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Class of 2011
Situation Awareness and Strategies
After graduation, Sarah Gregg worked for NASA Ames Research Center as a research associate in the Airspace Operations Lab. The Lab developed and tested concepts and automated tools to help air traffic controllers manage more traffic. Her role was to develop questionnaires and assess how well the controllers used the tools that had been developed. Currently, Ms. Gregg is just beginning her first year of graduate school at Georgia Institute of Technology to earn her PhD in Engineering Psychology. She is working under Frank Durso in his Cognitive Ergonomics Lab. She will primarily be focusing on situation awareness and strategies in railway and driving.
During her time at SCU, Ms. Gregg was heavily involved in the Psychology Department. She was president of Psi Chi her senior year and worked on research projects with both Dr. Plante and Dr. Sullivan. She believes that these experiences were paramount in the development of her interests and really stood out in graduate school applications. More than anything, she believes these experiences gave her the confidence and initiative to ask questions and allowed her to dive into her career.
Ms. Gregg urges students to get to know the professors at SCU. They can give you more knowledge, advice, and opportunities than you realize. She also advises students to be creative. Psychology majors have a wide variety of options for potential career paths that do not always include academia or therapy. She believes that if counseling or being a psychology professor isn’t for you, it is important to know that you have the ability to work anywhere you want. In order to do so, she advises students to take as many opportunities as possible because they will open doors for you that can often be unexpected.
Class of 1998
Assistant Professor, Emory University
After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Dr. Joe Manns attended graduate school at the University of California-San Diego and received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 2002. Currently, Dr. Manns works as an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Emory University. In 2004, he married Sabrina Manns, another SCU alumni, at the Mission Church. In 2011, they welcomed their first child, son, Booker Manns.
During his time at SCU, Dr. Manns had close interactions with the faculty, including time in the classroom, lab courses, and in research projects. He considers these relationships to be the most valuable part of his undergraduate career. As an undergraduate, Dr. Manns had aimed to become a professor. He states that at the age of 22, it was easier for him to picture himself as a future professor than to picture himself as a future father. However, now that he is both, he loves the way that each intersects and gives him a reason to get out of bed each morning.
Dr. Manns’ only piece of advice for current students is powerfully succinct: “Be earnest.”
Class of 2007
Neuropsychology Research Analyst
Megan Thompson's work as an undergraduate in Santa Clara's sleep lab led her directly to a job as a neuropsychology research analyst.
A psychology major, Thompson today examines the effects of HIV, alcoholism, and aging on the brain at SRI International, based in Menlo Park, California. She interviews participants, administers MRI brain scans, and conducts neuropsychological tests.
"I definitely use many of the skills I gained at SCU," Thompson says.
At Santa Clara, she worked with Associate Professor Tracey Kahan in the sleep lab to learn how to administer EKGs and EEGs, and how to write research protocols. "Dr. Kahan is a wonderful mentor, full of psychology guidance and wisdom—and the sleep lab is a place where hardworking undergraduates can develop their research skills and fulfill their passion for various avenues related to psychology," she says.
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