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BWLI Students and Committee

Individual Attention

Opportunities at MCLA lead to grad school at Harvard


03/04/2009

At MCLA, students are more than a face in a sea of nameless students to apathetic instructors - a fact that Brendan Gaesser '07, a graduate student at Harvard University, can attest to.

"The professors take a personal interest in your education - emphasizing discussion over lecture, and by making themselves easily accessible outside of the classroom," Gaesser said. "One of the great attributes of MCLA is the opportunity it  provides to work directly with professors, allowing students to gain hands-on experience running the gamut of scientific inquiry from research design to presenting findings at national conferences."

He credits his full-scholarship and acceptance to Harvard, where he is studying "the difference between true and false memories" under the guidance of psychologist Daniel L. Schacter, to his undergraduate experience.

"Without the research opportunities at MCLA, I wouldn't have been able to get my foot in the door at Harvard," he said. "While the research I was involved in at the college didn't directly link to my current research, just the experience and the general knowledge I gained is something important to graduate schools."

Gaesser, a native of Kendell, N.Y., transferred to the college from the State University of New York at Binghamton during the spring of 2004 and immediately began to notice the difference in the hands-on experience he was logging in the laboratory.

"Under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Jay, Dr. Maria Bartini, and the other psychology professors, I not only learned the content of psychology, but more importantly, I learned how to conduct and evaluate psychological evidence and explanations, to participate fruitfully in scientific dialogue, and to understand the important role science education has in shaping culture and society," Gaesser said.

"That said, opportunity is only the chance to progress or succeed. MCLA provides a great opportunity, but your education is what you make of it. I made the most of mine."