Heather Flaherty '14 - Psychology

 

A community.

That's how Heather Flaherty '14 describes Curry College. And, the junior Psychology major has fully immersed herself into this community.

"I've always felt right at home at Curry," Flaherty says. "The small class sizes and the opportunity to build connections with the faculty members were other reasons that helped me choose Curry. I've made incredible friendships and have made great connections with faculty members, inside and outside of the Psychology department."

Flaherty has taken advantage of those connections-becoming engaged across the Milton campus.

"I'm a teacher's assistant for two sections of intro Psychology, a member of the honors scholars program, and was recently accepted into the Alexander Graham Bell honor society, as well as joining Psi Chi [The International Honor Society in Psychology]," Flaherty explains. "Those opportunities have been incredible so far and are really preparing me for life after Curry."

Cutting-edge technology in the Psychology Laboratory is another reason why Flaherty feels so prepared. The equipment was purchased in 2008 thanks in part to a generous grant from the George I. Alden Trust.

This semester, Flaherty has started using the new equipment, working closely with department chair Dr. Bruce Steinberg.

"I began learning how to run tests with the EEG [a test measuring electrical activity in the brain], learning how to place electrodes properly on the participants, and learning how the computer programs work," Flaherty says. "There is incredible technology in the lab and as a prospective student visiting Curry; I knew I would want to get involved in the lab at some point during my undergraduate career."   

Flaherty's experience has been made possible, in part, by the Elizabeth Giordano scholarship.

The scholarship is named after Elizabeth Giordano, a 2008 graduate, who was killed in a 2009 auto accident. The goal is to help other students following Elizabeth's path and studying Psychology.

The scholarship has been awarded twice and Flaherty has been the recipient both times-chosen by Elizabeth's family.

"I've always raised money for charities and others," says Flaherty. "So for someone to reach out and give me money was really incredible."

Flaherty wrote a letter to the Giordano family thanking them for their contribution. Then she went a step further-arranging a one on one meeting with Elizabeth's mother and sister.

For Flaherty, that meeting put a whole new perspective on the scholarship's meaning, "It's an extra amount of money and it's really relieving and makes paying for school easier. But it makes such a difference to meet the family and associate a name and a face with it."

Flaherty still says in touch with Elizabeth's mother, and urges other scholarship recipients to follow her path, "I think that for anyone who gets a scholarship from someone else if they have the option to meet the family it makes all the difference."

Flaherty has always been someone focused on making a difference. In addition to her work on campus, she has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity to build a home in Stoughton.

Upon graduating, Flaherty hopes she can make a difference in other's lives-by teaching or working at a high school or college. At some point Flaherty also hopes to earn a master's degree or a Ph.D.

"Regardless of my decision, I feel I will be well prepared to go either way thanks to Curry," Flaherty says. "I've learned [about] experimental Psychology, had peer teaching opportunities, experience in the lab, and exposure to many areas of Psychology. I completely love it here."

 
 
 
 

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