“We can learn about psychology through different mediums, including literary analysis and community service.”
— Kristie Seelman
“I’m realizing how interconnected departments can be,” says Kristie Seelman. “We can learn about psychology through different mediums, including literary analysis and community service.”
Kristie knew she wanted to major in psychology when she arrived at Allegheny. But she never expected to learn developmental psychology theories through short stories—as in her “Literary Analysis of Child Development” class.
“This class is intriguing because it takes us beyond the psychology lab,” she says. “We get an inside look into how people think, not by testing them, but by immersing ourselves in short stories.”
But Kristie also experiences psychological theory in action through community service. As a VESA (Values and Ethics in Social Action) minor, she combines a study of individuals in a community setting with real-world service. Through VESA’s required service component, she works with children from low-income families.
“By spending time with kids at the housing development, I’m given a chance to put theory into action,” says Kristie. “I can read about child development or the effects of poverty, but that’s only the starting point. True understanding requires leaving my comfort zone, crossing boundaries, and opening my eyes to issues I’m tempted to ignore.
“This is what it means to grow holistically,” she adds. “Service organizations like the Bonner Leader Program, Sojourners, and other campus programs have equipped me for the journey.”