Kristen Pasko is a senior psychology major at The University of Scranton. She was interviewed by Zuhri Outland, who recently graduated.
UofSHealthPsych: Where are you from?
RP: A little town called Skipback, PA. I like to compare it to Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. It’s about 2 hours from here.
UofSHealthPsych: Why did you choose The University of Scranton?
RP: One of my high school guidance counselors recommended it to me. They thought I would like the feel and community of the school as well as the small size. Plus, the Jesuit educational mission and ideals are similar to those of my high school, and I really liked it there.
UofSHealthPsych: What inspired you to join the Health Psychology Research Team?
RP: I took Abnormal Psychology with Dr. Arigo and enjoyed the class. From there I interviewed her for a career development course, and found out that we had similar interests (in social media, for example). She introduced me to the field of health psychology and to the lab.
UofSHealthPsych: Tell us about your experience with the Health Psychology Research Team.
RP: It has been both challenging and eye opening. I have done things that I never thought I could do before, like helping to oversee a large, complicated project with many participants. Being in the lab has expanded my interests and I have found some new abilities.
UofSHealthPsych: What’s the most valuable lesson have you learned from doing research with the team?
RP: Just how much goes into the research process. There is so much that you don’t see from the outside. And learning how to be professional yet personable with participants. That’s been really helpful for me, because it also strengthens my clinical skills.
UofSHealthPsych: We know that you’re doing an independent study this semester. What can you tell us about it?
RP: (Laughs) It involves Snapchat! It’s about the relationship between social media and health behaviors. I’m interested in how people respond to social media. It came from all of the work I did on the Fitspiration blog series, which was a great way to learn how to communicate research to a broad audience.
UofSHealthPsych: What did you like the most about Scranton and the research team?
RP: For Scranton, the people. For the research team, how much I’ve seen myself grow over the past two years.
UofSHealthPsych: What are your future plans?
RP: So I don’t have to miss Scranton or the team too much, actually. Right after graduation I’m staying on as a research coordinator, working with Dr. Arigo on projects related to physical activity. Eventually I plan to apply to graduate school for clinical psychology.