With another successful commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2015:
Name: Amanda Szymanski
Hometown: Mequon, Wisconsin
Major: Szymanski graduated with a B.A. in Psychology on May 9.
Post-graduation plans: Szymanski accepted a position as a neurodiagnostic technician at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. In her position, Szymanski will help with a study analyzing the relationship between Alzheimer’s Disease and pesticide use. She will travel to homes in North Carolina and Iowa to administer neuropsychological tests to individuals, which will measure working memory, attention and other important areas of the brain that are negatively impacted by Alzheimer’s.
How HPU helped you get there: “The psychology department at HPU is very comprehensive in teaching students all aspects of the field, such as research and clinical. Because of the rigorous coursework & excellent faculty, I discovered my passion for research. My professors have been instrumental in advising me, guiding me in conducting my own research project, and overall being sources of inspiration. Thanks to my advisor, I landed an internship at Cornerstone Healthcare, which made me a very competitive candidate for my position at Duke.“
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “It’s really hard to choose who has had the largest impact on me while at HPU. There’s Dr. Christopher Lootens, who was my major advisor and helped me in so many regards, from answering all my questions about graduate school, to helping me while I applied to research jobs. Then Dr. Kimberly Wear was my research advisor, and without her I wouldn’t have been able to conduct my research project. I learned so much from her about research methodology, and through working with her, I was able to present my research at two conferences. Finally, there’s Dr. Kelly Curtis whose passion about her field is so strong that it envelops her listeners while she’s teaching. I know that if I become a university professor, I will keep Dr. Curtis’ teaching style in mind as a guide for myself.“
Most impactful moment at HPU: “My first time presenting my own research was pretty significant for me. I presented a poster at SNCURCS 2014 on my study, which looked at the effect of doodling on reading comprehension and topic interest. This conference was so important because I was given the opportunity to share my findings with multitudes of people from all over the state. While nerve-racking at first, I got the hang of walking people through my study after a couple of minutes, and still wanted to talk after the hour was up.”
Advice for underclassmen: “First and foremost, talk with any professors who teach subjects that interest you ASAP! Learn as much as you can, figure out what you like and why you like it, and then pursue it. In regards to being successful after graduation, being proactive and meeting as many people in your field as possible are key. Don’t hesitate to talk about what you do or would like to do – you never know who has a connection and will help you out!”
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