Prospective Students

Maggy Fread

  • Graduation Year: 2018

Maggy FreadMajor: Cognitive Science & Social Work


Year: Junior

How did you decide on your major?

I originally came into Rutgers as a Biology/Psychology double major, looking to study the connections between biology and behavior. During my second semester, I took a Byrne seminar about linguistics/cognitive science and realized there was a whole other field of academia that I had been missing. In general, I was drawn to Cognitive Science because of its interdisciplinary nature and its ability to explain phenomena that we witness on a daily basis. With Cognitive Science, I get the best of all worlds and can make connections to so many different fields so I could always find something that fit my diverse interests. I picked social work as my other area of study for the same reason; it’s a field that encompasses many of my interests and can be applied in multiple different ways.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I like being under the cognitive science department because you’re able to tailor the major/minor to your interests. The five different major tracks allow you to specialize in a specific area and gain a greater insight into a particular branch of cognitive science. There’s also so many opportunities to get involved in research and expand your knowledge of what you’re learning in the classroom. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, there’s a large number of faculty from many different departments, so it allows for the expansion of knowledge and better ways to make yourself a more well-rounded student. 

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

I may be slightly biased in saying Professor Syrett is my favorite professor considering I work in her lab but it still holds true! Her passion for her work has definitely influenced the love I have for cognitive science and I truly appreciate all of the support she has given me in my undergraduate academic journey. As one of the professors for my Byrne Seminar, she made linguistics and cognitive science interesting and exposed the students in the class to the different ways to apply cognitive science to our daily lives. I can definitely say that she’s one of the main reasons why I chose to study cognitive science!

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I’m currently a Leadership Scholar through the Institute for Women’s Leadership and a part of our program is to create a social action project investigating a social issue in our community so this past semester, I did my project about intimate partner violence on college campuses and it was an incredibly enriching experience. Another one of my favorite academic experiences is as a Peer Instructor for the Aresty Research Center because I have the opportunity to shape the next group of undergraduate researchers and network with people outside of my fields of study.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I’m a second year Resident Assistant on College Ave and I help run the Honors College mentoring program. Last year, I completed the Aresty Research Assistant program that has allowed me to work in Professor Syrett’s lab and this year, I am a Peer Instructor for the same program. I also enjoy going to recreation & fitness classes whenever I get the chance!

What are your plans following graduation?

I look to go onto graduate school for either Social Work or Higher Education with hopes of working in a university setting, particularly in Student Affairs.

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