New Member Spotlight: Ricardo Lopez

1)      What is your background in psychology (e.g., education)?

I am currently an undergraduate student in my junior year at Metropolitan State University studying psychology. I do not have much of a background in psychology beyond the classes that I have taken and research I have participated in with both fellow students and faculty.

2)      Describe your current occupation and any involvement in the Minnesota Psychological Association if applicable.

As discussed in the last question I am currently a student so my participation in the actual field is limited. I am the president of the Metropolitan State Psychology Club and early on in the year I learned of an opportunity to volunteer at MPA’s Friday Forums on the first Friday of every month. I immediately began taking advantage of this and got in contact with Rhea Sullivan in September. I began helping her with registration as well as staying the entire three hours to make sure we receive the evaluations and pass out the continuing education certificates to the people who attend the forums.

 3)      What inspired you to pursue a degree in psychology?

Initially I started school down at Minnesota State University, Mankato, in the fall of 2009, as a biochemistry major. Although I was fascinated with biology, I couldn’t quite grasp the chemistry portion of the requirements and although I was passing my courses, I was unable to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. After spring semester of 2013, I decided that I wanted a change of scenery, so after 4 years in Mankato I left and attended Metropolitan State and switched majors to psychology. I have always had an interest in behavior and why people were the way they were (if that makes sense) but never thought much into it as a possible profession until I had looked more into the major. My first semester I took an abnormal psychology course and realized that was something I was very interested in and after doing some research, I narrowed down some possible career paths I could follow. I plan on graduating in the spring of 2016 and hopefully attending a graduate program focused in clinical psychology that following fall. I think finding a way to help people with mental health would be fulfilling and something I truly look forward to.

4)      Why did you join the Minnesota Psychological Association?

I joined the Minnesota Psychological Association shortly after I began volunteering for the Friday Forums. Rhea Sullivan mentioned that it was free for students and that I should definitely sign up to receive notifications and other benefits of being a member.

5)      What do you hope to learn/gain from your new membership?

Being a volunteer for the Friday Forums and hopefully I will be involved with the annual convention MPA puts on.  I think it gives me a good opportunity to be around professionals from around the state. Upon receiving the emails and notifications, I learned of opportunities that not only I can take advantage of but can pass on to fellow students so that they can receive the same educational opportunities as people already in the field. Another thing that I look forward to is when there is a lecture about something that I am interested in, for example anything in the field of clinical psychology.

6)      Any outside hobbies/interests you do not mind sharing?

I have several non-psychology related interests and hobbies that I like to do in my life. I am a huge sports nut, anything to do with Minnesota sports I follow almost religiously. I am a fan of baseball, hockey, and football so I find that there isn’t time in the year I can’t follow my favorite teams. I have two part time jobs, which tie into my love for sports, working at both the Xcel Energy Center (Minnesota Wild) and at Target Field (Minnesota Twins).

During the summer, my favorite activity is Frisbee golf and I find myself going a minimum of three times a week, weather permitting. Each passing summer I actually get better and I find that I get more and more competitive.

On top of being the president of the psychology club on campus, I am involved in several other things. I am a senator on the student senate at Metro State and am chair of two committees that tie into that. The first committee I chair is Student Affairs, which works with students with different things they want done on campus. The second committee I chair is called SAFAC, Student Activity Fees Allocation Committee. The purpose of this committee is to distribute funds to students who would like to go to conferences throughout the country as well as host events on campus such as bringing in speakers.

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Diversity Statement

The Minnesota Psychological Association actively encourages the participation of all psychologists regardless of age, creed, race, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental status, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation, and sexual or affectional orientation.Although we are an organization of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, the Minnesota Psychological Association also recognizes our core unifying identities as Psychologists who practice in America. We also recognize that we may hold unintentional attitudes and beliefs that influence our perceptions of and interactions with others. Within this context of unity and self-exploration, we are committed to increasing our sensitivity to all aspects of diversity as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.We aspire to becoming alert to aspects of diversity, previously unseen or unacknowledged in our culture. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with multicultural groups to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society. To this end, we are dedicated to increasing our multicultural competencies and effectiveness as educators, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and practitioners.