Motivation Lab Spotlight: Ariana

Here’s our next spotlight on graduate student member, Ariana!


Name: Ariana

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Movie/TV Show: I love movies and TV! My current favorite TV shows are Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock.


Q. How did you decide to come to UT Austin for graduate school?

A. I wanted a program that would fit nicely with my undergraduate degree in psychology and my masters in education. I spent about 3 years researching graduate schools while I was a classroom teacher. I was looking for a graduate school that was challenging and interesting. One of my undergraduate professors knew Dr. Svinicki, they had gone to graduate school together, and he gave me her contact information. She was very willing to meet with me and even came to campus on a Sunday to talk to me about the program. From that meeting I learned more about the program and realized it would be the best fit for me.

Q. What do you like best about the educational psychology program?

A.  I like how everyone is very supportive. We all want each other to be successful and work together to ensure that. I like the feeling of collaboration in this program.

Q. How did you decide on your current research interests?

A. Coming from the classroom, one thing that struck me was the lack of motivation that many students had. I wanted to come back and research ways to increase that motivation.

Q. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

A. The first time I saw the ocean when I was little. Growing up in a desert and seeing the ocean for the first time can be a very powerful experience. I just remember thinking how beautiful it is.

Q. What do you love about the city of Austin?

A. I love that there is always something to do! There are so many festivals here and great restaurants and fabulous hiking trails.

Q. Name one thing you have always wanted to do but have not yet had the chance.

A. I want to go to South America. I have done a lot of traveling around Europe, but have never made it to South America, that is my next big dream travel destination.

Q. Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies?

A.  I make some pretty delicious cake pops!