Alumni Highlight: Kristina Allen '12

Major: Psychology

Current residence: Mariposa

As a Mariposa resident all her life, coming to UC Merced was a big change for the energetic and reliable Kristina Allen (Psychology/BA/2012). Transitioning from the mountain life that she was so accustomed to, she realized Merced is a growing city full of opportunities. UC Merced’s small size, close interactions with professors and the availability of resources made it a perfect experience for her.

Some of Allen's favorite courses at UC Merced were Clinical Neuropsychology and Behavioral Genetics, but her proudest accomplishment was conducting research with Professor Jeff Gilger and Professor Rose Scott.

"They were a huge help, and I learned more from doing research with them than in any of my classes,” Allen  said. 

And now she’s back! Allen enrolled in the developmental psychology Ph.D. program. In the interim, she put her psychology degree to use helping care for her grandparents who are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Allen remembers that as an undergraduate student at UC Merced, the Psi Chi group, of which she was a part, volunteered a few times a month at the Emeritus Senior Living Unit in Merced. She didn’t realize then that the Alzheimer's patients she was working with would prepare her for helping her own grandparents.