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A Personal Approach to Psychology

December 9, 2015

Portrait: Tessa Loeffler

Portrait: Tessa Loeffler
Photo by Jack Swift, CLAgency student

Entering college, Tessa Loeffler knew she would be pursuing a degree in psychology. “I took AP psychology my junior year of high school and was completely intrigued by a subject for the first time in my life.”

“What makes me most excited about psychology courses I have taken are all the possible applications of these courses,” Tessa says. Tessa mentions PSY 3604: Introduction to Abnormal Psychology, taught by Professor Bonnie Klimes-Dougan as being of particular interest to her future plans. She notes that psychology has helped her interactions with people, allowing her to understand and empathize with others on a much deeper level. “Psychology provides a good basis for many careers,” she says. “The ability to work with people and analyze what they are experiencing is crucial for any job in which people interact.”

“Psychology has also provided me the freedom to explore my own interests,” says Tessa. She took a class outside of her major, Sociology of Sexualities, during her freshmen year that was pivotal in developing her professional interests. Tessa decided to double major in psychology and gender, women, & sexuality studies (GWSS). She would like to eventually pursue a Ph.D. in multicultural feminist psychology.

Tessa plans to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in spring 2016 to look at the prostitution and sex trade in Europe. “One opportunity that I’m excited for is to visit Amsterdam to study the legal sex trade, its implications for equality, and how it compares to the criminalized sex trade within the United States.”

Tessa Loeffler has been involved with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) every semester since Fall 2014. She personally collected stories of genocide survivors to become part of Voice to Vision, a collaborative project through the Center for Holocaust & Genocide studies. Voice to Vision provides an outlet for genocide survivors to share their stories and create a piece of art that encapsulates their experiences. “The pieces I write serve to bring history alive, so that everyone, even those not touched by genocide, can understand the emotions of these survivors.” Drawing from her background in psychology, Tessa is able to craft these pieces in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the human condition.

On top of her coursework and all of these extracurricular opportunities, Tessa is a peer advisor and office assistant in the psychology department’s undergraduate advising office. “The most influential thing I have learned from these roles is the overwhelming number of careers and diverse paths that are possible with a major in psychology. I love talking with students who come into the office and hearing their extremely different perspectives on psychology and how they are going to apply those perspectives to their future careers.

This story was written by an undergraduate student account executive in CLAgency. Meet the team.