A Southwestern Experience Now Shapes the Minds of Our Future Leaders
Janet Lopez ’98, used her psychology degree to further her education and now works to integrate educational experiences for all students through the P-20 program in Denver.
Call her: Director of P-20 at the University of Colorado, Denver
At a glance:
- Director of P-20 at the University of Colorado, Denver. P-20 is an integrated education system extending from pre-school through higher education, with the goal of creating a more seamless and integrated education experience for all students through the educational pipeline.
- Received an MA in educational foundational policy and practice from the University of Colorado Boulder and a PhD at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Best memory at Southwestern: One of my most memorable experiences with the psychology department…physically didn’t take place at Southwestern, and that was the internship opportunity that I had. Southwestern’s psychology department encourages internships and professors help create those opportunities, so I was actually thinking of going into the field of counseling psychology. I had the opportunity to go work for a summer in Wichita, Kansas at a mental hospital. I promise I was working there not spending time there!
I spent time working in impatient counseling services. They have a school located on their campus that was helping students with really severe mental challenges and what that academic experience taught me, which is what I think is incredibly valuable, is that I did not want to go into the field of counseling physiology. . . Academic experiences that are offered at Southwestern are just as important to show you the path that you don’t want to go down as to clarify what you really are interested in.
How did Southwestern prepare you for what you’re doing now? Southwestern and the psychology department in particular prepared me very well in terms of the academic course load and the rigor of the courses. It made it a very easy transition for me to my graduate school experience. In particular the strong writing skills I developed I think made it much easier for me than other students who came from different universities and transitioned to graduate school. In addition, even though I didn’t go into the field of psychology for graduate school, the research methods that I took at Southwestern were really helpful as I took more research courses in qualitative methods and heavy advanced research methods in my graduate experiences.