Mirenna Scott ’20
Psychological science is at the intersection of what I believe and what is intellectually exciting to me. I came to Pomona undeclared and found myself taking psychological science classes that were incredibly academically engaging, and these classes informed the way I wanted to live my life. I majored because psychological science encompasses aspects of learning about the self as a social being that I intend to incorporate into my future practice. I plan to work with families and children as a nurse practitioner midwife developing a greater level of support for mental health throughout pregnancy and birth. A psychological science background will be incredibly additive to a midwifery practice in empathizing with emotions tied to birth, translating science to families, and implementing research-based practices.
Outside of the psychological science courses at Pomona, it was the psychological science community that drew me in. The students, faculty and staff that compose our department are some of the most supportive and motivated individuals I have met. I have been fortunate to get to work even closer with the department this year as one of the psychological science liaisons and to see the inner workings of the department that set the tone for collaboration and a culture of unbounded interest in learning what makes us human. I majored because psychological science is not only an academic lesson, but a social, emotional and interpersonal one as well.
Shawn Trimble ’20
As a double major in neuroscience and psychological science, I view neuroscience as my mission and psychological science as my passion. I came to Pomona College prepared to embark on a journey to become a doctor and understand the biological basis of learning, memory, perception and consciousness though I realized early on was that though it was preparing me for the profession I’ve always dreamed of pursuing, I felt that I wasn’t taking the path to become the physician I want to become.
I majored in psychological science because it’s allowed me to explore the amazing universal dynamic of human thought and behavior, but how cultural differences lead to surprising differences in the way in which people act, think and feel. I’ve made sure to take advantage of the opportunities the major has provided and have conducted research surrounding cultural approaches to social and educational issues and have through the process have explored my own cultural identities in ways I didn’t know was possible.
I hope that all the students here at Pomona are able to find community like I have in our department. I have found mentors who have been invaluable to my personal and intellectual growth here. I plan to continue my research exploring how to promote better educational outcomes in Black and Latinx students while working in medicine. Luckily with both majors I’ll be able to bridge the disciplines and do just that.
Janelle Herring ’21
I knew I was going to major in psychological science since my junior year of high school. Despite being interested in almost everything I have ever learned, I had an inexplicable connection to this field. I love how psychology seeks to understand the mysteries of humans and how humans can be the best versions of themselves. I was especially interested in helping people with psychological disorders, and came to college with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist.
I took my first psychological science class the spring semester of my freshman year and have been working my way through the major ever since. My favorite class, not surprisingly, has been Psychological Disorders. This class has been the most applicable to my career interests and reinforced my desire to work in healthcare. I also have taken advantage of the research labs available in the Psychological Science Department. I currently am a member of two different labs, and I have contributed to research on monogamy, health behavior messages, stigma and child development, amongst other topics. Conducting research allows me to explore my interests, while contributing to the knowledge base of psychological science.
Even though I’m still interested in psychiatry, being pre-health has opened my eyes to other paths available to me in medicine. I am currently unsure of which path I will choose, but I know that my undergraduate studies in psychological science will positively influence the way I practice medicine. Studying psychological science has taught me to appreciate the complexities of humans and to uphold a holistic view of health. In whatever career path I choose, I hope to help people at the intersection of both mental health and physical health.
Tanya Shah ’21
My first semester at Pomona, I took an Introduction to Psychological Science class on a whim, just to see what it would be like. I had never studied psychology before, and I was fascinated with the concepts we learned in that class. This made me take another class in Psychological Science, and then another, and so many more until I realized I was in love with the subject. I was soon diving into Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology and learning from and amongst some of the most brilliant and inspiring people I know. Each class left me with more questions and a greater curiosity to find the answers.
The Psychological Science Department has given me several opportunities to do interesting and meaningful research in labs during the semester, and also over the summer. Through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), I explored the psychology behind mental health stigma in India, and I hope to continue that research in my senior thesis.
I like to spread my enthusiasm with other students by mentoring for Psychological Science classes. I was also recently given the chance to be a liaison for the department and this position has already brought me even closer to the tight-knit psychology community here. After Pomona, I hope to go to graduate school to study clinical psychology, and delve into research relating to mental health stigma, and psychological and personality disorders. My eventual goal is to become a practicing clinical psychologist. My parents joke about how I should be able to read people’s minds by now, hopefully they’ll cover that in graduate school?