As a psychology major, researcher, tutor, volunteer and study-abroad student, Sara Moss ’14 has learned a lot about leadership, scholarship and culture. And with help from a grant that allowed her to accept a challenging internship at London’s King’s College Hospital, she put all of that knowledge to the test.
Clubs and organizations:
Teaching assistant, research assistant, Writing Center tutor, Dickinson Friends mentoring program and Phi Beta Kappa.
To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sense of an Ending, the Ramona series and Man’s Search for Meaning.
Good Will Hunting, Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, When Harry Met Sally, Crash and Pitch Perfect.
On choosing Dickinson:
A graduate from my high school was attending Dickinson, and when I was doing my college search I visited her for a day. She took me to an education class, where students were discussing their service-learning placements; to the gym, where I saw a climbing wall; past campus signs written in other languages; and to the library, where she and her friends met to do work. I knew I had found the place I wanted to be.
My work with [Assistant] Professor [of Psychology Suman] Ambwani has had a deep impact on my life at many levels. Her Intro to Psychopathology and Research Methods in Clinical Psychology courses helped me develop a strong basic understanding of mental illness and clinical research, and the research skills she helped me gain [as her research assistant] led me to secure an internship in London and two competitive fellowships.
Probably completing a summer internship at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, England. I pursued the opportunity, found funding (through a Dickinson grant) and got myself to work each day. It was the first time I felt 100 percent independent, and I absolutely loved it!
Favorite place on campus:
The library. There are lots of comfortable study spaces and ample places with a ton of natural light. You can study, hold group meetings or hang out with friends and get a snack or coffee at the Biblio Café.
Favorite downtown restaurant:
I love Miseno’s, the local pizza joint, which is a 30-second walk from campus. My friends and I have a tradition: Every semester, we get Miseno’s pizza on the night before classes begin.
On studying abroad:
I studied in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a semester, and it was a truly life-changing experience. On my last day, I rode my bike into the city, picnicked in a beautiful park with friends, ate ice cream at Nyhavn (the main harbor) with my host sister and had a long dinner with my host family. I felt both gratitude for the experience and sadness that I was leaving my new home.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be:
My best friend, Noorjahan [Akbar ’14]. Every meal we have together is filled with meaningful conversation and laughter.
I can name all 50 states in less than 20 seconds and can rap the song “Aaron’s Party” from memory.
As a kid, I wanted to be . . .
. . . an author of children’s books.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
Beyond gaining a ton of knowledge about psychology, social movements, cultures and values, environmental science and writing, I’ve also gained a real sense of confidence in my ability to learn, think critically and apply [what I’ve learned] outside the classroom. I’ve discovered that there are people (like my friends and professors) who will support me in every endeavor and that I am far more capable than I realized.
I’m hoping to find a way to return to London to continue the eating-disorder research I was involved in during my internship and to pursue some independent projects. Ultimately, I am going to apply to clinical-psychology Ph.D. programs and enter the field as a researcher and clinician. I also want to continue to travel, hike, take photography and, one day, publish a memoir!
Published April 7, 2014