Student spotlight: Mariel Olsem

Meet Mariel Olsem, a double major in psychology and human biology at UMD

Why did you choose UMD?

I chose UMD primarily for the location and the size, the nature is so gorgeous and UMD is the perfect middle size between a big and a small college.

What do you like most about your programs? 

I enjoy the class sizes and the fact that you pretty quickly get to a point where you’ll always know some people in every one of your classes, even if your majors are as general as mine.

What has been your most meaningful experience at UMD so far?

My most meaningful experience at UMD has been the opportunity to get involved in research, primarily with Dr. Rebecca Gilbertson’s Neurocognitive and Emotion Laboratory on campus. Through this experience, I’ve come to understand and appreciate the research process and have the opportunity to do research and share the results with others. I’ve found it to be something that I enjoy and would be interested in doing in the future, which is not something I would’ve known had I not gotten this opportunity!

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Get involved and use all of the resources given to you! At UMD you have so many opportunities to meet with professors who are ready to share their knowledge and help you. Go to office hours and talk to professors—it's not as terrifying as it sounds, I promise! Other personal favorite things I’ve taken advantage of at UMD are renting skis and snowshoes from RSOP, or getting involved with extracurriculars/clubs such as Bulldog Catholic.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to be outside hiking, running, or playing sand volleyball, as well as doing anything with friends:  getting coffee, thrifting, bible study, making food together, playing games, or going to the gym. I also enjoy painting and listening to/making music.

About the Department of Psychology