(May 11, 2018) -- Undergraduate Yesenia Yanez completed three research projects at UTSA. She credits scholarships for creating the opportunity.
“I believe that research is one of the most important contributions to society someone can make,” said Yanez, a senior double majoring in psychology and statistics. “While some can theorize and speculate about the world around them, researchers get the opportunity to bring us all closer to the truth. I am honored to be a part of the research that is being conducted at UTSA and I hope to continue for the rest of my academic career.”
A first-generation college student, Yanez grew up in California. After graduating high school, she set her eyes on attending college in Texas, landing at UTSA.
Her hard work and dedication to academics and involvement in student organizations helped her earn several scholarships including the Jerry and Mary Keating Annual Scholarship, the Rosemary Kowalski Scholarship and the Richard M. Wenzlaff Endowed Scholarship. All have allowed her the freedom to pursue research as an undergraduate.
Under the guidance of David Pillow, UTSA associate professor of psychology, Yanez’s first research project delved into the world of social media and how users portray themselves online. What she discovered was that the unique structure of Facebook yields identity conflict, which may in turn lead to anxiety and inhibition.
Since then she has expanded her repertoire to include researching the early predictors of adolescent delinquency, and exploring the varying conflict levels of identities.
“Without the support of scholarships, I wouldn’t have much time for my research. I am beyond grateful to the donors for allowing me this opportunity,” said Yanez, who has showcased her various research findings across the U.S., including the McNair Scholars Conference at the University of Maryland and at the University of California, Berkley.
After walking the stage at Commencement this weekend, Yanez plans on attending graduate school where she hopes to pursue research on violent school crime. Her career goals include earning a Ph.D. in forensic psychology and working for the FBI.
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