Rachael A. Carmen 


Background Story

I grew up in New Paltz and decided to stay here to go to college. I have always been in to art (photography in particular) and it was actually the reason I enrolled at SUNY New Paltz. When I was a freshman, I had my heart set on becoming a famous photographer. When I was accepted into the fine arts program sophomore year, I happened to be taking Intro to Psychology to fulfill some General Education credits. I found myself at a fork in the road. Continue with my dream of becoming a professional photographer or try to become a Psychologist? After much thought, I decided to pursue Psychology as a career and make art my hobby. I want to make a difference in the world and doing it through art is a lot more difficult to imagine than doing it through research. 

So, with heavy doubt in my heart, I began taking a plethora of psychology classes in the spring semester of my sophomore year. It just so happened that in the first Psychology class I took (Psychology of Personality) I met my current advisor, Dr. Glenn Geher. Through him I was introduced to Evolutionary Studies, which lead to my interest in evolution and animal behavior. In addition to the EvoS minor, I was also a History minor, so with Psychology, Evolutionary Studies, History (and yes, even some Japanese classes) I began to to piece together a more solid understanding of human nature...but I still felt that something was missing.  

In the spring semester of my senior year I took a class entitled "Seminar in Psychology: Love and Sex" (now known as Biopsychology of Eros) with the wonderful Alice Andrews. She provided me with various readings that fused ideas of love and sex with distinct points of view from various fields. For my term paper topic for Alice's class, I decided to write about the Female Orgasm. Amidst a sea of research papers, I realized that I had a whole lot of information, but very few conclusions. 

With my patchwork knowledge of various disciplines, I feel that I can offer the field of Human Sexuality (or rather, any field) a novel way of understanding age old problems. 

Since then, I have been using this patchwork of knowledge to inform every aspect of my academic career--including my publications, and my current research on female sexuality. 

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