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Psychological and Brain Sciences Student Stories

Saranya Madan, BS Psychology ’21

Saranya Madan, Drexel Psychology Major

Degree: BS Psychology ’21
Minor: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neural circuits, and brain plasticity
Extracurricular activities: Drexel University Emergency Medical Services (EMS); Drexel American Red Cross; Peer Mentor for Drexel Autism Support Program; Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity; Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology; STAR Scholars Program; Undergraduate Researcher at Garcia Lab; Clinical ER Volunteer Internship
Awards: Dean's List; Drexel University Honors Program; Scholarship to Gain EMT Certification through the Drexel College of Medicine

Which element of your Drexel experience do you identify with most, and why?

Drexel has given me so many opportunities that I am beyond grateful for. The one experience I identify with the most, though, is being a Drexel student in the city. I love Philadelphia! Coming from the suburbs in Jersey, I was a little nervous to be all by myself at a school in the middle of the city, but Drexel made me feel so welcomed and safe. It was the perfect balance to push me to become more independent and confident in this busy city, while still providing me with the safety net and reassurance of a close-knit campus community. I love the fact that there is always something going on, new people to meet and a pool of networking opportunities. This experience has really helped me explore my interests and grow as an individual.

Read More About Saranya

Kate Oliver, BS Psychology ’20

Kate Oliver, Drexel Psychology Major

Degree: BS Psychology ’20
Research Interests: Mood and personality disorders; juvenile justice
Co-ops: Clinical Research Assistant and Co-op Supervisor, University of Pennsylvania’s Mood & Anxiety Disorder Treatment and Research Program
Extracurricular activities: Psi Chi Member; Psi Chi Mentorship; Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab
Awards: Undergraduate Honors Award

What has made your experience at Drexel special or unique?

My initial connections with faculty opened opportunities for me to network in unexpected places, become part of a remarkable lab, and establish a mentorship program all my own. My autonomy grew quickly, and I found myself increasingly involved in supervisory roles with the privilege of leading others. Drexel met each of my successes with a new, enriching challenge and I realized: here, your only limits are the limits you choose.

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Dalton Connolly, BS Psychology ’19

Dalton Connolly, Drexel Psychology Major

Degree: BS Psychology ’19
Research Interests: Neural basis of attention/behavioral deficits associated with schizophrenia
- Research assistant, PennVet Working Dog Center
- Clinical research coordinator, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Ralston House
Extracurricular activities: Psychology Club, Psi Chi, Maya literary magazine

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a senior psychology major here at Drexel. I was originally a biology major, but by the end of my first year, I realized that biology was not what I was passionate about. I am currently in the process of applying to graduate school for a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. I have a big interest in research in that field and I hope to eventually be the principal investigator of my own lab at a university as well as a professor.

Read more about Dalton

Emily Ding, BS Psychology ’19

Drexel University Student Emily Ding

Degree: BS Psychology '19
R&D Business Operations and Portfolio Management, Johnson & Johnson
Extracurricular activities: Psi Chi Honors Society in Psychology; Department of Psychology Ambassador; Teaching Assistant for CIVC 101
Awards: W.W. Smith Scholar

Which element of your Drexel experience do you identify with most, and why?

The co-op program and the research opportunities were what initially attracted me to Drexel, but really, the ability to tailor your education to identify and cultivate your interests is the element of Drexel that I most identify with.

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Sandy Ding, BS Psychology ’19

Sandy Ding, Drexel Psychology Major

Degree: BS Psychology ’19
Program Management Support, SAP America
Extracurricular activities: Civic 101 Teaching Assistant, Psi Chi Honor Society in Psychology

What led you to choose your major?

In my introductory psychology courses, I had a great professor who passionate about her field of study and research, and it showed in her teaching. As I took more psychology courses and got to know the department better, it became clear that the Department of Psychology was authentic in its support of student interests and learning.

Read more about Sandy

Constanza Jacial, BS Psychology ’19

Constanza Jacial

Degree: BS Psychology ’19
Minor: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cognitive neuroscience
Extracurricular activities: Psi Chi Marketing Liaison, Research Assistant at the Applied Neuro-Technologies Lab and the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
Awards: Humanities and Social Sciences Fellowship 2018; Senior Psychology Research Award; Undergraduate Research Travel Grant

Which element of your Drexel experience do you identify with most, and why?

My favorite thing – and the one with which I identify the most – has been the flexibility in the academic curriculum. Drexel has provided me with plenty of opportunities to explore the field of psychology, as well as other fields. Most of these opportunities were embedded in the psychology plan of study itself, but also in the amount of free electives I had; some I used towards my neuroscience minor, others to do fun stuff like dance and piano. I consider myself an eclectic person, and coming from a country where plans of study are very rigid, the flexibility to take whichever class I wanted and try new things was refreshing and enjoyable. I definitely took advantage of it.

Read more about Constanza


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