Monday, October 29, 2012

Senior Spotlight: Niki Valentine

My opportunities at Ashland have been more than I could have ever imagined. I switched my major to Psychology my second semester freshman year. It was the best choice I could have made. My freshman year brought a lot of great opportunities for me. I began assisting Dr. Bonfiglio with research, which gave me great insight into research methods, i.e. collecting and analyzing data and running participants through different experimental procedures. I also became a tutor for Psychology 101. My sophomore year I continued with research. This was the first year that I got the opportunity to present research I had assisted with in Chicago, IL and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium at AU, a project titled "Weight Changes in First Semester University Students." My junior year, I once again continued with research, this time getting to present in Pittsburgh, PA and URCA on "Participation in a Priming Task Predicts Persistence". I also presented a group project with my partner Kayla Hoover at URCA, "Suicide Education Media." During my junior year, I also became president of Psi Chi, which was a great opportunity to learn about leadership and responsibility in an organization. I also had an internship at KSK Health Services, a counseling service center in Middleburg Heights, OH. This gave me insight into what daily counseling sessions are truly about, and it gave me a little look into a possible career choice.

I have also been involved in many other campus activities and organizations. My freshman year I ran track at AU, running the hurdles and sprinting. I also worked at the phone center, calling interested freshman and alumni. My sophomore year, I got a job at Applebees, where I still reside. I am also involved in Psych Club, Psi Chi, and fundraisers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I also participated in the AU Germany summer program -- what an amazing experience to go to another country and learn so much about the culture, while earning credits! I am so grateful to everything I've gotten the opportunity to be involved in, and I know no other university would've given me these type of experiences.