Senior Spotlight: Val George

April 23, 2009


Kansas softball player Val George does not have a lot of free time. Besides being a softball player, George balances her time with school, friends and working as a research assistant in a clinical child lab.

“Coach Bunge has never had a player balancing softball with a research assistantship and school,” said George. “I have to manage my time very well.”

George will graduate in December with a degree in psychology. But she has not always wanted to study psychology.

“I was going to be a business major coming into my freshman year, but I decided I didn’t want to study math anymore, so I turned in another direction,” George said.

After a class in basic psychology, George had found her passion.

“I discovered there are new things happening every day in the psychology world,” George said of her fascination with psychology. “I also find the crazy disorders people have really interesting.”

More specifically, George is interested in developmental psychology, researching children from five to 15 years of age.

“I love how children are so innocent and yet so complex,” said George. “It’s so interesting to study prenatal development and the memory of a child while in the womb. I’ve learned that childhood is such an important part of people’s lives.”

George works eight hours a week as a research assistant in a clinical child lab. This entails entering data into databases, participating in lab meetings, taping participants and coding behaviors. Currently, George is participating in a study looking at friendships in middle school children and studying their interaction.

This kind of study and others have convinced George that she will pursue her doctorate in psychology after graduation. She will begin applying to doctorate programs in December, looking for a four to five year program. Although open to options, she would be most interested in attending a program in the southwest where she grew up.

“I am probably going to apply somewhere west of Texas,” George said of graduate school. “I am interested in going back to Arizona so I can be close to my family.”

Four to five years up the road, upon completion of her doctorate, George aspires to have her own private practice, and intends to specialize in children.

“I would like to work professionally when I get my doctorate degree,” said George. “I really enjoy the research though. One of the reasons I want to get my doctorate (as opposed to a master’s) is so I can leave the option open of teaching later on.”

-written by media relations student assistant, Susie Epp