Spring 2022 Newsletter

2022 Senior Awards

senior award winners pose together at UMass

Student Award
Arlo Heimer-Bumstead Outstanding Overall Senior Award
Yana Deeley Outstanding Overall Senior Award
Sari Saint-Hilaire Outstanding Senior Service Award
Jennifer Gove Outstanding Honors Thesis Award
Philip Dorfman Outstanding Honors Thesis Award
Beatrice Ojuri RA Appreciation Award
Charles Pisaturo III RA Appreciation Award
Andrew Simonton TA Appreciation Award
Alexis Minnis TA Appreciation Award
Hannah Carroll Academic Excellence Award
Paulina Dubb Outstanding Internship Award


Hear what some of our senior award winners had to say about their UMass experience:

 

Arlo
Arlo Heimer-Bumstead and Christina Metevier

Arlo Heimer-Bumstead

Outstanding Overall Senior Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
My experiences in PBS have formed a huge part of who I am. This department as a whole has been like a second family. From the faculty advisors, through the professors and all the way to the students I have met and interacted with throughout my time here I haven't met a single person who hasn't been incredibly kind and encouraging and pushed me to be a better student and person as whole.

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
My biggest takeaway from UMass is the importance of making connections. No one succeeds on their own and everyone has their own strengths. Forming connections with other people and learning from them can help you broaden your own knowledge and can allow you to grow as a person. I have learned so much just by watching the other people in the department and being in this environment. 

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
I am going to be working in the Somneuro lab here at UMass as lab manager/research staff. After that I plan to go into either an MD or PhD program, though I have not fully decided yet which direction I want to go.


Yana
Yana Deeley

Yana Deeley

Outstanding Overall Senior Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
I had formative academic and research experiences that shaped me into the person I am today. After taking courses within the department I knew that psychology is where my interests lie, and later I joined the ViTAL lab where my passions became more refined. My peers and mentors have been instrumental to my success, and I am thankful to have been a part of such a supportive community. Not only was I encouraged to grow, but I was also taught how important it is to properly partake in self-care. 

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
It is all what you make it to be. 

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
I will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a trauma focus. 


Jennifer
Jennifer Gove and Tammy Rahhal

Jennifer Gove

Outstanding Honors Thesis Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
I feel that during my time here I have truly gained a well-rounded foundation in Psychology and Neuroscience. I have not only had the ability to explore many of the different realms within these fields, but I have had the opportunity to home in on where my true interests lie, and where I would like my future career path to take me. I am thankful not only for the courses I have been able to take, but for my experience in the cMAP lab, and for all of the insight that has offered me into becoming a graduate student in the future.

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunities I have had to gain experience into the world of research under the mentorship of Dr. Rosie Cowell. I was lucky enough to be involved in all aspects of my honors thesis project: recruiting and running subjects, administration of neuropsychological testing, following IRB protocols and document management, and learning to write scripts to both construct the experiment as well as adapt for data output and data analysis specifications. My involvement in the cMAP lab has not only helped to prepare me for the future, but has affirmed my genuine interest and enjoyment in the process of research of this type.

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
I will be pursuing a PhD position in a Cognitive Neuroscience lab, with future plans to stay in academia. 


Beatrice
Beatrice Ojuri and Jennifer McDermott

Beatrice Ojuri

RA Appreciation Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
From the courses I’ve taken to my position as a research assistant, PBS has guided me to my passions. Without being heavily involved in research and taking developmental, neuroscience, and even statistics courses, I would not be on the path I’m on currently. This path is one that I did not start off on, but my experiences in PBS have led me here and I feel truly excited to be on it.

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
UMass taught me that you do not need to box yourself in. There are so many opportunities to explore your interests. Even if they do not seem like they go hand in hand, you go after it and make it work. There are so many resources to support you through this and help you succeed.

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
I plan on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, but for the next two years I will be building upon my research experiences. I am still in the decision making process, but will be conducting research with the aim of bettering early screening tools as well as treatments for individuals with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Additionally, I plan to be an active member of a team improving outreach initiatives to reach underrepresented populations in research.


Charles
Charles Pisaturo III and Evelyn Mercado

Charles Pisaturo III

RA Appreciation Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
My experience in PBS has shaped who I am today because the courses offered within this curriculum ground and humble us as students.  From a personal standpoint, the coursework within the Psychology department, while quite diversified, helps give us as students new perspectives.  Further, between learning in settings varying from 300+ lectures to smaller, 25-student classrooms, I also find myself responsible to acknowledge the privilege of accessibility.  As a white queer person, coming from a middle-class family, I am allowed access to a variety of privileges others are not.  Yet, this identity has also taught me much about being a queer person in areas unwelcoming of my own identity.  Between these two factors, I believe my most shapeable experiences in PBS are the ones prompting me to be more accessible and open to discomfort (discomfort in the form of being wrong, apologizing, or attempting to be more cognitive of my own surroundings).  PBS has helped me value the people and their idiosyncrasies, as well as recognize and create plans of action for those unable to access the same privileges as myself.  

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
My biggest takeaway from UMass is the ability to find flaws and cracks in most everything.  This may not sound positive, but finding flaws can be beneficial, if we're willing to instill change to address these flaws.  Covering up problems or directly ignoring them is something that comes with institutionalization.  To me, this method of addressing issues is wrong.  Being a student at UMass the past 4 years has helped me recognize spaces that lack safety and inclusion.  In this manner, this school has helped me relish and appreciate spaces in and out of the university that do the direct opposite of this.  For me, finding areas that welcome and dismantle hierarchical systems, where folks can actively encourage change and one another has been the greatest takeaway from this school.  

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
After UMass, I will be working in Milan, Italy, serving as a mentor in a technical high school.  Here, I will be assisting an instructor with their lessons, as well as building my own to help students learn English, while simultaneously engaging in their own studies.  The program will run from October 2022-May 2023, and my goal is to also engross myself in community work inside the city in tandem with teaching in order to give back to the very place welcoming me.  Long term plans involve obtaining a Master's in Social Work, and hopefully adding a specialization in sex psychology to help folks in need of receiving sex therapy.  


Alexis
Alexis Minnis and Christina Metevier

Alexis Minnis

TA Appreciation Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
It shaped me into the learner I am today. It shaped the path I took in college and why I am going into the field I am going into. It shaped how I view certain things in the field. But most of all it gave me the mentors that I would be lost without. 

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
My biggest take away from UMass is to say yes to everything. The things I randomly tried ended up being my favorites. I have had so many awesome experiences just because a friend invited me to something and I said yes. There are so many walks of life and different things out there so get out of your bubble and try it all. UMass is full of so many opportunities and different things so get out there and use it to the fullest!

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
After UMass I will be teaching Middle school math through  Teach For America in New Orleans! I am super excited about my next chapter and I can’t wait to see what comes next!


Hannah
Hannah Carroll and Tammy Rahhal

Hannah Carroll

Academic Excellence Award

How did your experiences in PBS shape who you are today?
I chose to become a psychology major because my sister has autism and I wanted to learn more about the basis of her behavior, but I learned much more than I ever anticipated. Reflecting back, the classes that I took have played a large role in the person that I am today. Taking Maureen Perry-Jenkins class on the ecological model of childhood development helped me recognize that no detail is too small to play a role in shaping who we are. On the other hand, Luke Remage-Healey's class on behavioral neuroendocrinology taught me the scientific basis for behavior that contributed to my understanding of the internal factors that can impact our lives. This is all to say, being a psych major not only changed my perspective and understanding of everybody around me, but it has also changed my own understanding of myself and who I am as a person. 

What is your biggest takeaway from UMass?
My biggest takeaway is to be a self-advocate. From speaking up to professors who you think have misgraded your work, to stepping in at the first chance you see a table opening up at a dining hall, UMass has taught me to not be afraid to speak up for myself with confidence. 

What will you be pursuing after UMass?
I will be going to the UMass Chan Medical School in August! UMass Med was my top choice for medical school, and I am so incredibly grateful for all that UMass Amherst has done to help me accomplish something I never thought I could. 


Philip
Philip Dorfman and Adam Grabell

Philip Dorfman

Outstanding Honors Thesis Award

Paulina
Paulina Dubb and Ashley Woodman

Paulina Dubb

Outstanding Internship Award

Sari
Sari Saint-Hilaire and Kirby Deater-Deckard

Sari Saint-Hilaire

Outstanding Senior Service Award

Andrew
Andrew Simonton and Richard Halgin

Andrew Simonton

TA Appreciation Award

advising office poses
PBS Advising Office and Senior Award Winners