Ronan O'Brien from Princeton University was the 2015 Winner in the Languages & Linguistics category for his paper titled “Opportunity Be Knockin’: Race and Invariant Be in Hip-Hop Language”
Following his experience at The Undergraduate Awards, Ronan graduated from Princeton University in 2016 with a B.A. in Linguistics. Inspired by his work in peer counsellor positions, and a desire to work more closely with people, he chose to change fields and pursue clinical psychology.
To solidify his knowledge in preparation for graduate school, last year he completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in psychology at University of California, Irvine. In addition to coursework, he worked in the psychology/neuroscience lab of Dr. Elizabeth Martin, which studies schizophrenia and related symptoms. Ronan also worked as a counsellor-intern with Outreach Concern, which placed him at Huntington Seacliff Elementary School to provide one-on-one behavioural counselling to a caseload of students.
The following summer, Ronan completed another internship in Mérida, México, in the state of Yucatán. He worked with Fundación BAI, which provides services to people living with HIV and local communities.
“I gained further experience by shadowing psychologists and doctors, coordinating a group psychotherapy program, and even conducting personal counselling sessions on my own. I also had the opportunity to engage with the community through the health outreach fairs the foundation participated in.”
Ronan recently began his Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Santa Barbara. Incorporating some of his linguistic background, his concentration is in Latino Mental Health, which is very relevant in Southern California. The program fulfils the course requirements for future licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the area and hiking at nearby nature spots.
Take a look at Ronan's Winning Paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library.