Meet @UofSHealthPsych: Interview with Coco Thomas


Coco Thomas is a senior Nursing major who joined the Clinical Health Research Team in 2015. She was interviewed by senior Psychology major Katie Notarianni.


UofSHealthPsych: Where are you from?

CT: I’m from Parsippany, New Jersey. Soon to be full time in Scranton, PA!

UofSHealthPsych: Why did you choose Scranton?

CT: When I visited the campus, it just felt right and I decided on a whim that this would be my school. It ended up working out very well for me and I am glad how it turned out.

UofSHealthPsychWhat inspired you to join the Clinical Health Lab?

CT: I wanted to do research but was uncertain about what kind. I was talking to Dr. Cannon, a Neuroscience professor, and a student said “you should talk to Dr. Arigo.” I attended the APSSC Research Day to hear her students present, and I contacted her to ask about opportunities in the lab. I’m glad that the other student pointed me in this direction.

UofSHealthPsych: Do you do anything for your health that you learned from the lab?

CT: Dr. Arigo gave me a Fitbit once to try it out. It was helpful so I could learn how to use it and trouble shoot it so I could help research participants with technical difficulties. It also helped me look at my own health from a new perspective.

UofSHealthPsychWhat advice do you have for students who might be interested in research?

CT: If you’re motivated, just go for it. It’s a good experience and definitely worthwhile. If you put in the work you will get a lot out of it. It’s a way to learn in an applied setting. Instead of just reading, you can implement concepts into action.

UofSHealthPsychWhat do you plan to do after you graduate?

CT: I am going to graduate and get my nursing license. I am going to work in the ER at Moses Taylor Hospital and continue taking classes at The University of Scranton while continuing research. Eventually I plan to apply to medical school.

UofSHealthPsychWhat will you miss most about Scranton?

CT: When I leave I will miss the opportunities that are offered here. For, example retreats and study abroad, research, and different activities on campus. I will also miss the types of people that come to Scranton. Everyone is kind and friendly and I have noticed that Scranton helps people develop good personalities and values.



Alyssa Rodemann is a senior Psychology major who recently completed an Honors thesis on perceived life expectancy among college students. She was interviewed by senior Psychology major Jess Baschoff.

RodemannUofSHealthPsych: Where are you from, and why did you choose the University of Scranton?

ARI’m from Bridgewater NJ. Funny enough, I looked at schools with good early childhood education programs. When I came on campus it felt really homey and the campus was beautiful and I liked the size of it. It just felt right to me.

 UofSHealthPsych: Why did you choose Psychology?

ARI took an AP Psychology senior year and it was something that really clicked with me. I knew I wanted to study it more, so I changed my major from education to psych.

UofSHealthPsych: What advice would you give to first year Psychology majors?

AROne piece of advice is don’t come in with rigid expectations. Keep yourself open minded and take everything one day at a time. Everyone has different experiences and journeys. Take advantage of everything that the University and the Psychology department offer. I’ve been really involved in the Psychology Club and APSSC, which have been great for getting to know other majors and sharing ideas about our interests.

UofSHealthPsych: How did you get involved in research?

ARAt the end of my sophomore year I really enjoyed my research methods class with Dr. Warker and I wasn’t 100% sure about what I wanted to do in research. But I knew I wanted to join someone’s lab, so I asked Dr. Warker and I’ve been the lab for two years now. I was very excited to hear that the department hired another clinical researcher (Dr. Arigo) in 2014. I talked to Dr. Hogan and he introduced me to Dr. Arigo at the Psychology Welcome Back Barbeque at the beginning of last year.

I had been working with Dr. Hogan on a health psychology-related tutorial and wanted someone in that area as my mentor for my Honors thesis. I approached Dr. Arigo with an idea for the project and she agreed to serve as the mentor. I defended my thesis last week, and the next step is to turn my thesis paper into an article for publication. So I’ll be working on that with Dr. Arigo over the next few months.

UofSHealthPsych: What are your plans after graduation?

ARI have a couple of plans. I’ve gotten into two masters programs, one at St Johns in Queens, NY and Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. I’m still waiting to hear back from Columbia University about their masters program. Eventually I’d like to get PhD in clinical psychology and join army and conduct research in trauma. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll join the army and figure out my future from there.

UofSHealthPsych: What will you miss about Scranton?

ARIs it valid to say absolutely everything? I will probably miss the professors because I became really close with a lot of them in the department. Outside of the department I’ll miss walking around campus and seeing people I know everywhere I turn and I’ll definitely miss the close-knit community.