Doctoral Student, Developmental Psychology
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
I am: a friend, musician, psychologist, girlfriend, teacher, student, Jew, & cat lover.
Why did you come to UO? I chose to come to UO for graduate school, because I thought there would be a great match between my advisor and myself, plus I fell in love with Eugene when I interviewed for the program.
And what have you had to get used to here? The rain! I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how friendly and open-minded people are here. I’ve had to get used to saying “hello” to strangers, but I kind of like that. It’s very welcoming.
Who inspires you the most? Why? My friend and former co-worker, Nan Papiernik, inspires me. She is a wonderful preschool teacher, and she loves her job. She is constantly striving to learn more about early childhood education in order to be better at what she does, even though she’s already excellent. Moreover, I am inspired by her general curiosity about life and her endless love of learning.
What advice would you give to someone like you who is new to the UO? Or, what advice do you wish you had been given? Join a group outside of your own program – I played Ultimate Frisbee and it helped me meet new, interesting, awesome people I might never have otherwise encountered.
What book do you think everyone should read? "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
How do you think others see you? What don’t they see? I’m not really sure how people see me, and to be honest, I try not to spend too much time thinking about it. I think people might be confused by me. I look like I’m from India (which is where I was born) but my last name seems Hispanic (it actually originates from Spain), so sometimes people don’t really know what to think. People who don’t take the time to get to know me don’t see that those features, though “diverse,” are not fundamental to who I am or to what makes me unique!
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done? The first day that I worked in the infant room at the Colorado College Children’s Center, I was terrified. One of the regular teachers in that room had gone home with a migraine, so they asked me to step in. I had never spent time with babies before, but suddenly there I was in a room with six of them and only one other adult. I had no idea what I was doing, but I discovered that I learned quickly, and I actually enjoyed it! I continued working in the infant room for three years. As it turns out, that experience is what motivated me to pursue developmental psychology. I was so fascinated with how much infants understand about the world, that I wanted to find out more about how babies learn. Now, I’m in a Ph.D. program studying exactly that!
Or, what frightens you? Living a lonely life, without friends or people who love me – that scares me.
Where do you find joy? In music. I play the French horn and I love it. I couldn’t imagine life without music.
What do you do to recharge yourself? I love outdoor activities – hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, surfing, snowboarding… anything where I can be out in the sun!
What continues to surprise you? Life! You just never know quite what’s going to happen next.
What’s the thing you are most proud of in your life? I am most proud of the many friendships I’ve made and maintained in my life. My best friend is someone I’ve known since I was 5 years old, and we’re still as close as if we were sisters. I have good friends from high school and college and friends from places I’ve worked - I stay in touch with them all (beyond being Facebook friends). My friends are my family and I am proud to have them in my life!