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Jamielyn Samper ’14 Selected for Prestigious American Psychological Association Summer Fellowship
05.14.13 |
Junior psychology major Jamielyn Samper knew the odds were against her when she applied for an American Psychological Association summer science fellowship. She was one of 480 applicants and only 12 students would be selected.

“I was looking into a lot of summer fellowship and internship opportunities. This was the ultimate goal. I really didn’t think I was going to be accepted to this one,” Samper said.

Dr. Lou Manza, chair and professor of psychology, sent an email to all psychology students advertising the opportunity. When Samper received the email, she knew the chance to perform research under the APA name was something she couldn’t pass up.

The APA summer fellowship is designed to prep rising college seniors who are interested in research opportunities in the psychology field for graduate school; they offer seven different lab research opportunities.

“There are a lot of opportunities at LVC for student research, but a lot of my classmates are planning to enter clinical or school settings, whereas I’m definitely going into lab research,” Samper said.

After completing an online application and sending her transcripts and two letters of recommendation, it became a waiting game.

“Dr. Manza kind of gave me a pep talk and told me how difficult it was to get into the program, because nobody from LVC had gotten into the program before. He reminded me not to be discouraged if I didn’t get in,” Samper said.

“I gave Jamie a pep talk to soften the potential rejection she may have received; there’s no doubt that she had a strong application, but all of the students applying to this program have such credentials,” Manza said. “We’ve had many exceptional students apply for this program in the past years, and this year as well, yet they were not accepted. This speaks to the intensity of the application process.”

At 7 a.m. one morning, Samper’s phone alerted her with an email. She groggily checked the email subject line and mentally prepared herself for the message she was about to receive.

“I kept thinking, ‘I don’t want to start my day like this,’” Samper said. “I had a test in Manza’s class that morning, and I didn’t want to distract myself.”

But to Samper’s surprise, when she opened the email, the first line read “Congratulations.”

“I don’t think I even finished reading the email. I was so excited; I called my mother right away,” Samper said.

Samper continued with her day, taking the exam in Manza’s class before informing him of the exciting news.

“I went up to him as I was handing in my exam and said, ‘I heard back from APA,’ and he gave me a sympathetic look. I looked at him and said, ‘I got in.’ He was so excited for me,” Samper recalled.

“Jamie’s acceptance into this program is an indication of what students can accomplish if they take advantage of the opportunities we offer to students,” Manza said.

Samper will be completing the six-week program from June 8 through July 20 at George Mason University with a concentration in human factors and applied cognitive psychology. All of her expenses, including transportation, meals, and housing will be paid. At the end of the program, she will receive a payout of $2,500 for her research.

“I’ve talked with people that have completed the program, and the things they say they were learning are skills I’ve been using at LVC since freshman year, so I feel super prepared,” Samper said.

Samper plans to attend graduate school with a research assistantship after college.

“I really wanted an internship in cognitive science that would help prepare me for graduate school,” Samper said. “I think APA will be a great experience and look pretty great on my résumé.”


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