Samantha Sanchez-Garcia graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in communication, sociology, and industrial/ organizational psychology. She participated in Eastern’s Inclusion and Diversity certificate program and was co-president of Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology. Samantha was a research assistant in Dr. Jillene Seiver’s clinical psychology lab looking into how the mere presence of a cell phone may be distracting. Samantha is particularly interested in researching domestic violence to help bring greater awareness and support to victims and potential victims. Samantha completed her EWU McNair Summer Research Internship studying this topic, which she presented her research at the Baylor McNair Research Conference.
Samantha was accepted by three graduate programs in 2021: the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Masters Program at California State University in San Bernardino, the Industrial-Organizational Behavior Management Masters Program at Western Michigan University, and the Industrial and Organizational Psychology PhD Program at DePaul University with full funding. She was selected as one of three students by DePaul for this program out of 80 applicants! In 2021-2022, Samantha decided to make a shift in her career path and began her Masters in Social Work at Eastern in 2022.
2020 McNair Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Jillene Seiver, Psychology
Research Title: Traumatic Experiences and Mental Health Among College Students
Abstract: Because most college students have experienced one or more traumatic experiences before reaching college, they may be at increased risk of experiencing a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study examined the relationship between a history of traumatic events and mental health disorders among college students. There were direct correlations between traumatic experiences and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In addition, after dividing respondents into “low,” “middle,” and “high” levels of trauma, the high group scored significantly higher on symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Women reported more symptoms of anxiety and depression and more physical/sexual trauma than men did. Some of these effects were moderated by ethnicity. These results support the findings of previous research, and suggest that there is a need for more research to determine the kinds of support and treatment needed for college students who may have experienced trauma.