Kayla Cupples

What are you doing now?

I am currently a network administrator supporting the Solano County, California Department of Information Technology. In other words, I'm the geek in the background who keeps the computers and networks running and who occasionally growls at people.

How did UNA's psychology program help you achieve what you have become?

Honestly, the thought processes were the biggest thing I took away from my time in the psychology program. Working with Dr. Bates, while collecting way too many hours of bluegrass gave me more than a few stories to share along the way, and that project also provided a lot of the skillset I've leveraged as I took an IT-based path, rather than a pure psychology path. In addition, I took away a love of research, of taking big, beautiful problems that are perplexing folks and solving them, from dealing with hundreds of spreadsheets of research data that needs to be cleaned, to handling a major network outage, and almost everything in-between. Without the opportunities I had to work on research with Dr. Hudiburg and Dr. Bates, I never would have been able to make it as far as I have.

What advice would you give students who are interested in becoming UNA psychology majors?

I'm going to break with tradition, and I'm not going to say graduate school is a requirement to do awesome things with a psychology degree. I'm living proof of that, having worked with and supported various Army and Navy clients in their technical infrastructure, and now doing the same in the San Francisco Bay area, all within four years of graduation. So, don't think you absolutely have to go to grad school to do something interesting, because you don't. Go after the psychology degree because you enjoy studying people, and maybe because you enjoy experimenting on them, and know that you don't have to be typecast if you don't want to be. It's a little more work to find something fulfilling if you don't take the graduate school path, but it is very possible, and I'd argue it's been far more fulfilling, in my case.