Georgia College Front Page

December 2019: Psychology Major helps children recognize emotions and develop empathy

​​​​​​Shelby Breitmann

Shelby Breitmann 


  1. What first sparked your interest in Psychology? 

 I took an AP Psychology course in high school and loved the way that psychology allowed me to view life through different lenses.


  1. Have you taken part in any groups on campus during your college tenure? If so, which ones and why?

 Yes, I have been a part of the Honors Program here since I was a freshman. My favorite part about the Honors Program has been the ability to connect with faculty through book discussions and other events. I am also involved in a service honors society called Gamma Beta Phi, the psychology honors society Psi Chi, and Shelter Buddies. I also was a Community Advisor in Foundation and Napier. My job in housing brought me work experience, friends, and a lot of fun.


  1. What is your proudest moment at Georgia College, and can you describe the events that led to that moment?

 My proudest moment at Georgia College was getting to be a part of Dr. Chiang’s Social Emotional Development Lab and present research at conferences around the United States. I applied for, and interviewed for, a research position in the lab. After being accepted I began to work with Dr. Chiang and other researchers at the Early Learning Center to help children recognize emotions and develop empathy. Finally, my research group and I designed a study and organized our data into a presentation. I have been able to present at the Southeastern Psychology Association conference in Jacksonville, Florida, the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Kennesaw, Georgia, and the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference in Gainesville, Georgia.


  1. What are your plans after college? 

 I have been accepted to the master’s program for occupational therapy at Augusta University. I am also getting married to my wonderful fiancé next year!


  1. What is the single, most important event that led to your interest in Psychology?

 My AP psychology course in high school is what originally sparked my interest in the study of psychology. 


  1. What is the importance of Psychology in today’s world? 

 Psychology is so important! I believe that in order to have a healthy society, psychology and mental health need to be considered. There are so many intricate aspects of the brain and nervous system that can affect our daily lives. Understanding how your body, brain, and world interact is extremely beneficial for living a healthy life.


  1. Where do you hope to go next? 

 I will be attending Augusta University for my Master’s in Occupational Therapy. I am excited to learn more about how I can help individuals with disabilities have positive and functional daily experiences. My dream is to become a pediatric occupational therapist.


  1. What did you find most surprising about Georgia College? 

 One of the most surprising things to me was the ability to connect with faculty members. I had always heard that college professors were only there to teach and would not be interested in getting to know their students on a deeper level. While this may be true for some professors or colleges, I really felt that my professors wanted to get to know me and help me discover and reach my future goals.


  1. What was your favorite part of attending Georgia College and how do you think that might influence your future?

 My favorite part of attending Georgia College was my interactions with the Milledgeville community. I loved being able to work with children from the area in Dr. Chiang’s research lab and being able to help animals from the local shelter get adopted through Shelter Buddies. My time here has taught me that it is important to use the skills and time that you have to make a difference in your community.


  1. Finally, what advice would you give to incoming students at Georgia College?

I would tell incoming students that it is okay if they don’t feel like they have everything figured out. I was really anxious my first year here because I felt like I needed to know exactly what I was doing and what my goals were. While it is important to know what you want to major in and to have goals about how you want to do in classes, your ideas about what you want to do as a career may change and become clearer as you take more courses and get involved in different areas on campus. I did not even know what occupational therapy was when I first got to Georgia College, so don’t be too hard on yourself, get involved, and keep an open mind!

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