CPP Student Spotlight: Marina Conner

October 2022

October 27, 2022 By Amy Laskowski

The College of Professional Programs is very proud to highlight Marina Conner, a student in the EWU School of Psychology.

Originally from Westport, WA, Marina Conner is majoring in psychology, with a minor in criminal justice, and anticipates graduating in June of 2023. The more she studies psychology, the more she is interested. “I knew this was the major for me!” she reports.

Initially, Conner thought a degree in psychology would prepare her for a role as a therapist. Now, she revels in the multiple possibilities, settings, and careers this degree can unlock. The path that most excites Maria is that of forensic psychology, working mainly within the prison and justice systems, providing psychological evaluations to those on trial and taking the stand in court proceedings. With degrees in psychology and criminal justice, she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology, ideally involving an internship working with incarcerated females.

Conner credits her success and enthusiasm to her overall “academic involvement,” including serving as president of Psi Chi (psychology honor society), working in the EWU School of Psychology, conducting research with faculty, and attending conferences.

Marina is a very conscientious student and an energetic leader. She has participated in independent research, presenting the results at Western Psychological Association’s annual convention. She is always willing to promote psychology . . . Marina has provided continuity in the front office of the School of Psychology for the past several years and is quite an asset to our program.

– Jillene Grover Seiver, PhD, EWU School of Psychology

When asked if she has any advice to offer fellow students, Marina encourages connecting with professors, even if he/she/they are not a direct advisor. “Go to office hours and talk to them . . . they are some of the nicest and most helpful people,” she says.

A deep sense of connection has provided Marina strength for all her efforts. She chose Eastern Washington University after falling in love with campus, the great psychology program, and small class sizes, but recalls she was worried about moving so far away from home. Marina says she overcame the feeling “with the help of my friends and coworkers here in Cheney. I have made such strong friendships here and EWU slowly started to feel like home too.” Marina proudly credits Dr. Kayleen Islam-Zwart and Program Support Supervisor Maria Szep as her mentors.

Maria also advises that students join groups such as Psi Chi, an international honor society for psychology students. Psi Chi exists to build community, develop leadership, and promote philanthropic activity among psychology students. With Marina’s leadership, the chapter held monthly member meetings, game nights, social nights, and an end-of-year fundraiser. Psi Chi also worked to increase social media promotion to energize existing members while attracting new membership. Marina points out that joining such a group “provides excellent connections and opportunities.”

As the College of Professional Programs, we salute Marina’s efforts and celebrate her ongoing successes and accomplishments!

About EWU School of Psychology: Psychology is a diverse discipline, grounded in science, aimed to understand human behavior. While some are basic researchers who develop and test theories, others apply the discipline’s scientific knowledge to help people, organizations, and communities. Whether you are interested in educational, behavioral, or applied psychology, we have a program for you. Learn more.

About Psi Chi: Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Learn more.