CLAgency Alumni Spotlight: Brian Ruedinger
“I would like CLAgency to expand so that it serves as a model for other universities," says Brian Ruedinger, who is a senior graduating in May 2017 with a degree in psychology and minors in philosophy and neuroscience. As the content creator for the Department of Psychology for almost two years, Brian brought an analytical and thoughtful approach to the CLAgency team.
Brian recently accepted an offer for the University of Oklahoma’s psychology PhD program to work with Dr. Jennifer Barnes starting in Fall 2017. As part of this program, he will study the ways in which depictions of social groups in fiction alter our cognition. One area he is particularly interested in studying is how the suspension of disbelief is implemented in fiction and to the extent that it translates to the real world. We’re so excited to see CLAgency alumni pursuing graduate programs and taking their expertise to the next level!
What role did CLAgency play in your undergraduate career?
Working within CLAgency was unlike any other position that I’ve held because the organization itself was changing with each subsequent semester. It was a continual refinement and discovery of what worked best. Every department had different needs and it held an excellent component of teamwork in that we were all content creators, yet our job tasks could differ vastly.
How has CLAgency prepared you for post-graduate life?
I believe the professionalism that was required to work within CLAgency was of utmost importance. I believe that my experiences in discussing research with professors for newsletter pieces will be useful in collaborating with professors down the road. Writing about psychological research in a way that is easily digestible and promotes alumni donor-ship is a transferable skill to publication and grant writing.
Could you name some key takeaways from CLAgency?
Understanding how to correspond with people electronically in a professional manner. Time-management and flexibility when scheduling meetings with professors and graduate students. Recognition that college students can take on new roles and create a functional organization.
What is your vision for your professional career?
I desire to become a professor at a large research university that promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration and has the funding to facilitate cutting-edge research. Remaining in an academic setting provides the freedom to explore a wide variety of issues and obtain unique perspectives. Someday, I would like to write a novel give back to the ever-expanding body of literature that I’ve enjoyed.