Student spotlight: Katlyn King wants to close the gap between academic research real-world application

Katlyn King, class of 2017

Degree: BA in Pscyhology and Social Behavior

Hometown: Rocklin, California (a suburb of Sacramento)

Why did you choose UCI’s School of Social Ecology?

I chose Social Ecology because I was attracted to the school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary and applied research. I suspected Social Ecology would best equip me with the skills and understanding that are paramount to not only critically analyzing real world problems, but to applying actual solutions. There’s this substantial gap between academia and the rest of the world, and I am determined to play a part in closing it.

What was the most interesting accomplishment or thing you did while at UCI?

A colossal turning point during my undergrad was becoming a research assistant in Dr. Sarah Pressman’s lab. Being a part of her lab unequivocally validated everything I was trying to do and become at UCI. It meant an incredible deal to me to be around like-minded students who were as consumed by psychology as I was.

What is your favorite thing about UCI?

I came from a town where I was convinced that everyone was drinking the same Kool-Aid and for some reason, I could never get used to the taste. The best kind of diversity is diversity of thought, which is a natural consequence of the gathering of people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and genders. Therefore, my favorite thing about UCI is its diversity.

What advice would you give to new, incoming Anteaters?

As a first generation college student, it took me a while to feel like I belonged or even deserved to be at UCI. If you feel this way at first, too, push past it. You are smart enough, you are hard-working enough, you are motivated enough, or else you wouldn't be here!

Would you recommend that other potential students choose UCI’s School of Social Ecology? Why?

Absolutely. Social Ecology will give you the opportunity to encompass an unlimited amount of theory, perceptions, and methodologies. By the time you graduate, your inner database will be stockpiled, giving you all that you need to accomplish what really matters to you.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

Post-graduation, I will be continuing on at UCI for a Masters program in the Social Sciences. Ultimately, I plan on obtaining my doctorate, and then having a career as an organizational psychologist.