for the year, run weekly meetings with peer mentors, and teach the class with a co-peer mentor. I am the concert coordinator for ASAP, we put on concerts for CSU. The last 2 concerts have been really pretty cool. We also do music competitions. And it’s not just professional bands—I’m really focused on getting local artists to come to campus, and giving local music an outlet. I’m currently trying to work with KCSU (CSU radio station), so hopefully that works out. The last concert we had was FACE, and then Resonant Ramblings. We had about 250 people show up, which was almost a full theatre. So, that’s like 40 hours a week doing (extracurriculars), and then I have 17 credits.
K: What have been some of your best experiences at CSU?
V: I’ve had a lot of them...I got to DJ for KCSU freshman year, that was pretty sweet. I learned I hate the radio business, so I moved on from that. I really liked living in the dorms—I actually got my own room because my roommate moved out, and nobody else moved in, which was sweet. I met a lot of friends, and I turned my dorm room into a dance party—flashing lights, stereo system, the works. I really met a lot of my good friends during the first blizzard freshman year. Some of my classes have been really interesting. I had a band, and we played gigs including the Gothic theatre, which was really awesome. I started doing my research during junior year, and turned my GPA around which was great. I’m working for ASAP now, in my senior year; it has really transformed me as a person. We are now working with social justice department, which is putting me in position to program for entertainment, and also to be a better person and bring more to the community. We can put on huge, really enlightening programs. I’ve done a lot in these four years. I’m over the board, but I’ve done it.
K: What advice do you have for incoming freshman or prospective students?
V: Get involved quickly—there are tons of great organizations and you can go to Ram Link and pick something. It doesn’t even have to be major, but do something out of your comfort zone, out of your box. Be spontaneous, even if that means skinny dipping in the middle of March. These are YOUR four years. I mean, the point is to get an education, so get good grades. But these are your four years (or five for some people), so make it count. Even if it is just once a month, leave the library and do something awesome. Also, don’t get a concussion.
Some great advice from Vince—it is really important to make your time at CSU count. Do what you love, and love what you do. Have a great rest of the week, Rammies!