Jillian Hazlett '18

Jillian Hazlett

Major: Psychology

Why did you choose to study psychology?

I love people—getting to know them and hearing their stories. Psychology offers a unique approach to understanding people, and that appealed to me immensely. In studying this field, I can explore my curiosities about the formation of identity, the capacity for love and grief, and other subtle intricacies of the mind. Plus, I hope to apply what I learn in the classroom to helping others through a career in psychology.

Describe the psychology faculty.

The psychology faculty are amazing—incredibly knowledgeable as well as approachable. They have taken extra time to get to know me, advise me in my classes and career options, and connect me with invaluable opportunities. The professors genuinely care about their students, and it shows.

How does Luther's major stand out?

The psychology department at Luther offers a tremendous number of opportunities. Students can engage in research with professors as early as their first year, collecting and analyzing data, presenting findings at conferences, and becoming authors of the work. The psychology professors are also incredibly committed to helping their students succeed, both in the classroom and in life after Luther.

Has the program challenged you?

The program has definitely challenged me, and in all the right ways. My psychology coursework has taught me to ask difficult questions, grapple with their multifaceted answers, and continually seek to improve my understanding.

Have you been involved in a research project? Describe the experience.

Currently, I’m working with data collected in Haiti, examining variables of trauma, direct and indirect victimization, forgiveness, and the presence and search for life meaning. This is a continuation of a project I participated in last year, and it’s been an amazing experience. Last summer, our research team presented our findings in a poster session at the Association for Psychological Science convention in Chicago.

What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

I’m looking at graduate school programs in occupational therapy. I believe this field would allow me to help other people, while incorporating my interests in psychology and biology.

What experiences at Luther have been most valuable so far?

Becoming a resident assistant (R.A.) in my dormitory has been a tremendously valuable experience. Interacting with the amazing women on my floor, creating programs and bulletin boards, and becoming a part of the residence life community has been indescribably fulfilling. Through the position, I’ve had some of my most meaningful conversations and met some of my best friends.

What do you like best about the campus life at Luther?

I love the people here most of all. They’re so kind and genuine and fun. I love the enormous variety of activities and events available to Luther students—everything from concerts to climbing silos covered in ice. And I love the on-campus access to hiking trails along the beautiful river and bluffs.

What is one class that you would recommend all students take, regardless of major, and why?

I would recommend Adaptive P.E. to absolutely everyone! Adaptive P.E. pairs Luther kids with students in special needs programs at local schools. Each day of class, you meet with your “buddy” and spend the hour swimming or playing together. Over the course of this semester, I’ve learned so much from my buddies, and nothing makes me happier than making them smile.