Outstanding Seniors in the College of Science: Patricia Sieweyumptewa

April 27, 2022

This spring, each department in the University of Arizona's College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next up in the senior spotlight series is Patricia Sieweyumptewa.

Patricia Sieweyumptewa

Hometown: Hopi Reservation

Department: Psychology

College of Science: Why did you choose your area of study?

Patricia: I decided to major in Psychological Science because during my first semester here at the UA, I found myself really drawn to the research side of psychology. I loved learning about experiments, and how they were designed/conducted. I found the idea of contributing to the field of psychology and furthering the world's understanding of the human mind and our behaviors via new research findings to be very appealing. So I decided to switch my major from psychology to psychological sciences so that I would be able to explore this newfound interest in psychological research via the directed research opportunities.

COS: Tell us about a class or research project you really enjoyed.

Patricia: One class I really enjoyed taking while here at the UA was PSY 447: The Psychology of Preferences and Values. This class was very challenging but I really enjoyed the material. It really changed the way I view the world around me, it has also influenced how I feel about my place in the world. It has probably been one of the most impactful or influential classes I have taken, I loved it so much! As for my favorite research project, it is so hard to just pick one! But I have really enjoyed working as an experimenter in Dr. Sullivan's Cultural Existential Psych Lab. I have been able to run studies examining how people conceptualize identity (specifically Native American Identity) in everyday life! I just love being in the lab so I am always happy to be working on any project that is available to me.

COS: What is one specific memory from your time at UA that you'll cherish forever?

Patricia: One memory that I will cherish forever is running in the freezing cold with my friends to catch a picture of the sunrise from South Stadium Garage. For one of my classes, we did a project which required us to take a picture of the sunrise and sunset each week for the entire semester. One morning my friends (Joey and Cayla) and I were running late. So we rushed up to the top level of South Stadium Garage and had to book it across the top level to get our picture. Also, it was a really cold morning so there was ice/frost on the ground so as we were running we were also slipping and sliding across the pavement, just trying so hard to get our picture. After a few slips and falls, we were able to get the perfect picture just as the sun came over the mountains and we were all so excited, then we all had a really good laugh about the whole event. It is just such a silly memory that I have with my friends. That is one memory that I have here that is just so clear to me, even though it happened so long ago, during the spring 2019 semester!

COS: What is next for you after graduation?

Patricia: The ultimate goal for me is to eventually earn a PhD in social psychology and conduct research on intergroup relations, prejudice, and prejudice reduction strategies. But I have decided to wait one year before applying to graduate school programs. I plan on using this gap year to build up my skills to make sure I am as prepared as I can be for grad school! Specifically, I am planning on completing a one year post-bacc program to really build up my research skills and to help bridge the gap between undergrad and grad school. As of right now it looks like I will be completing this one year program at UC Irvine (However, I am still waiting to hear back from the University of Pittsburgh, so I might be there next year!). But I am excited for post grad life and I am excited to see what life has in store for me!