Profiles of Drew Psychology Students

Malavika Vishwanath '20

If you’re looking for a Psychology student who knew from a young age that Psychology was her passion, Senior Malavika Vishwanath may not be that perfect fit. 

This dedicated student-athlete, NCAA All-American swimmer from India claims she had no knowledge of the subject whatsoever before taking her first psychology class as a junior in high school in India. But in an educational system emphasizing rote memorization as the only key to success, psychology became the only subject she genuinely enjoyed. With the support from her parents as she left home and the thoughtful guidance of the psychology department at Drew, she developed an immense passion for the field and declared her Psychology major and Neurosciences minor at the end of her Freshman year.

Malavika expected her interests to become more specific, but the opposite happened: her interests grew wider with every course that she took, saying, “At the risk of sounding extremely biased, I’ve enjoyed every single Psychology course that I’ve taken so far.” In addition, all of the classes she has taken at Drew have been connected to each other.

She feels being a student of psychology has made her a better student overall. From the structure of the classes, to the relationships that they helped her build, she cannot conceive of a more rewarding experience. Psychology classes not only encourage students’ contributions, but also make sure that their contributions are valued, “which is what makes these classes so special,” she adds.  The numerous presentations, papers and test (yes, even the tests…) proved invaluable in making her a better speaker, a more critical thinking and overall a better human being than she was when she first entered Drew. 

As her four years near the end, Malavika is looking forward to taking a Ceramics class, developing her new found appreciation for music and applying to pursue an advanced degree in the field of Cognitive Sciences. We would all be wise to take in her parting advice: trust the process, make use of all the opportunities that are available to you, say yes more often – success in any field depends on how passionate you are about it. “The world of psychology has so much to offer,” she says “but more importantly, you will find that you have so much of your own to offer back.”   

Christina Christodoulou '20
Christina Christodoulou has always been fascinated with the workings of the human psyche and group dynamics. Being exposed early on to interesting perspectives piqued her interest in the value and power of the mind. As she saw society moving at a faster and faster pace, insights from the constantly changing field became more and more relevant. It is no surprise this Drew Senior chose to pursue a Psychology Major and Media and Communications Minor.  

In addition to her studies, Christina is also an accomplished student-athlete, entering her 4th year on the Drew tennis team, which has been the biggest part of her non-academic life in the forest. Beyond her academics and tennis, Christina also has found time to tutor and to be involved in many social endeavors on and off campus. For example, she spent a year as chief communications officer of the student government, currently writes for the school newspaper and is the promotion coordinator for the global center.

It was the faculty encouraging her academic growth and the professional enhancement that was made available to her that convinced Christina her choice of major was the right one for her. We can expect great things from Christina Christodoulou as she continues her academic career in a graduate program after graduation.