Balqees Sayed (Russell Sage College 2020), sophomore honors student of Psychology and Business Administration at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, will be inducted into the Psi Chi (ΨΧ) International Honor Society in Psychology on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Psi Chi was founded in 1929 for the purposes of "encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology" and is one of the largest academic honor societies in the United States.
Balqees was invited to lifetime membership by The Sage Colleges Department of Psychology (Patricia A. O’Connor, PhD, Department Chair) on February 2, 2018 based on her progress in the psychology program, her academic performance, and her ranking in the Russell Sage College Class of 2020.
Balqees is a graduate of the Alaie Girls’ High School of her hometown, Jalalabad, Afghanistan. She credits her father for her academic success. During the family’s refuge in Pakistan, it was her father who encouraged her to study hard on their daily rides to her primary school on his bike. Balqees wants to use her education to address the needs of women and girls in Afghanistan where access to psychologists is difficult and very few female psychologists exist.
We caught up with Balqees between classes this week and asked her a few questions about her studies and her future plans:
Q: Why did you choose psychology as your major?
A: There were several reasons I chose psychology as my major. I always wanted to go to medical school but then later on I realized that medical school is not for me, so I chose psychology. Another reason was learning about human behavior; the more I studied it the more fasciating it sounded to me. One personal reason that kept me studying this profession is when my dad went through a lot of stress and anxiety-based mental illness but there wasn't much help. Psychology is like a taboo in Afghanistan and I want to break that.
Q: How do you hope to apply major in your career or volunteer work in Afghanistan after graduation?
A: I want to work with trauma patients and help people who need it the most. I want to pursue my career in trauma counseling and fields related to that.
Q. What has been your favorite psychology course thus far (and why)?
A. Every psychology course is my favorite because I have learned a lot from every course that I have taken until now. But I would like to say that my most favorite course was Social Psychology. I learned a lot in this course: how we love, why we love, why we hate, why some people are prejudiced and so on. The theories that I learned had answers to most of my questions regarding self and the social world.
Congratulations, Balqees jaan! We are so proud of your accomplishments and celebrate your bright future as a psychologist helping others.