Lea Morvan is an international student who transferred to Avila to complete her Master of Science in Psychology. She wanted a smaller school environment and was drawn into Avila’s MSP program because it offers a variety of research opportunities. These experiences are critical for further research and teaching opportunities as she plans to pursue her Ph.D. upon graduation from Avila.
Why are you interested in this degree?
I’m utterly fascinated by human behavior. Getting accepted into the MSP program at Avila was a great way to expand my knowledge and deepen my understanding of how and why we think a certain way.
What surprised you about Avila or the psychology program?
Coming from a bigger school, I was pleasantly surprised by how involved professors are when you show interest in their work. They care about my goals and are dedicated to supporting my growth as a graduate student. This connection is incredibly valuable and I’m pleased that I transferred.
What professional goals do you have for the future, and how is your Avila education preparing you to pursue these goals?
Beyond the research track and opportunities offered by the program, the mentorship and opportunities offered to me by individual faculty members in my department have been a great way for me to narrow my research interests for my Ph.D.
After learning about my goals, several faculty members invited me to guest lecture for them. I’m interested in eventually teaching at a university. These opportunities have helped me realize my strengths and areas of growth. The community I found on this campus has been incredibly supportive.
Who at Avila did you form an inspired relationship with, and how did they assist you?
Two faculty members stand out because of the immense support and mentorship they’ve offered: Dr. Marcia Pasqualini and Dr. Jordan Wagge. Both of them have had a huge impact on my academic and professional goals.
Dr. P helped me figure out my values and interests. Her wise counsel helped me decide to focus on research. I’ve taken several of her classes and am her graduate research assistant. I help her manage and conduct her research. She listens and values my opinions and is patient when I ask questions. She’s been an incredible mentor and I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her.
Dr. Wagge and I have a multifaceted relationship. I am her student, an Avila employee, and co-manager of the food pantry on campus. Dr. Wagge is a great resource. Her enthusiasm and humor have cheered me up when I’m stressed. It has been incredibly valuable for me to go to Dr. Wagge with my research or grad school questions. She helped me find my place in this field.
As an international student, sometimes I have to catch up in learning the system, but they’re both available to help with any questions or concerns that arise. They’re always in my corner. They’ve taken the time to get to know me and believe in my ability to succeed. This has solidified my interest in teaching at a research university. I want to be the person for students that they have been for me.