BS in Psychology

Rachel Frietchen, 2021

Rachel Frietchen

How did you choose your degree program?

I chose my degree program as a freshman. After taking AP Psychology, I switched paths from wanting to be a teacher to applying for college with psychology as my preferred major. Talking with Dr. Hurley, I knew that the major would be the right fit, as I found myself excited for the classes offered and eager to learn more about the field.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

The department of psychology does a great job of providing plenty of opportunities to learn both in and outside the classroom. The faculty in the department are continually supportive and want the students to succeed. Leaving Mason, I feel prepared to pursue a research-oriented career path in clinical psychology, as I received strong training through my coursework and participation in research.

What accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my involvement in research and the psychology honor's program during my time at Mason. These opportunities really prepared me to pursue a career in research. Both these experiences allowed me to learn outside the classroom, and gave me the opportunity to connect with graduate students and faculty. Being a research assistant and a psych honors student were both defining moments in my academic career, as they pushed me out of my comfort zone and exposed me to the various stages of a research project.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career? Please give an example of this impact if possible.

Several faculty members were instrumental in my success at Mason. Dr. Sarah Fischer, Dr. June Tangney, and all the graduate students at both the Impulse lab and the HERL lab have provided great opportunities to participate in and learn about the research process. Being an undergraduate research assistant has solidified my desire to go on to a research-focused graduate program in psychology. Additionally, Dr. Chrosniak has really made a difference during my Mason career. The support, care, and dedication she puts into the Honor's program allows for her students to grow and gain key writing and research skills. Finally, Dr. Hurley is a great advisor, and he has also made a difference in my Mason career. He is very responsive to emails and does everything he can to ensure that the psychology students at Mason are prepared for a career in psychology.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

I am currently in the hiring process to be a research assistant at a hospital in Rhode Island. Working as a full-time research assistant will give me some time to narrow down my research interests as well as increase my knowledge of the foundational skills necessary for psychological research. In the long-term, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, as I am passionate about research in psychology as well as how research may inform practice.