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Department of Psychology
University of Mississippi

Graduate Student Spotlight: Reagan Pearce

Experimental, 4th Year

Reagan Pearce

Tell us about yourself!

I am a fourth-year graduate student in the experimental psychology program. I received my Master of Arts in Psychology with a graduate minor in Applied Statistics from the University of Mississippi in December of 2020. Although I have been in Mississippi for most of my college career, I grew up in a small mountain town in Colorado.

What research have you been working on lately?

My research has focused on potential factors that improve and develop cognitive control (i.e., executive function) in young children. I often approach these factors using a representational framework that suggests that controlling behavior requires an ability to mentally describe and store information from our environments so that we can later reflect on that information to solve a problem. My most recent projects have examined how mindfulness and movement may contribute to forming representations to further aid in the development of executive function in preschool.

What is your favorite thing about being a graduate student in the department?

I have really enjoyed learning about the different research interests and projects across the faculty and graduate students. The department has cultivated a very collaborative and interdisciplinary environment. I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my knowledge through the multiple faculty and graduate student presentations throughout the semester. We hear of a new graduate student project every week during our colloquium and the speaker series committee provides a variety of professional talks related to current research in the department.

What is your favorite thing about living in Oxford?

I love the relationship the community has with the university. The locals always welcome the students with open arms and because of that, I have formed a sense of pride in being an alumnus and current graduate student at the University of Mississippi.

What is your favorite course you have taken so far?

I completed the college teaching seminar in the spring of 2020. Dr. Dowling’s seminar highlighted the many strategies and learning environments that can encourage success across a diverse group of students. The readings and discussions opened my eyes to ways that I could encourage success in learning, not only in the classroom as a teaching assistant and instructor, but also in my research and mentoring.

What do you do when you are not studying?

I love being outside! Growing up in Colorado, much of my free time was spent hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, or playing sports with my brothers. Right now, I am training for a marathon, so most of my time outside has been running—at a very slow pace.

What is a really interesting or really boring fact about yourself?

My first name is Zubie, but I go by my middle name, Reagan. We have been able to trace the name back five generations, however no one in my family actually knows what it means or why it’s been passed down.