Courtney Gray, 2017

student presenting psychology work

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Smithtown, NY

“STAC was my first-choice college. When I got here, I felt like I was home. STAC had a vibe that I didn't feel anywhere else. I knew that if I got accepted, I would go to STAC.”

Between her sophomore and junior years, Courtney was selected to participate in an exclusive eight-week internship at Temple University’s Cognition & Learning Lab. While there, Courtney worked alongside graduate students investigating mathematical development in children, including the development of math anxieties and stereotypes and how parents’ and teachers’ attitudes about math influence students’ math and spatial learning.

Based on her research, Courtney presented at the Cognitive Development Society’s biennial meeting in Columbus, Ohio Fall 2016. “This was the best experience to happen to me yet, and it's partly because of the reputation of STAC's psychology program,” Courtney explains. “Temple knew about STAC…how strong the psychology program is. This is one more thing STAC helped me add to my resume.”

During her time at STAC Courtney continued to add to that resume. She pursued a research opportunity with the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. And, as part of the College's Honors Program,  she participated in a three-week seminar program at University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Upon graduation, Courtney began her studies at The Pennsylvania State University.  Her time is split between working in the lab, working as a teaching assistant, and being a student. Her work in the Cognitive Aging & Neuroimaging (CAN) Lab, under the direction of Dr. Nancy Dennis, examines the effects of aging on learning and memory processes by using both behavioral and functional neuroimaging (fMRI).  In the classroom, she acts as a Teaching Assistant for for False Memory and Eyewitness Testimony and Cognitive Development.

"I hope to be a professor after I graduate. The time spent in the classroom as as TA is one of my favorite parts of being in this program," says Courtney. "My coursework challenges my thinking and writing in ways I never could have imagined before arriving. I feel as if my skill set has grown exponentially since graduation. However, I miss STAC and all those who supported me to this point every day."

Courtney's five year plan includes completion of her Masters degree and earning a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience. She's well on her way!

Courtney is pictured above presenting her work on narcissists and their social media use at the College's "Ignite: Art, Design and Scholarship Exhibition."