Blog 1: Psychology Research Student
In thinking about the many different circles of communities I belong to – Mizzou student, Columbia MO resident, transfer student, female, youth, sports player, music lover, and so on and so forth – the list of possible groups which I am a part of seems endless. However, for the most part and across most situations, I haven’t often felt a strong enough connection to any of these groups to really consider them my community. Recently though, I began my final Psychology course at MU, a year-long independent research capstone, and was surprised upon the first class meeting to feel an almost immediate bond and sense of community. It’s funny that a group of people conducting their own independent projects would feel the most like a “community” to me, but the shared experience of feeling lost as we take our first baby steps together into a world of technical jargon, scientific journals, statistical tests, and a host of other confusing new processes brings about a great camaraderie.
As seniors and members of the Psychology department, we all receive departmental emails and newsletters, emails from the undergraduate advisers, and notices from Psi Chi(the psychology honors society) about news and events related to the community. The departmental website is also a hub for information about not only the faculty and academic program, but for news about past and current research and discoveries, lectures and other events, and general information for both undergraduate and graduate students that belong to they Psychology community at Mizzou. Primarily the exchange of information is electronic, especially through mass or listserv emails, but being that we also share the same community space of the Psychology building and McAlester hall (as well as other buildings that host various research labs), there is also an opportunity for physical information communication. Throughout these buildings the walls are strewn with fliers and notices about community information – research projects, presentations, speakers, and events as well as general news and information about the larger psychological/scientific community of which we are a subset. More specifically within the smaller group of our class, the group of us seniors who are participating in the independent research capstone, we receive information during our class meetings and from electronic resources, such as group emails from the instructor and discussion forums and class announcements on Mizzou’s interactive online Blackboard website.