Student Profile

Jessyl Zavala '15

Psychology major, Anthropology minor

What do you like about St. Mike's?

It's shaping me to be a well-rounded person. Since it's a Liberal Arts college, I get to learn about everything, even outside the classroom. St. Mike's isn't the most ethnically diverse place I've ever been; it's the type of people that are here that make it diverse.

What's your favorite class?

Behavioral Neuroscience. It's so much work, it's crazy. But the professor, Melissa Vanderkaay-Tomasulo, makes it so interesting that the workload doesn't matter.

Do you have a favorite professor?

Tomasulo. She challenges me to exert myself but she always helps along the way. And she explains things very clearly.

What's your favorite spot on campus?

The library lawn in fall under one of the pine trees. You get to see everything around you but it's also really relaxing. And in fall, it's the perfect temperature. It's kind of refreshing; back home in Puerto Rico it's always hot.

What’s one thing you’ve learned at St. Mike's that's been surprising?

I didn't know I had such a drive to excel. I'm surprised by how much I push myself (and sometimes I push myself too hard), and my professors and friends are really supportive of that. It surprised me that in really stressful and anxious moments, I wouldn't be alone.

How do you give back to the community?

I'm in training to be an ESL teacher for immigrant farm workers, which I'm very excited about. And I'm also an RA, so that takes a lot of my time. I try to make sure everyone's safe and comfortable and has what they need.

What do you do in your spare time?

What spare time? When I go back home I paint and read (I really like Robert Frost) and run. Basically, I live at the beach with friends and family.

What do you think you want to do with your life?

I am debating whether I want to do something with psychology and ethics or psychology and law because I can imagine myself being an intense interrogator for the FBI. I also think I might be watching too much TV.

What makes you happy?

I find happiness in the fact that I can have so many different groups of friends, even though I have to study so much.

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