#Rowan2020 Instagram Contest Winner Gianna Floria

Gianna poses in front of a freshman residence hall in her graduation regalia.

Today we feature #Rowan2020 Instagram contest winner Gianna Floria. Gianna is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lakewood, NJ (Ocean County). Gianna lived on campus during her time at Rowan.

Please tell us about your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes. 

My favorite experience with a faculty member was going to New Orleans with Dr. Chelsie Young and two of the other research assistants in my lab for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) research conference this past February. It was my first time at a research conference and in New Orleans so it was thrilling!

Gianna presents her research poster with her professor.

What was your favorite or most meaningful personal moment at Rowan?

My favorite personal moment at Rowan was giving my first lecture as a learning assistant this past fall. In preparation for this class, I was so anxious and I asked my roommates to sit through my lecture to rehearse at least four times. Each time they gave me feedback and empowered me to be the best I could be. The morning of, my roommate Jenna made me coffee and each of my roommates made sure to do something to wish me luck. The lecture went better than I could’ve ever expected, and seeing the students’ reactions as well as the reaction of the professor I was assisting, was incredible. I will never forget that feeling and each person that contributed to it. 

What are your career aspirations and how did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with those aspirations? 

After Rowan, I plan to go to graduate school to get a Ph.D. in research social psychology with a research emphasis in human sexuality studies. I want to use this research to eventually curate a more progressive, comprehensive, and inclusive sex education program in America. Rowan’s incredible psychology department introduced me to the broad spectrum of psychological studies and I’m forever grateful for it.

Dr. Lisa Farkas teaches the best Psychology as a Professions and Practice course and because of her, I had my curriculum vitae and personal statement ready for grad school! Kristine Sietz’s Psychology of Human Sexuality class opened my eyes to the enticing academic world of human sexuality and how truly awful the state of sex education is in America, which gave me my drive to change it. Dr. Chelsie Young introduced me to the world of social psychology when I became a student in her class during her first semester here at Rowan. After a couple of meetings with Dr. Young, she had helped me figure out my entire career path. I then became a learning assistant in her social psychology classes, discovered my love for teaching, joined her Rowan Emotions, Alcohol, and College Health  (R.E.A.C.H.) Lab and discovered my love for research.

Gianna sits in front of Robinson Hall wearing her graduation gown and holding her cap.

How did the clubs and organizations you joined at Rowan enhance your experience?

I didn’t join many clubs throughout my time at Rowan and that is the one thing I do regret. I was in the Animal Advocacy club for a short period of time, which introduced me to many friends. Joining the R.E.A.C.H. lab was probably one of the best things I have done at Rowan, as I met amazing peers and was able to learn so much from them. I also got vital research experience and career development skills through our weekly labs, and through this, I was able to submit research for and go to the SPSP research conference.

Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors, or mentors? 

I’d love to thank my parents and family of course, for supporting me unconditionally throughout my college career. I’d like to thank my three roommates, Rachel, Jenna, and Elena, for not only being my friends and roommates, but for being the brilliant, ambitious, and admirable women they are. They have always pushed me to be the best I can be, and I’m so grateful for it. I’d like to thank my group of best friends in my hometown for being a safe haven of love and laughter when being on-campus became way too stressful for me. I’d like to also thank Dr. Chelsie Young for taking a chance on me. I had no idea what I was going to do with my degree when I met Dr. Young, and through her guidance, I know exactly what I want and how to get it. I aspire to one day be the patient and incredible mentor that she is.

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, rising sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

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