MERG Spotlight: Scott

We’re so glad to have another member join MERG. Here’s a spotlight on Scott, our latest graduate student member!

Name: Scott

Hometown: Simsbury, CT

Favorite Food: Mexican or Texas BBQ

Favorite Movie/TV Show: Silly comedies such as Family Guy or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


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

A.  I enrolled in the UTeach teacher certification program, and I found myself drawn to the educational psychology research that was part of the course work.  Within one semester, I filled out my application for the HDCLS program and reached out to MERG to try to get involved in current research.  So, after a few months of nervous waiting, I found myself very happy to accept admission to a program that I already knew has a collaborative atmosphere with an exciting group of researchers.


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

A.  I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my intellectual interests and be involved in many projects that line up with my personal research interests.  At the same time, I would be hopelessly lost to pursue these interests if I didn’t have the ongoing guidance and support from UT’s learning community, and especially the MERG research group.  It’s a wonderful combination of freedom and support.


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

A.  I try to remain true to my personal research interests that brought me to this program, and many of those interests come from my personal experiences as a student.  Growing up, I struggled with boredom, motivation, and a consistent lingering doubt about how to figure out what to do with my life, and I think these issues are common to many other people in our society, as well.  I hope that I can contribute to understanding and addressing these issues through my research.


Q. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

A.  Thinking about my childhood brings up a flood of fond memories of being outside and playing sports.  My favorite days were the ones when my friends and I from Cardinal Road would hop on our mountain bikes to explore bike trails, look for snakes, play street hockey, or build tree forts.  I’m really happy that our parents believed in letting us explore the world on our own, as long as we came home in time for dinner (and I was lucky to grow up in a town where that kind of freedom was a realistic possibility).


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

A.  How could you not love this city?  The live music and unique food options are fantastic, but to me the most important thing is that I feel at home in terms of the people I meet.  I grew up in New England and went to college near Los Angeles, but it turns out that my personality fits in best in between those two coasts.  I even started listening to country music!