WecJeannie Emmanuel ’15, of Brockton, is a dual major in French and psychology.
She received a stipend from the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) for her study "Perceptional Decision of Emotion Words," to understand emotion perception and the cross-cultural pairing of emotional words with colors. She worked with Dr. Jennifer Fugate of the Psychology Department.
WecJeannie is considering graduate programs in clinical psychology and psychiatric nursing.
The rewards of research
From my research, I learned that being passionate about the topic that you are working on makes the process—such as designing the study and collecting data—a little easier, because you're excited about finding something new.
Also, being able to work one-on-one with faculty members and applying what you learn in the classroom to your research is very rewarding: you learn way more than the students who do not have that opportunity.
I would love to pursue a variation of my research in graduate school. However, in graduate school, it's better if your research is similar to your advisor’s background research, so it's uncertain at this point whether I will be able to continue working on the same topic.
As a dual major in French and psychology, I was able to translate a survey in French for one of the projects that we are working on in the lab. Being bilingual will make working with French speakers easier, because I am familiar with their language and culture.
Memorable UMassD moments
I have had a lot of memorable experiences at UMass Dartmouth. During my first year, the College Now Program helped me to believe more in myself and to always thrive for success. Then I met Dr. Fugate. Beginning to work as a volunteer in her lab reinforced my curiosity to be a student researcher.
Overall, the faculty members at the university are amazing. They have all influenced me positively by reminding me of my strengths when I doubt myself. I will always be grateful to UMass Dartmouth and the Office of Undergraduate Research for having given me the opportunity to be a positive role model for my siblings and also my community.
The future: graduate study in clinical psychology or psychiatric nursing
After graduation, I'm planning to work as a mental health associate at Pembroke Hospital, which is where I'm working currently. I am still trying to decide whether I want to go to graduate school for clinical psychology or psychiatric nursing. I only have a few months after graduation to start sending my applications, so I am pretty sure that I will make a decision soon.