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Sunday, June 23, 2013
SRAP Student Spotlight: Quentin and Questions of Cultural Identity
SRAPer: Quentin Cui
Home State: Florida
Year in School: Senior in High School
Future Plans: Attend a university, Johns Hopkins perhaps, and earn a
degree in pre-med
Most high school seniors are thinking about the future and
their plans for higher education. Quentin is no exception, but his plans for
the future go beyond his undergraduate degree.
“I really want to join the Peace Corps or Doctors without
Borders after medical school or after undergraduate school,” says Quentin. “I
can only think that a medical degree would help me with that.”
Right now, Quentin is looking for experiences that will help
him help others. SRAP, he says, is one of those opportunities.
“I started looking online for summer programs and people had
made lists of summer programs and posted them on Google,” Quentin says. “So, I
opened one of those lists, clicked through it and the best one I saw was SRAP.”
His first two weeks in the program have not left him
disappointed and for the next month he will continue to work with his mentors,
Dr. Walt Scott and second-year graduate Stephanie Bachtelle, from the UW Psychology Department on his project about cultural identity.
“We’re going to be studying how Native American youth
identify themselves, whether as more western or more Native American, and how
that will affect their goals and what they plan to do,” Quentin says.
To do so, Quentin is going through surveys that Dr. Scott
has been collecting from youth on the Wind River Indian Reservation since 2001.
“We’re interested in whether differences in cultural
identity as reported on the self-report measure predict the kinds of goals kids
are thinking about for the future,” Dr. Scott says.
For Quentin, the most intriguing aspect of this research is
realizing that every person is unique.
“I’m most interested in the idea that basically, one
construct of psychology can’t really be directly applied to everybody,” Quentin
says. “I would say that everybody is a little bit different.”
As a soon to be high school senior, important decisions are
right around the corner. But for Quentin, with his unique perspective, respect
for diversity and motivation, he is sure to reach his goal and make a
difference in the world. SRAP
is a six-week intensive research program for high school students. It is based
at the University of Wyoming and sponsored
by Wyoming EPSCoR.