In Their Words: August Masonheimer, Dean's Award for Undergraduate Research

June 04, 2015


August Masonheimer, a student in the division's Psychology department, received the Dean's Undergraduate Research Award for his research "Seductive Images in Lecture: Does Extending the Time between Testing and Learning Still Produce the Secuctive Detail Effect?"

Congratulations August!

Department: Psychology
What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award 2014 - 2015
What year are you (1st year, 3rd year)? 4th year
College: Ten

Where do you call home?

At the moment I still feel the most attachment to where I grew up in San Francisco.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?

Just the general cooperative environment it has. In my experience people here really try to help each other out and genuinely care about others wellbeing.

What is your field of focus?

Broadly speaking I’m interested in how people learn and the factors that affect learning. This includes motivational and efficacy development, the role of stress, and techniques and tricks of effective instructors.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?

For the summer I’ll be teaching at Aim High which is a summer school program for middle school students. After that I plan on looking into educational, developmental, and cognitive psychology graduate programs.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?

Last fall I was an IA for psych 1 and our Friday meetings were always so much fun. In particular I remember one meeting in which we were planning our curriculum for operant and classical conditioning. We decided on having the students create skits to illustrate the terms and things just got professionally silly as we test ran that. It was a great example of how to have fun while maintaining a professional attitude.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?

Talk and get to know your teachers as early as possible. Every professor I’ve met here has been a very kind and interesting person and do really want to help you succeed. Also, get involved in research within whatever discipline you’re interested in as early as possible!

How will this award impact your academic life /research?

Overall this award has made me feel more confident in my research abilities. Just sort of knowing that the research project I conducted was done well enough to receive this honor helped me refine what my strengths are while simultaneously helping me see where I can improve my abilities.