Advanced studies: MSU-Meridian graduate ready for grad school challenges

MERIDIAN, Miss.— A Lawrence native is being recognized as Mississippi State University-Meridian’s outstanding undergraduate student in the Division of Arts and Sciences.Faith Brown of Lawrence is the Outstanding Undergraduate in the Division of Arts and Sciences at MSU-Meridian. (Photo by Lisa Sollie)

Faith Brown will be honored at MSU-Meridian’s May 3 spring commencement ceremony and will receive the Dennis J. Mitchell Undergraduate Excellence Award.

When Brown first began thinking about post-secondary education, she considered institutions that offered affordability to avoid student debt. Homeschooled, she also wanted smaller class sizes to ease her transition into a more formal classroom setting. Both East Central Community College, where she earned an associate’s degree, and MSU-Meridian, where she is completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, “proved a good fit,” she said.

 Interested in a few different career areas, it wasn’t until her first psychology class at ECCC that she knew this field was right for her.

Once she arrived at MSU, Brown began to focus on experimental psychology, a branch of the field that utilizes scientific methods to research the brain and behavior. While most psychologists study the way humans behave, experimental psychologists devote their research to controlled situations to better understand behavior and emotions.

As an undergraduate, Brown said she was fortunate to have an opportunity to help one of her professors with research on Silver Alert, a public notification system within the United States that broadcasts information about missing senior citizens, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other mental disabilities, in order to locate them.

“While working with Dr. [Vicki] Gier on her study on Silver Alerts for senior men, I helped formulate the questions to ask participants, researched photos of senior-age men to use in the study and monitored those who participated,” she said. “She was a big help allowing me to have some hands-on experience that I think will prove beneficial to me in the days ahead.”

Excited for the next step, the Magna Cum Laude graduate is looking forward to graduate school this fall in the University of Southern Mississippi’s brain and behavior emphasis area within the psychology department.

“It feels natural to me. Even though I’ve stayed close to home throughout my undergraduate studies, I’m ready to move off on my own,” Brown said.  “I’m especially ready to have my own research lab one day.”

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