Trinity College Senior (BA, Psychology)
Sarah Turner grew up in a small town in rural Georgia; she lived with her mother and sister at her mom's gas station. Being a first-generation college student, the chance to major in psychology and history at a school like Duke seemed like a far-fetched dream. However, Sarah's sister inspired her sister to pursue what was passionate about, and to do more than she thought she was capable of doing. Now she is following her dreams to law school after spending four of the best years of her life at Duke studying what makes her the happiest.
How many years have you been at Duke?
I started at Duke in August 2014. I knew I planned to pursue my academic interests in the Psychology and Neuroscience department, so I started taking classes here my first semester. I found the Marsh Lab through Bass Connections the summer after my first year and continued working with that lab, as well as a few other labs with P&N. When I graduate in May, I will have spent 3-4 years working in the department.
What do you do in P&N?
I have done research and independent studies with Dr. Beth Marsh’s lab. I also worked as a research assistant in Fuqua’s Behavioral Lab. I currently volunteer in Dr. Rita Svetlova’s lab, working with children and moral development. Additionally, I am a teaching fellow for Psychology 101.
What do you like about P&N?
The P&N department has provided me with so many opportunities to pursue my own research interests and to work with incredible faculty. At many schools, it is not so easy to get involved, but here, I have been able to truly explore and receive mentorship from people in the department, both professors and graduate students. I am so appreciative of this in particular for making my Duke experience what it has been.
What led you to be interested in psychology and neuroscience?
I have always been interested in how the brain works, so upon my first semester here, I took the freshman psychology seminar class with Dr. Robert Thompson. There, through learning about identity and knowledge acquisition, I became passionate about psychology and got more involved with the P&N Department.
Favorite memory with P&N?
Working the summer after my first year with Bass Connections in the Marsh Lab and with the Fuqua Behavioral Lab was an incredible introduction to research. Through this experience, I was able to explore my own research interests while also learning about academia and how research can affect positive change in the community.
Hobbies/extracurriculars/interests outside P&N?
I am a pre-law student involved with Bench & Bar on campus. I also volunteer with Circle K International. I work at the Link Service Desk providing tech support. One of my biggest passions is writing, and I have been able to pursue this with Her Campus Duke as the chief editor. I tutor with DFS, and I am also a history major here.
I can lick my elbow.
Fun fact about you?
I am the proud aunt to a 12-year-old toy poodle.
P&N person of the week profile by Madison Catrett (Trinity '21)
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