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Senior sees future in psychology

Shane Gallagher’s roles on campus have him on a path toward a career in psychology.
The 21-year-old senior from Manhattan is the executive co-director of High Hopes, a student-run crisis intervention and information hotline.

“It’s a good applied experience,” the psychology major said. “I’ve learned how to deal with difficult situations and talk to people, which are important tenets for a career in psychotherapy or whatever comes in the future.”

Gallagher’s work with High Hopes is complemented by his service as a resident assistant in Mountainview College’s Marcy Hall.

Gallagher has been an RA for three years and said the relationships he has developed through the years in his buildings have given him additional confidence in choosing psychology.

“The rapport built is meaningful because you live with people and they’re like neighbors, but end up becoming more like family and friends,” he said. “In dealing with them, I feel like you get a more holistic perspective of a person and you get to impact and influence their college career and help them through a gamut of issues.”

Gallagher’s campus experiences were brought into the real world when he spent a summer in New Hampshire  as a counselor at Wediko Children’s Services, a residential treatment facility for children with behavior disorders and emotional disturbances. He called the work “more intensive and hands-on.”

Despite the on- and off-campus work, it took active roles in psychological research labs with professors Matthew Johnson and Donald Levis for Gallagher to know he had chosen the right career.

“He’s conscientious, hard-working and shows leadership skills,” Levis said. “He’s been outstanding.”

“They’ve given me an experience that has re-affirmed and sealed the deal in terms of pursuing clinical psychology,” Gallagher said. “It’s cool seeing things in your textbooks and reading research, but it’s nothing compared to when you get to conduct it yourself and help analyze the data.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08