Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Faces of SRAP: Emily Stone and Savanna Umberger

Emily Stone and Savanna Umberger have always had a passion for psychology, and both plan to make a career of it.

Emily, a recent high school graduate from Orem, Utah plans to study psychology and political science this fall when she starts college at Connecticut College.

“I love psychology and I’m pretty sure that’s what I want to do,” she says. “I would like to be a psychologist that specializes in eating disorders.”

Emily is working in Dr. Walt Scott’s Psychology lab, with Shannon Blakey, a graduate student in the psychology department.

From left to right:
Savanna Umberger, Shannon Blakey, and Emily Stone
“My project has to do with rape myth belief,” Emily says. “I hope to gain a better understanding of rape culture and what we can do to change it.”

Savanna, a senior in high school from Hanna, Wyoming, also enjoys psychology and plans to study psychology after she graduates high school.  

When asked about psychology, Savanna says, “It’s always interested me. I took a psychology class in high school and it just really caught my interest from the beginning.”

Like Emily, Savanna is working in Dr. Scott’s lab, but on a different project.

“My project is the correlation between substance abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” she says. Savanna is interested in understanding “why people with PTSD turn to substances and alcohol and how PTSD develops.”

Emily and Savanna like their projects, and have enjoyed the opportunity to study psychology and ask questions.

“Both Emily and Savanna are really learning to appreciate that these are all phenomenon most people experience to some degree,” says Shannon. “Having a better understanding of these associations could help us design better ways to help these people and help them reclaim their lives.”

SRAP is a six-week, intensive research program for high school students. It is based at the University of Wyoming and is sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR. To learn more about the program, click here, or search "SRAP" in the archives. 

By Robin Rasmussen
Photo by Robert Waggener

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