Posted on December 8, 2020 by Amanda Cerreto

Sydney Cox Sometimes a chance encounter, or a small conversation, or even stumbling across a TV show can change the course of someone's future. For Sydney Cox '19, watching Criminal Minds as a high schooler changed her career trajectory from astronomy to psychology.

"I became really interested in the psychological aspect of crime," Cox said. "I wanted to know how to explore that further."

And so she went on to get an undergraduate degree in the field, but she wasn't satisfied yet - she knew she wanted to explore more research and get an advanced degree.

When considering master's programs, Cox knew she had to find a mentor in the field of social psychology. While browsing the UTSA website , she saw Dr. Ephrem Fernandez's research interests aligned with hers, and it seemed like a perfect fit.

As she progressed through the program, her initial thoughts were confirmed. “I really enjoyed taking classes in the different fields of psychology,” she said. “It broadened my view of different areas and helped me overall.”

Now Cox is a manager for a neuropsychology laboratory at A&M university at College Station. The research there mainly focuses on the cerebellum and how it changes for older adults, and how men and women differ in aging. Her duties include helping run subjects for longitudinal studies and make sure everything within the lab runs smoothly for the cognitive tests and MRI scans.

Cox strongly recommends UTSA's Psychology program to anyone interested in social psychology. “It is a lot of work, so be prepared,” she cautioned. “Don't be afraid to ask questions - the professors are open and willing to help above and beyond.”

— Amanda Cerreto