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.  

By Kali S. McCrackin

1 comment:

  1. How Do I make friends with Native Americans?
    I want to make friends with this Native American boy in my school ( I am a straight male and I live in Fairfield, CA) but he always talks to girls and I'm selectively mute(involuntarily) around girls. The few boys he hangs out with are some tall Filipino and Mexican guys who are popular. I am unpopular and I want him, a popular Miwok boy,as a friend who comes to my house to munch on PBJs and watch the Simpsons.
    How do I tell him to sit with me during lunch? I don't like his friends because they are stuck up and popular and I already got enough Asian and Latino friends.