Sasha Burnett ’08
After graduating from Cornell, I received my master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Northern Iowa in 2010. I currently live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and work at the Arizona Humane Society as a human resources generalist.
As the first in my family to go to college, I think it was a wise choice to attend a smaller school. The opportunity to have one-on-one connections with faculty was crucial to my success. Professor Sue Astley, in particular, guided me through the grad school application process, and I’m forever grateful for that. I learned the value of networking and making the most of provided resources such as on-campus research, internships, work-study, Cornell Fellows, and more.
I did on-campus psychology research with Professor Astley the summer between my sophomore and junior years. We studied the effects of picture priming on pigeon memory and the research was eventually presented at the 48th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Long Beach, California. For one block break, I observed the teachers and students at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids, and the summer after my junior year I did an internship at Head Start in Cedar Rapids as a teacher’s assistant.
My work-study was with Becki Elkins in the Office of Institutional Research entering and analyzing data about the different Cornell departments.
Finally, I also completed a Cornell Fellowship in public policy, working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at the state capitol in Des Moines. I worked with the DNR’s legislative liaisons as they guided state legislators on the environmental impacts of laws they were considering. During my time with them I drafted a resolution regarding Iowa’s bottle bill return policy. My time at the capitol was especially interesting to me as my grandma was then, and is still, a state legislator, so I was able to peek inside her world of politics!