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Emil's Epilogue - December 2007
Gustie Psych News & Events

Gustie Psych Majors are "living and learning" 24/7!

[I knew that our majors were involved with a myriad of studies and activities but I did not realize just how many commitments to college and community psychology majors are fulfilling every day of the week all year long. Since this is the season that's all about giving - it seems timely to acknowledge the many gifts of time, talent, and leadership our majors are contributing on campus and in their communities. Thank you so much for all you do (the presumption being that you are all managing your commitments wisely and allowing plenty of time for academic coursework!).

If you are thinking about applying to grad school (Ph.D. program) - you may want to read the article written by a recent psychology honors major and Gustie grad, Chris Rozek. He's put together some suggestions based upon his personal experiences in applying and being accepted to Ph.D. programs in psychology]-- Lee Sande

Department Happenings

  • Friday, December 7: Gustavus Psychology Symposium -- The annual fall semester symposiumpsychology symposium will provide opportunities for psychology majors (and anyone else who may be interested) to learn about the research being conducted by students in the department this year. Methods students, research apprentices, and those conducting directed research projects will prepare and explain poster presentations describing their research. Please make plans to stop by the department and acquaint yourself with research currently being conducted by fellow psych students.
  • Friday, December 14: Celebrate the last day of class at the "Psychology Department Holiday Gathering" -- Remember to stop by the psych department any time on that Friday, create a "Frost Your Own" holiday cookie and enjoy a cup of hot cider.

Did you Know? Spotlight on Majors...

Gustavus Psychology majors actively share their time and talents in commitments both on and off campus and in a wide variety of organizations. President Jim Peterson, in presentations to the larger Gustavus community, frequently refers to five core institutional values implicit in the mission of the College which help define our Ccommunity. Of service, he relays, Student involvement in extracurricular activities, on campus or off, is not only important service to others, it’s good practice for developing lives of leadership and service after graduation."

Listed below are psychology majors (in no particular order) and a few of the many programs and activities (in addition to their psychology majors) in which they generously share their time and talent... snowman

Jessie Niles: I am involved in a few activities: The Gustavus Choir
Gustavus Swim and Dive team (diver); Chi Kappa Chi Sorority.
I am also earning a management minor.

Margaret Dorer: I am also a Scandinavian Studies major, Coaching and English minors, varsity women's hockey, club women's lacrosse, Viking Society Co-President, Swedish House Co-Head-of-House, Psi Chi, Student Athletic Advisory Board, Children's Home Society and Family Services (volunteer).

Katie Layman: I am also working toward a neuroscience minor and I am a member of the varsity basketball team here at GAC.

Amy Veerkamp: I am also majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience and theatre.  I have been in four main stage theatre productions on campus and several smaller black box performances.  I volunteer at the Third Floor Youth Center in St. Peter and I'm a member of Psi Chi.  I'm a member of the Chi Kappa Chi sorority of which I'm currently the Fundraising chair and the Co-Community service chair.  I am a TA for the Biology department and do research with Professor Wotton for the Psychology Honors program.  I'm also in the Crossroads Program through the Carlson International Center.

Kelly Anderson: Here are a few of the things I'm involved in at Gustavus...  currently, I'm studying abroad in India on the "Social Justice, Peace, and Development:  A Semester in India" program.  On campus, I'm involved in Alpha Phi Omega, Psi Chi, Pound Pals, Hoffmann People Of God, Movin' and Groovin', Vagina Monologues, and Intramural Softball.

Emma Iverson: I am also a Sociology & Anthropology major and a Spanish Minor: I'm involved in Big Partner Little Partner, GYO, Agape Bible Study, Proclaim, Chapel Apprentice, and I teach swimming lessons for St. Peter Community Ed.

Yoshi Suzuki: Here are my involvements! I am also a Financial Economics Major and minoring in Theatre and dance. I participate in investment club, international cultures club, diversity leadership council, kgsm campus radio, i am we are, gospel choir, campus organization collaborate, etc.

Alex Prieve: I participate in Cross Country, Track and Field and also have minors in Biology, and Neurobiology.

Alex Neville: I am also a Health Fitness major, Activities: Gustavus Women's Lacrosse team, Wellness Advisory Board, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Inter-Greek Senate, Proclaim.

Cathryn Nelson: Currently planning on a Neuroscience Minor. I am traveling to New Zealand for January term to study their work and Life through UMAIE. I am on the leadership team for a Monday evening Bible Study, Part of Proclaim skit crew on Tuesday nights, Play intramural tennis, am a team leader and coordinator for Gustavus Youth Outreach, I am in the Choir of Christ Chapel, I work in the Office of Church Relations, I am a chapel Apprentice, on the Habitat for Humanity email list, a member of the Servant Leadership Program through the CVR, and do other random activities. Life is good and busy!

Kyle Goodfellow: Involved with Study Buddies, IM Basketball, and a DJ for KGSM Radio, and participating in the GOLD Leadership series.

Taylor Olson:  I am also majoring in Criminal Justice.  I am Psi Chi president, volunteer as a sexual assault advocate, am a Gustie Greeter, intern at Crime Victim Services, work at the Leo A. Hoffmann Center, am a Psychology department assistant, and am currently working with Professor Kruger on my psychology honors research project.

Christine Grotjohn: Minors: English and Religion; Proclaim, small group Bible Study, Research with Psychology Professors, Gustie Buddies Coordinator, Holden Prayer Service Volunteer. I'm currently developing a program through the Community Service Center called High Five (Feeling Fabulous with Friends, Food, & Fitness). It's a program aimed to pair young adults/adults from the St. Peter community with Gustavus students to create an accountability relationship while learning the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle in terms of appropriate eating and exercise habits and the benefits they can have on self-esteem. Included in the program are individual and group activities. Also a member of Psi Chi, Relay for Life.

Stephanie Johnson: I also am a criminology major with sociology/anthrpology and political science minors. I am involved in Psi Chi, Alpha Kappa Delta, Lamda Alpha Nu and am a volunteer - study buddies.

Carly Ernst: I am pre-med, but psych is my only major. I am involved in Gustavus Swimming, Psi Chi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Mayo Scholars Internship Program.

Kristine McGlennen: I am also a biology major with a minor in neuroscience.  Most of my time is spent as a Big Partner Little Partner coordinator on campus.

Emily Allen: I am also a Management minor, I am in Campus Activities Board - special events, and I am a harpist.

Amy Grandgenett: TMT Sorority (which involves a variety of community service projects), Vasa Wind Orchestra, Big Partner Little Partner, Elders Program, Relay for Life, Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention and Awareness, Greek Judicial Board, Make A Wish Foundation, Voting for Kids (Election Day), Rugby, and I've been in Australia for a semester :)

Katy Daily: I'm also an art minor and english minor and I volunteer at Life Works in Mankato.

Amanda Lekson: I am involved in Wednesday Friends, Working at Kid's Corner, school volunteer work.

Jennifer Thelemann: I'm a captain on the Gustie volleyball team and am involved with study buddies.

Emily Klein: I am also a coaching minor and I play volleyball and softball here.

Susie Kramer: I am in the Gold Leadership program and I will be joining the Philharmonic Orchestra in the Spring. I am also a neuroscience minor, am a Big Partner, and a member of the Delta Phi Omega sorority.

Kim Maurelli: Also majoring in Criminal Justice, interning at Leo A. Hoffman Center, member of Delta Phi Omega Sorority, Inter-Greek Senate Educational Chair, Wednesday Friends volunteer.

Mary Beth Dekich: I am also a Sociology/Anthropology Minor, President, Theta Xi Gamma Sorority, Miracles of Mitch Foundation, GOLD Leadership Program, Inter Greek Senate. I am a Direct Support Professional and work every day with a boy who has autism.

Whitney Daleiden: I also am a religion minor, I volunteer with the Big Partner Little Partner Program, go to Proclaim, small group Bible/book study, and I'm a Collegiate Fellow.

Lisa Witbeck: I am involved with Swing Club and German Club.  I also work at a day care in North Mankato part-time.  I teach Sunday School in Vernon Center - 7-8th grade. 

Holly Bernstetter: I also have a minor in Management.  I am involved in Dance Team,
Shared Space, Academic Operations Faculty Committee, Student Senate.

Jen Stout: My activities are: Gustie Greeters, Ambassadors, Study Buddies Coordinator, Gustavus Outdoor Enthusiasts Coordinator, Gold leadership Series, Pre-Health Club.

Naomi Garbisch: I'm involved in the Big Partner/Little Partner Program, Psi Chi, the Gustavus Choir, Pound Pals, Theta Xi Gamma Sorority, and work as a student assistant in the psychology department.

Lindsey Cattau: I am also a French Major along with Psychology Honors and am working on minoring in Religion and Peace Studies. I am a writing center tutor and studied abroad for a semester in Paris.

Angela Allen: I'm also a political science major.  I am in the social justice organization ASAP, Amnesty International, SOFA (Student Outreach for Foster Care and Adoption), BPLP, Democracy Matters, and I'm involved in the Crossroads program.  This spring I'm going abroad to South Africa, and in the summer I'll be spending time in Uganda and Rwanda. 

Erin Larson: I also have a minor in English. I am involved with Gustie Greeters, the Theta Xi Gamma sorority, Psi Chi, Sigma Tau Delta (the English National Honor Society), and I am a team leader at the Writing Center.

Jessie Gabbert: I also have 2 minors (coaching and neuroscience).  I'm also on the women's softball team and also involved in APO, GYO, Relay For Life Committee, in addition to working on campus in the caf.

Erica Dobson: I'm also a History Major and on the Women's Tennis team, and am a coordinator for Pound Pals (a program at the Community Service Center).

Alyssa Schlager: I am involved in Guslink, am a Sexual Assault Advocate, KGSM Promotional Director, Wellness Advisory Board, Psi Chi, English Minor, Cheerleading Coach.

Jenna Iaizzo: My activities are Women's Soccer, IM Basketball and Volleyball, I am also a History Minor and I work on campus.

Siri Rydholm: I'm also in pre-occupational therapy.  For work, I coach the St. Peter Rec. Boys' gymnastics team, work as a rehab aide for Aegis Therapies during the week and for St. Peter HCC/Hospital on Saturdays, and on campus I am one of the coordinators and one of the team leaders for Gustavus Youth Outreach.

Brittney Lovdahl: I am also a Communications Major, member of the Communications Honor society, Communications Student Board doing the blood drive and other events, Study Buddies, Gustavus Forensics Team, Psi Chi, and I write for the Comm Studies Newsletter.

Jenny Grundman: I am also a Sociology minor. I volunteer with the Study Buddies program once a week, help out with Holden Evening Prayer, and I go to Proclaim every week.  I also work as an Admissions "Phoner" three times a week, and will soon be supervising at that job.

Spotlight on alum, Chris Rozek

[Chris Rozek is a 2006 psychology honors graduate. Chris was active in the department and editor of this newsletter while a student at Gustavus. He is currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison]

  • Psychology Ph.D. Program application advice from a Gustavus grad

  • I've been in grad school working on my social psychology Ph.D. for this past year and a half and realized, as we were getting visits from new perspective students last spring, that there’s a lot of advice I could give now with all I've learned about the process. I think applying to Ph.D. programs in psychology is a tricky process that wants very specific things from you, the applicant, and what they want isn't always extremely obvious.  Also, Chris RozekI've found out some things that should really be your priorities when it comes time to select a school. 

    What to do when applying?  Well, first off, what makes you a good applicant?  The first thing the schools you apply to look for, as well as what they will probably place the most initial importance on, is your GRE score.  It’s helpful if this is high to grab their attention since many professors are big believers in getting students with high aptitude.  This seems like an obvious point, but make sure you study hard and do your best because it is important and can help get you noticed out of the huge pile of applicants.

    I would say the second most important factor in getting accepted is how focused/motivated you appear.  You may be thinking, "What about my grades and letters of recommendation?  Aren't they more important than appearing 'focused'?"  Well, they are important to a degree.  Of course, you need to have a high GPA and good recommendations, but I'm not completely sure letters are always even read, and GPA is unlikely to be noticed much unless it is abnormally low.  After they feel assured that you have the potential for a high level of intelligence (via your GRE score, grades, etc.), it seems like the next priority your possible future adviser has is getting a student that really has a specific area of research and goal in mind (which should happen to coincide with an interest this professor has).  Applying to a lot of grad programs is, basically, applying to a person.  You apply to someone who you want to work with and be your adviser as opposed to the entire program in general.  When I was applying, my interests could have appeared a bit too varied.  In my personal statement, I wrote about a couple of big topics I was interested in doing research in, and then I applied to schools that had professors that researched these topics.  This seemed like the way to go, but I didn't think about how wide-ranging my interests may have appeared.  I thought that, by narrowing it down to a main topic or two, I had really narrowed it down.  Now, if I had it to do over, I might be more specific in exactly what I wanted to research and even add some more specific research questions I would be interested in examining within that topic.  Research is a priority for many graduate programs, and your future adviser will want to know that you are someone who is a) intrinsically interested in a topic they are also interested in and b) have some ideas or hypotheses about this topic and will be able to begin the research process right away. Read more from Chris about the Grad School Process 

Psi Chi Sponsored Updates

Gingerbread House-Making: Thursday December 13 from 8:00 - 10:00 in the Dive - Campus wide - Everyone is welcome. Beverages, refreshments, music, and the materials to build houses are all provided... and its free!