|Professor Christopher O'Brien and Brandy Parker|
Brandy Parker has been interested in the field of psychology and has been taking classes for several years at SUNY Delhi. When asked how she became interested in the field of psychology she shared: “It helps me understand more about myself and I wanted to learn more about why people behave and react to things the way they do.”
Assistant Professor, Christopher O’Brien stated, “Brandy is performing at the top of her class. She comes prepared to class and always has insightful comments. She raises her hand often and always has something valuable to contribute.” He stressed that there is a lot of hard work, study, and preparation that is involved in order to do well in the class. He said, “Brandy is a strong advocate for herself. She submits her work early and emails me to ask me to let her know how she is doing.”
Brandy said that Professor O’Brien challenges her in her studies. She spoke about “reaction papers” that she particularly liked. When asked what a “reaction” paper was, Professor O’Brien explained that it is a writing assignment 3-4 pages in length using an article of the student’s choice that is fairly current (printed in the last 6 months). He stated that he makes the assignment purposefully vague because “My hope is that they find an article that interests them.” The first requirement of the assignment is that they engage their critical thinking skills and ask themselves reflective questions such as what some alternative explanations might be, are there any loopholes in the hypothesis, etc. “I want them to“dig deeper” he stressed. The second requirement is that they apply the concepts they have learned in class such as establishing a hypothesis, using research methodology, selecting variables, etc.
Brandy recently had cause to celebrate, after learning of the very high mark she received on an exam. According to Becky Townsend who attends classes with Brandy, “Brandy is very responsible and she doesn’t normally treat herself to much.” Brandy chimed in, “But I ordered take out that day!”