Student Aims to Positively Influence Young People
Ronit Krieger ’08 (psychology) came to UMass Amherst as an English major, but almost immediately switched to psychology because she loved the subject matter. Nearly four years later, she says her choice inspired a life goal. “A common theme that is constantly threaded through the majority of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ classes is the concept of helping others. This has inspired me to pursue a career as a motivational high school guidance counselor.”
Being a positive influence is Krieger’s mission. “In a world filled with poverty, discrimination, and so many negative influences,” she says, “there is an incredible need to combat adversity. As a guidance counselor, I will be in a position to inspire students to reach their potential, attain their goals, and spurn negative influences. I expect to make a difference. I thank the psychology department for helping shape my work ethic, motivation, critical thinking skills and multifaceted approach to life.”
Krieger is quick to point out that her overall academic experience has been diverse, challenging and inspirational. “There are so many options for classes and credits, and I have interacted with incredible professors in many departments. I can’t say enough about attending professors’ office hours. Having that connection, feeling the freedom to turn to them for help and support in many instances made the difference between a good class and a great one!”
A strong student, Krieger is part of the Commonwealth College Honors program. She’s been on the Dean’s list every semester, is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Freshmen Scholastic Honor Society, Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, and Golden Key International Honors Society. Selected as a teaching assistant for Statistics in Psychology (Psych 240), Krieger conducted homework sessions, held review sessions for upcoming exams, and graded quizzes and exams, besides helping with in-class work and questions during lectures.
Most recently, Krieger was selected to receive a 2007 College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Opportunity Scholarship. To qualify, students who are SBS majors must be juniors with a 3.5 GPA or above, and 45 residential credits. Qualified students automatically receive an application in February. Based on completion of the application, which includes a one-page essay, an SBS committee chooses recipients in the spring.
“I was so thrilled to receive this scholarship,” Krieger says. “My parents are wonderful and pay for nearly all of my college expenses, but it was so great to give back to them. This scholarship and my resident assistant position allow me to contribute to the financial burden of attending college.”
Academics are important to Krieger, but she believes a complete education does not revolve solely around classes and books. “I have had unbelievable experiences as a resident assistant,” she says, referencing her advising work with first-year students on educational and social concerns and the ongoing development of a respectful, diverse and responsible living community. Krieger also has taken full advantage of the many shops, restaurants and cultural events in Amherst and nearby Northampton. “And most important,” she adds, “I will be leaving school with incredible friendships that have offered support throughout my college years.”
And after graduation? “I expect to join Teach for America,” Krieger states. “I know how lucky I have been, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone has such opportunities. Teach for America is a great organization that gives all children the chance to achieve a great education. I hope I can make a difference for some of them.”
October 17, 2007