Psychology Major Discovers a World of Opportunity Through Campus Engagement
When Reya Hossain receives her diploma from NSU’s College of Psychology, she will become the first member of her family to graduate from college. While that alone is an accomplishment, she credits her campus and community involvement for opening doors that helped her overcome shyness and discover a passion for psychology.
“My parents and my family are from Bangladesh,” said Hossain, a senior psychology major. “Graduating from college is a great accomplishment. Every day I tell myself that I am blessed because I had the opportunity to pursue my education and not be ‘married off.’ I am able to deny those stereotypes that still exist where my family is from. If I were back in Bangladesh, it would have been nearly impossible for me to reach my goals and potential.”
After enrolling at NSU, Hossain quickly became active on campus. A former member of the Undergraduate Honors Program, she is now a member of The President’s 64, a selected group of student leaders who strengthen ties between NSU and the community, serve as student ambassadors, and provide feedback to NSU President George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.
Hossain has co-presented at the Leadership Conference hosted by the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, where she worked as a volunteer. She has been active in the Commuter Student Organization and campus events such as Relay for Life, Homecoming, and Community Fest.
“I did a lot on campus, which made my college experience amazing,” said Hossain, who changed majors from biology to psychology at the end of her sophomore year. “I joined the Psychology Club in my freshman year because I found it interesting. I started off as recruitment chair, then vice president, and afterward I was president for almost two years.
“Being actively involved on and off campus helps you learn more about yourself. I was able to come out of my shell and not feel shy about speaking in front of others. By networking, I met with professors and students and asked questions. I was able to connect with different offices by working as a volunteer service-hours coordinator at the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. I got involved with the Office of Student Activities by volunteering at their traditional events.
“Being a member of The President’s 64 was the icing on the cake because I represented the school in a tremendous way.”
Matthew Collins, Ph.D., associate professor at the college and faculty advisor for the Psychology Club, said Hossain’s involvement helped her grow as a student.
“A more engaged student is a more committed student,” Collins said. “Just knowing and feeling close with other students in your major can be invaluable. It helps students stay plugged in and they are able to share information about opportunities around campus and after graduation.”
As president of the Psychology Club, “Reya demonstrated leadership by organizing and running club meetings every two weeks in addition to helping plan fun events to engage students in the field of psychology. That’s a big commitment when your main job is doing well in your classes.
“On top of that, she helped plan club events every semester…that show students in and out of the field of psychology why psychology students love their major and how interesting it is,” Collins said.
Off campus, Hossain is a volunteer at the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center where she gains hands-on experience in mental-health counseling, a field she plans to pursue.
“That has been the most enriching [experience] of all because of what I’ve been able to do,” she said. “It may seem like a lot to manage clients, but it was a great challenge for me. Over time, it clicked that I was actually helping clients at my job.”
Hossain was recently offered a position as a preschool teacher’s aide at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development. She has applied to graduate programs in mental health counseling.
“Being a psychology major helped me academically because I was passionate about the classes I took and found them intriguing. I developed a more complex interest in the field. After working at Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, it felt like I found my niche.”