Psychology Major and Honors Program Student to Present at National Collegiate Honors Council Conference Student Profile
Meet Serena Daywalt
- December 2020
- College Activities
- Honors Program and Strong Women, Strong Girls
- Royersford, Pa.
- High School
- Spring-Ford Senior High School
- Hobbies & Interests
- I love baking and cooking, and am constantly trying new recipes. I'm also into photography and creative writing.
"The psychology program really stood out to me because of its dedicated and caring professors, and humanistic approach to the subject. It was less about the science side of psychology and more about one's experiences — which I think is really important in the field."
When choosing a college, what made Point Park’s psychology program stand out to you?
When I was looking into colleges, I chose Point Park for the photography program. It wasn’t until halfway through my freshman year that I chose to change majors, deciding psychology would be a more suitable path. The psychology program really stood out to me because of its dedicated and caring professors, and humanistic approach to the subject. It was less about the science side of psychology and more about one's experiences — which I think is really important in the field.
What are some of the benefits of being in Point Park’s Honors Program?
The Honors Program is an amazing way to get involved, give back to the community, learn and grow. The honors curriculum allows students to get creative with experiences tailored to each student, which is amazing for learning about yourself, who you want to be and what you want to do.
How were you selected to present at the virtual National Collegiate Honors Council annual conference this fall?
I was selected to present at NCHC after applying last semester, when it was still assumed that the conference would be in-person, in Texas. When the decision was made to switch to a virtual platform, I was invited to share my work digitally in an on-demand fashion.
Tell us more about your presentation.
My presentation is titled Targeting Teacher Burnout: Caring for Teachers Can Bring Compassion to the Classroom. It focuses on what burnout is, issues within the American educational system that may lead to it, and ways people can get involved to help prevent burnout in teachers.
I was first introduced to the topic during an internship, where one of my tasks was creating blogs on various psychological topics, including burnout. While doing research, much of what came up was how burnout affects teachers and how it's damaging the education profession. Statistically, teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate due to burnout, which can be helped by providing them with better resources and support.
Conferences like NCHC are an amazing way to share your voice, so when I decided to apply for NCHC — whose theme this year is bringing compassion to the classroom — I knew I had to address the concept of burnout within the teaching profession. After all, teachers are one of the biggest factors of education. If we're not compassionate to them and providing them with what they need, how can we expect them to provide compassionate, high-quality education in their classrooms?
What are your career goals?
Admittedly, my career goals aren’t fully decided. After graduation, I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in either counseling or social work. My hope is to work in a counseling setting, in foster care or with a nonprofit. I absolutely love getting to help people, so I want to follow a career path that allows me to work with others, bettering society and making a difference.