Outstanding Seniors at the College of Science: Patricia Sieweyumptewa
This spring, each department of the University of Arizona College of Science named an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during his time as a Wildcat. We are happy to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next in the senior spotlight series is Patricia Sieweyumptewa.
Hometown: Hopi Reservation
College of Science: Why did you choose your field of study?
Patrick: I decided to major in Psychological Sciences because during my first semester here at UA, I found myself really drawn to the research side of psychology. I loved learning about the experiments, and how they were designed/conducted. I found the idea of contributing to the field of psychology and deepening the global understanding of the human mind and our behaviors through new research findings very appealing. So I decided to switch my major from psychology to psychological sciences so that I could explore this new interest in psychological research through directed research opportunities.
CS: Tell us about a course or research project that you really enjoyed.
Patrick: One course I really enjoyed taking here at UA was PSY 447: The Psychology of Preferences and Values. This course was very difficult but I really enjoyed the material. It really changed the way I see the world around me, it also influenced how I feel about my place in the world. This was probably one of the most impactful or influential courses I’ve taken, I loved it so much! As for my favorite research project, it’s so hard to choose just one! But I really enjoyed working as an experimenter in Dr. Sullivan’s cultural existential psychology lab. I was able to conduct studies on how people conceptualize identity (especially Native American identity) in everyday life! I love being in the lab, so I’m always happy to work on any project that comes my way.
CS: What is a specific memory from your time at UA that you will cherish forever?
Patrick: One memory I will cherish forever is running in the freezing cold with my friends to take a picture of the sunrise from the South Stadium Garage. For one of my classes, we did a project that required us to take a picture of sunrise and sunset every week for the entire semester. One morning my friends (Joey and Cayla) and I were running late. So we rushed to the upper level of the South Stadium Garage and had to book it on the upper level to get our shot. Also, it was a very cold morning, so there was ice/frost on the ground, so while we were running, we were also slipping and sliding on the sidewalk, trying so hard to get our shot. After a few slips and falls we were able to get the perfect shot just as the sun came up over the mountains and we were all so excited and then we all had a good laugh at the whole event. It’s just a stupid memory I have with my friends. It’s a memory I have here that is so clear to me, even though it happened so long ago, in the spring semester of 2019!
CS: What’s next for you after graduation?
Patrick: The ultimate goal for me is to eventually earn a PhD in social psychology and conduct research on intergroup relations, bias, and bias reduction strategies. But I decided to wait a year before applying for graduate programs. I plan to use this gap year to develop my skills to ensure I am as prepared as possible for graduate school! Specifically, I plan to complete a one-year post-baccalaureate program to really develop my research skills and help bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate studies. Right now, it looks like I’ll be finishing this one-year program at UC Irvine (However, I’m still waiting to hear from the University of Pittsburgh, so I might be there next year!) . But I’m excited for post-college life and can’t wait to see what life has in store for me!