Life At Ripon – Rachel Detrie ’15

Chapter 2: Planning for the Next Steps – Grad School, Publication

[Editor’s Note: Rachel Detrie ’15, Clarence Sanon ’15 , and Kaitlyn Welzen ’15 are writing rotating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their senior year experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life At Ripon!]

November has come to the Ripon College campus, and it has brought cold weather. The campus was covered in a light snow for the first time this school year on the last day of October. Hopefully, the cold weather doesn’t set in too fast and take with it the gorgeous fall colors that cover campus at this time of year.

Beyond the exciting scenery on campus, it seems as though everyone on campus is busier than ever right now. Fall break, which occurred in mid-October, allowed us to catch our breath and dive back into our academics and other interests with full force. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a break myself and go home to Milwaukee. It was nice to return to the city and spend some time with family, old friends, and even some Ripon alumni.

For me, like many of my fellow students, the second half of the semester will be quite busy. November is a chaotic time since I will be finishing and mailing graduate school applications for clinical and social psychology Ph.D. programs before the December 1st deadline. I have taken the GRE, started all my personal statements, and will be fine tuning my resume and curriculum vitae in the coming weeks. Applying to graduate school is a daunting process that instills some anxiety and the inevitable reality of the fast approaching “real world.” Nonetheless, it is also incredibly exciting to think about where I will be taking the next step in my academic career and being one step closer to a career in the field of academia and research.

Despite the time and energy it takes to apply to graduate school, I still have plenty of things to do for my last undergraduate year. In terms of courses, I have a lighter semester credit-wise, and yet, it still is a challenging semester. I have physiological psychology with Professor Tim Petersik ’73, and after spending a good portion of the semester dissecting sheep brains, I am thrilled to say we are finished with that unit and have moved on to studying other content. Though I learned quite a bit, and enjoyed it in some aspects, it was disgusting…very disgusting. I have also been working on some independent studies. One involves designing and carrying out my own experiment, and the other is a continuation of some of the projects I worked on this summer.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I spent my summer working on campus under a research grant with Professor Joe Hatcher. One project we worked on after returning from the InFocus trip to Jamaica was a chapter on peace studies and service learning in undergraduate education. We recently received a reply from the editors, and they had positive remarks overall. Currently, we are working on a few alterations and additions before we send in the finalized chapter in a couple of weeks!

Over the summer, I also worked with previously collected data regarding self-defined happy memories. This semester, I did more statistical analysis with this data, specifically looking at some of the age categories within the data. I was able to find some interesting results that Professor Hatcher and I added to the initial article draft. After some final adjustments, we plan to send it in to a psychology journal in hopes of getting it published.

We have also been continuing work on an article regarding a theory of arousal. I have spent a good portion of this semester collecting additional data for the project, and hopefully, in due time, we will be able to submit this article as well.

As I said, this has been a busy semester so far, and I have no doubt it will only get busier in the next couple of months. Hopefully by my next blog, I will have some more news about graduate school and many of these ongoing projects. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions or advice!

Rachel Detrie ’15

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