I was born and brought up in India, the land of all seasons, a nation known for its vibrant color, ancient and diverse culture and treasured heritage.  I was born in a middle class family who had never even dreamt of leaving their very own town in New Delhi, Rajouri Garden; and moving away. Who knew that our family will one day be able to travel all across the globe and over all seven seas, and land up in the United States of America.  

I came to America when I was fifteen years old and started straight with high school. English was one of my primary languages that I studied throughout my life, so that wasn't a problem for me to deal with.

  Throughout my high school educational experience I studied a lot of science and math because I was always fascinated by the way this manmade world of ours functioned. Since, our day-to-day lives are constantly dominated by the scientific advancements and updated technologies, science and math has always kept me keen and excited. In my high school I took many science courses such as Earth science, Biology and Chemistry. I also took several math courses such as basic Algebra, Calculus AB and Statistics that not only enhanced my critical thinking but also brought me one step closer to my ambition of becoming a dedicated science student. My interest in the field of behavioral science grew when I first participated in a science research program offered by my high school. When I was a sophomore in my high school I participated in a three-year science research program, which was offered by the SUNY at Albany. In this program I decided to research on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a severe physical, mental and neurobehavioral birth disorder caused due to maternal alcohol usage. During this project, I researched on the characteristics, causes and effects of such an alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. Through extensive research I realized that many females, students and expectant mothers are often unaware of the affects of drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy on the fetus/unborn infant. During the summer of my sophomore year and the following junior year, I designed Educational and Attitudinal surveys and Informational material for middle and high school students of the Sleepy Hollow High School. Close to the end of my junior year I conducted my experiment on the preferred participants. The purpose of my experiment was mostly to inform the middle and high school students about the ill effects of drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. During the summer of my junior year I analyzed my results (without using statistical methods) and wrote my research paper. I also presented my study in many competitions and fairs during my senior year and won a lot of acclaim for my efforts.

So, I guess that was when I realized my true interest in the field of psych and neuroscience. So, I guess this was my first but not the final step towards the field of psychology.

As a high school student, I also volunteered at "The Children's Village", which is a child re-habitational institution in Dobbs Ferry, NY for children who were mentally and physically challenged. I worked as an Assistant Teacher for children of ages 9 to 12 years in areas of reading, spelling, writing and mathematical abilities. This experience made me aware of the developmental and cognitive difficulties that children with defects face in their day to day life and how their development is paralyzed by these neurological and cognitive disabilities; impaired rates of learning, poor memory, impulsivity, poor social judgment would be a few examples.

  These were a few glimpses at some of my high school academic experiences that brought me to where I stand today: an undergraduate student at the Stony Brook University. As an undergraduate I am still taking several science and math courses but I guess psychology has also been added to my list of interest.

As a prospective psychology student I am interested in working with the mentally and physically disabled children present in the mental-health institutions such as Mary Haven and Stony Brook psychiatry department during my sophomore year. By volunteering in such medical institutions I will be able to learn about the life in a clinical environment, since I aspire to become a psychiatrist.  

This summer I plan to take some psychology courses and work in the psychiatry department at the Stony Brook University Hospital. In the upcoming future I plan to volunteer in the University Hospital Volunteer Corps, I would also like to assist in one of psychology research projects and also conduct ^Ņa more elaborate research on effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in collaboration with the psychology department of Clinical studies at the Stony Brook University.

Outside of academics my interests lie in playing sports such as badminton, billiards, cricket and table tennis. I also love listening to music, especially American classical and country music. However, I highly cherish South-Asian instrumental music and vocal. In fact, I love singing myself and have been commended to be having a very nice voice by both my family and friends. In fact I plan to sing in one of the upcoming SASA events at Stony Brook held in April.

Jasleen Singh
February 2004