Senior Cassandra Knapp is no stranger to the whirlwind of life; her plate is always full as she balances being a full-time student, working and completing an internship. A double major in psychology and criminal justice, Knapp plans to obtain a master’s degree in social work after graduation.
“I would describe myself as being very motivated and a hard worker,” said Knapp. “However, I tend to overthink things a lot and stress out over little things.”
Although Knapp has a busy schedule with lots of little things to worry about, it is evident that she makes time to spend with her loved ones, often times spending time with her family and husband. She recently helped decorate a nursery for her sister.
“We painted designs on letters to spell out her daughter’s name,” said Knapp. “My roommate, Candice, and I took her maternity pictures and made table toppers for her baby shower along with a collage poster for the wall.”
While being engaged in a variety of activities, it would seem difficult to perform well academically, but that is not the case for Knapp. Knapp has a good head on her shoulders and effectively uses time management to her advantage.
“Cassie is a very dedicated student who keeps her nose to the grindstone and gets things done efficiently,” said Assistant Director of Psychology Dr. Taryn Myers.
Within her psychology major alone, Knapp challenges herself by making the most of new experiences and by not only recognizing her weaknesses but striving to better them while also using her strengths to her advantage.
“My Senior 480 class has been really challenging. In this class we have to conduct our own research project and defend our results to a committee at the end,” said Knapp. “I’m conducting my project on perceptions of domestic violence blame and I am getting ready to run analyses on my data.”
Unsurprisingly, Knapp is very occupied with her senior research project, but her work in psychology keeps her motivation strong and her focus steady.
“Family violence was a class I really enjoyed because I got to do a lot of community projects during the course,” said Knapp. “We organized the clothesline project and my group got to set up a table in the local Farm Fresh to educate people about domestic violence and the Samaritan House. We got to hear a lot of stories and it was a really neat experience.”
Outside of class, Knapp started as a volunteer for Heartland Hospice this past summer, and since has applied and gotten into their internship program.
“During her internship, she has been a very dedicated worker and had the chance to participate in an array of different experiences, such as pet therapy, calls to patients to make sure they have everything they need, visits with patients and shadowing professionals in the organization,” said Myers.
“Internships are important because it is experience you cannot learn in a classroom; it is hands on field experience,” said Knapp. “It is better to know what you are getting into before you waste years of school.”
Cassandra’s internship is unique because Heartland Hospice goes above and beyond to take great care of their patients.
“I remember when we took a trip to Wal-Mart to buy plants, pillows and blankets just to decorate a patient’s room to make it feel more like home,” said Knapp. “They provide support groups when a patient passes as well as memorial services for their family members.”
What one gains from the internship is much more than what they give.
“This has been a rewarding experience; I love seeing the patient’s reactions,” said Knapp. “I have received hugs from many people which express their appreciation for what I do.”
Knapp looks forward to studying beyond undergraduate study, using her experience with her internship, in the classroom and her personal life to continue to succeed.