Personal Statement

May 15th, 2012


Danna Galed

Professor Alvarez

English 110

May 8, 2012

Journey to My Success

             Two years ago I met a four year old girl who changed my life forever. I met her in Morgan Stanley hospital for kids when I spent a weekend watching over a nine month old baby girl with special needs who had no family. She was the most talkative four year old I had ever met, she seemed completely healthy to me and therefore I asked her what she was doing in the hospital. She explained to me that she was born with half a heart; therefore she needed to be monitored over the weekend in order to determine whether she needed surgery. The fact that this little girl was born with half a heart and still able to live a normal life and her body still fully functioning was amazing.  At that moment I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.

In my first semester of Queens College my favorite course was psychology 101. This course really opened me up to the field of psychology and I quickly became interested in it and the sub field of neuropsychology. My main goal in life is to help people in every way I can. With a career in neuropsychology I believe that I can use my abilities and help people. With my degree I would like to practice clinical neuropsychology. In the field of cognitive neuropsychology I would be able to treat patients who may have suffered a brain trauma or illness which can cause neurocognitive problems. In many trauma cases psychological factors of the brain can be affected, and therefore many neuropsychologists are needed to provide testing, assessment, management, and rehabilitation of the patient.

I am currently a sophomore at Queens College and I am double majoring in psychology and neuroscience. In addition to just having a bachelor’s degree in psychology and attending a graduate program in psychology I am hoping that my neuroscience major will make me a better candidate for neuropsychology graduate programs. In the graduate program in neuropsychology I intend to receive a master’s and PhD in neuropsychology. Both of my declared majors cover all the psychology and science courses that are needed for most neuropsychology programs. The psychology major covers classes from developmental psychology, clinical psychology, behavioral psychology, industrial and organizational psychology and much more. The neuroscience major covers all of the science courses that are needed such as biology, chemistry, and neuroscience and some classes for both majors overlap. All of these classes will give me a feel of both the psychology field and the science field. In addition to my double major, I am also currently working in two neuropsychological labs, an emotions lab and a cognitive neuropsychology lab. In the emotions lab which is overseen by Dr. Joan Borod, research is being done on brain mechanisms underlying the neuropsychological processing of emotion from a multidimensional perspective through facial expressions. In the cognitive neuropsychological lab which is overseen by Dr. Justin Storbeck, we are researching cognitive costs and benefits of emotions using EEG which is a brain imaging technique. With the EEG a visual window is designed to see into neural activity during emotional and cognitive tasks. Working in both these labs gives me hands on experience in the field I want to have a career in. My colleagues are


doctors who practice neuropsychology, PhD students, clinical students, and other Queens College students. Given the fact that I work with many experienced people I am exposed to the field I want to enter in and I get first hands on advice and guidance from people who are experienced in exactly what I want to pursue. There are many different sub-fields in neuropsychology such as cognitive neuropsychology and clinical neuropsychology and working in two labs with different goals gives me the chance to see a wide range of sub-fields. Working in both labs will help me understand the pathway to earning my PhD and all it entails. In addition to working in both labs, I am also currently working on a dissertation with a PhD student. I am my colleague edit her dissertation and she is walking me through each step of creating one. With this learning experience I will be prepared to write my own doctoral dissertation when I reach that point in my career and I will be familiar with the APA guidelines that need to be followed.

I am a hard worker and I do not take no for an answer. If I stumble upon a concept that I do not fully understand I make sure to figure and find out the missing pieces, and I have my colleagues in both labs to help me with exactly that. I am extremely passionate about my future and I intend to do only my very best and to get into the best neuropsychology program in the country. I want to go to the best school who offers an outstanding program so that I am able to be the finest in my field. I am a very determined person and when I want something I do everything in my ability to get it. I have seen and heard how competitive neuropsychology graduate programs are; nevertheless, I am willing to give it my all. With my work that I am doing now and with my future experience I will be a neuropsychologist who will only offer the very best. I will be able to help patients who may have suffered trauma and illness which may have affected the brain and psychological factors.

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