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Melissa Chen '21
Psychology and Health Science double major


Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Bayside, New York.

How did you hear about Stony Brook University?
I heard about Stony Brook when I was applying for colleges in high school. Some of my friends were applying for SBU, so I decided to check it out.

Why Stony Brook?
I chose Stony Brook because I heard it was pretty well known for research. I wanted to go to a school that would allow me to explore research opportunities and I knew that Stony Brook would help me do that. Stony Brook was also far from home, but not too far.

On her majors:
I'm a double major in Psychology and Health Science. I first came to Stony Brook with an undecided major. After taking an Introduction to Psychology course with Dr. Nancy Franklin, I knew psychology was what I wanted to pursue. Her enthusiasm in teaching motivated me to enjoy studying and take more classes related to psychology. I decided to take on health science during my sophomore year because I found an interest in the healthcare system and wanted to use what I learned from both my majors to make a difference.

Favorite class:
One of my favorite classes was PSY 369 - Psychology and Law taught by Dr. Nancy Franklin. During class, Dr. Franklin talked about a few ongoing cases of people being wrongfully accused of crimes they didn't commit, some of which are still being debated. A lot of the topics that we learned in class were surprising and allowed me to see some of the flaws in the justice system.

Greatest achievement:
My greatest achievement during my time at Stony Brook was getting through BIO 202. It was one of the hardest classes I’ve taken in Stony Brook, but I’m glad I got through it with the support of my friends and also through pulling many late night study sessions.

Awards and accolades:
Dean’s list

Plans for post-graduation: 
I plan to take some time to gain experience in the research field and also take some time for myself to relax. I plan on applying for a PhD program in the future to continue my education.

Clubs and organizations:
I was a member of Alternative Spring Break Outreach organization during my freshman and sophomore year. I’m the president of the Reading Is Fun Club and have been a part of it since my sophomore year. I am also a member of the Stony Brook Campus Community Emergency Response Team.

Advice for future Seawolves?
Don't be afraid to take on opportunities that are out of your comfort zone! From my own experience, this allowed me to explore career fields unrelated to my major. When I joined Client Support as a student technician intern, I didn’t know anything about technology or computers. It was intimidating because the majority of the other students who worked there were computer science majors. I ended up sticking to it and gained a lot of knowledge and skills that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Also, definitely go study abroad! I went to study abroad in France during my freshman year and it was the best decision I’ve made during my time at Stony Brook. I met a lot of nice people and got to learn about France’s culture and lifestyle.

Favorite memory:
One of my favorite memories at SBU was in freshman year when my roommate, suitemates, and I went to an event in the lounge of our building hosted by the RAs. At the time, we’ve only known each other for two months and we all never really talked to each other. We ended up staying at the lounge 2-3 hours after the event ended to talk. It felt nice and genuine because we were all engaged in the conversation and we didn’t check our phones for notifications at all. After that, I felt we’ve all gotten closer as a suite.

Although I’m excited to graduate, I definitely didn't picture my senior year in college as being all remote. It was a challenge getting used to a new routine, but my professors were understanding and my friends and family were supportive. I’m glad that graduation will be in-person and two guests are allowed to come because my parents were looking forward to seeing me walk during graduation since my freshman year.