Undergraduate Studies ePortfolio Nicholas RamirezUndergraduate (Psychology) 2011 1
Personal StatementI am sitting in a classroom reflecting on all past accomplishments and experiences that have shaped my life and led me to pursuing a career of counseling and contributing toward a healthy mental state of others. Although I have only studied this subject for a relatively short period of time, I have enjoyed the variety the undergraduate courses has provided and I feel I have had a sample of different fields of this subject. I have particularly enjoyed studying personality theories addressing psychoanalytic, behavioristic, and humanistic schools of thought, particularly B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning. Upon attending Don Bosco Technical High School, I am no stranger to higher learning, multitasking, demanding deadlines, and meeting all expected expectations. Along with obtaining a Associative Degree in Electronics, I am aware of the applications and recent technical advances in regards to media and communications coupled with the field of psychology. Since working in a jail setting and being exposed to a multitude of personalities and behaviors has further fuelled my interest; every day I see aspects of human behavior that could have come straight from a psychological theory. I believe that combined with my enthusiasm for the subject, the skills I have learned through my past work experience will make me an ideal candidate for studying Psychology. Being in the sheriff’s department has taught me many transferable skills, including organizational, patience, leadership and confidence. I also feel my experience of dealing with people and colleagues in a hostile environment will prove invaluable in particular areas of Psychology. I have demonstrated my people skills when I supervised the aquatics division for the City of Alhambra, conducting training and maintaining the public’s perception of safety within the park and pool grounds. Away from my academic studies I lead an active life taking pleasure in fitness activities and competitive sports which has enabled me to interact with other people as we share similar interests. I am an avid participant of Argosy University’s Psychology club which presents opportunities to broaden our understanding in many of the fields within the mental health field along with networking with fellow students, marriage and family therapists (M.F.T.) and counselors.
ResumeProfileObjectiveI am seeking a position within the mental health field in order to broaden my knowledge andexperience within a facility that specializes in providing a safe environment for children and adult who have needcounseling and therapy.Education: 1996 to 2004-Associative Science Degree in Criminal Justice (December 2004) East Los Angeles College 1997 to 1999-Associative Science Degree in Electronics (June 1999) Don Bosco Technical Institute and High SchoolWork Experience:County of San Diego Sheriff’s Department Full-Time Position-Deputy Sheriff-Detentions/Patrol December2006 to PresentUnder the general supervision and in cooperation of the public, to perform patrol, investigative service andenforcement functions. To provide safety of the public and those under the detention of the Sheriff’s department.San Diego Police Department Full-Time Position-Police Officer July 2005 to May 2006Within the City of San Diego, perform public safety, investigative services, and patrol methods to insure optimalcrime suppression within the communities while maintaining a public relation with its residents.The Home DepotFull-Time Position Freight Team Associate December 2004 to July 2005Stocking, down stocking and the distribution of supplies within each department in the store.Levy RestaurantsFull-Time Position Event Suite Server /Waiter March 2000 to July 2005The Distribution of food and beverage orders. The planning of room display and decor for each event.City of Alhambra-Aquatics DivisionFull-Time Position Lifeguard/Pool Manager June 2006 to July 2005Supervision of the operation of our community pools and its employees. The evaluations of lifeguards, assisting inthe staffing and training of CPR and First Aid. Practicing safety and life rescuing procedures. Conducting andteaching swimming lessons to infants/children/adults.
ReflectionWhile attending Argosy University’s Undergraduate Program in Psychology, I have been offered many opportunities to learn and experience different disciplines in the mental health field. Integrating many areas of psychology within my practices of future therapy will allow me to be broaden my scope and understanding of people’s issues. In social psychology, I was able to study the different behaviors, emotions and thoughts influenced by a individual’s environment or interactions with others. Industrial and Organization Psychology gave insight of how the structure of business and its success is based on the attitudes and cooperation of employees as a whole. Personality Theories explained the various thought process and how different individualities are created based on cognitive thoughts and motivations. Though this is just a few examples of the extensive exposure I have had in the field of psychology, I feel my weakness stems from a over abundance of information and being able to link it with practical applications, however, I understand this type of learning will be pursued during my advancement of entering a Master’s Program. Yet my strengths come from being a avid learner and taking the time to understand each aspect of the mental field and how it pertains to my overall goal of becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist.
Table of ContentsCognitive Abilities: Critical Thinking and Information LiteracyResearch SkillsCommunication Skills: Oral and WrittenEthics and Diversity AwarenessFoundations of PsychologyApplied PsychologyInterpersonal Effectiveness
Cognitive AbilitiesDecision Making in Groups and Effective Communication• A disbursement of corporate tasks and work load is ideal within an organization, though with a variety of ideas and creativity conflict can arise which in turn raises instability.• “Individuals and work groups usually must rely on the activities of other persons and groups to get their own jobs done, therefore an individual and group’s interdependence is an important source of conflict” (Riggio, 2008).• With the outcomes of conflict, productivity is usually what suffers along with the cohesiveness of the group and organization.• “People who are in conflict may avoid communicating with each other, making it difficult to work together which can also be destructive to group member satisfaction when conflicting parties begin to send misleading or deceptive messages to one another or when false and disparaging rumors are started” (Riggio, 2008).• Though there are arguments, individual brainstorming is more effective than as a group.• The problem is that despite the rules, group dynamics are too powerful; the creativity of people in the brainstorming groups is often inhibited (Riggio, 2008).(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
Research SkillsChildren’s Development and Domestic Violence• As children are a witness to the positive aspects of learning such actions, they are sometimes exposed to harsh realities of physical and mental problems that domestic violence in the household produces.• Domestic violence has “had effects on child development that varied in magnitude and nature depending on the type of domestic violence and who reported the information about the childs adjustment” (Sternberg, 1993).• Though children are very observant to the parents’ attitudes and begin to recognize signs of distress, anger or frustration, the child or children may associate these misplaced feelings as blaming themselves for the conflict since the child is unaware of the facts of the situation.• When witnessing domestic violence, children may experience overwhelming emotions that include fear for their own safety and their parents’ safety, but they cannot count on their parents for help because the parents are focused in their own experience and are unaware of their children’s needs (Johnson, 2007).• Carlson et al states a child witnessing domestic violence “displays academic deficits, including weaker academic performance, impaired concentration, poorer school attendance, and lower school and social activity interest”(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
Communication Skills: Oral and WrittenHidden Biases• Many people throughout their daily lives implement some variation of prejudices toward actions and decisions make, sometimes in which they are not even fully aware of.• “People tend to be prejudiced against members of other racial and ethnic groups and often don’t understand them very well” (Kendrick, D., et al, 2006).• With a lack of exposure to different variations of thought toward diversity, many people fall into the habit of taking shelter within their own related group setting.• Individuals with a strong social dominance orientation prefer social systems in which groups are ordered according to their worth and believe their own group should be wealthier and more powerful (Kendrick, D., et al, 2006).(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
Ethics and Diversity AwarenessAlternate Perceptions to Racism, Discrimination and Stereotyping• Within an environment of limitations, rules and diversity (either by race or affiliation) causes indifference and problematic situations especially in a detention center for delinquent adolescent boys.• “Because social norms deeply infiltrate our everyday lives, and because we spend so much time around those from whom we seek approval, we can also internalize these messages and accept them as our own” (e.g., Guimond, 2000).• When adapting to such an environment, the young men will convert their views to fit the social norm within the complex, however negative, to be socially accepted.• “People who, as a rule, want to fit in are more likely to adopt their community’s prejudices, stereotypes, and discriminatory habits” (Kendrick, D., et al, 2006).(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
Foundations of PsychologyObserving Behaviorism• Behaviorists view people as blank slates and believe that their environment, this includes primary caregivers, teachers, peers, neighbors, and culture at large, develops their characteristics by these interactions.• Skinner compared shaping behavior to a sculptor molding a statue from a large lump of clay, in both cases, the final product seems to be different from the original form, but the history of the transformation reveals continuous behavior and not a set of discrete steps (Feist, J. & Feist, G., 2009).• As society adapts to the changes of society, an evolution in character and behavior are associated with the specific circumstances of each individual and their environment.• “Selection is responsible for those cultural practices that have survived, just as selection plays a key role in humans’ evolutionary history and also with the contingencies of reinforcement” (Feist, J. & Feist, G., 2009).(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
Applied PsychologySurvey Questionnaire• The research literature I will be presenting is a survey that examines “how factors which were impeding organizational performance, morale and development were identified and addressed to the benefit of the organization, its people and other stakeholders” (PGA Group, 1987- 2011).• “The survey is the most meticulously planned and executed of interviews because its purpose is to establish a solid base of fact from which to draw conclusions, make interpretations, and determine courses of action” (Stewart and Cash Jr., 2008).• The questions within the survey totaled to 92 questions (which was divided into ten sections) which were formatted into multiple choice (yes/no). An open ended question format was used create the type of question presented in order to complete the survey within the span of 45 minutes.• “The staff were asked also to identify those issues which either had not been examined hitherto, or had been examined in a way which did not enable them to express adequately their opinion” (PGA Group, 1987- 2011).(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
Interpersonal EffectivenessSimilarities within Religious Cultures (Class Presentation Notes)• Concentrating on their current forms of each religion, the three faiths referred to above have similar foundations which circle around topics such as a supreme being, ultimate reality, faith/belief and the relationships between God and his followers.• Belief is explained as the unquestionable standing that God exists without any physical facts to prove or disprove this concept (divine simplicity). The expectations of a Jewish follower are the adherence of the Ten Commandments to reach paradise. The practice of Judaism has been devoted to the study of Torah and observance of these laws and commandments.• In relation to faith, belief is similar in the aspects of God’s presence and the creation/destruction of life. Hindu followers conduct their lifestyle based on the idea of karma. Good or virtuous actions, will have good reactions or responses and bad actions, actions against dharma, will have the opposite effect (Flood, 2009).• Buddhism is a religion focused on the spiritual development of one’s self and that Buddhism is within than physically around us. The Ultimate reality of Buddhist is the creation and destruction of all things.(See Professional Work Samples for further information)
My Future in LearningI intend to pursue a career in counseling and family therapy;therefore, these qualities are imperative to myself and my career.Initially I plan to gain practical experience in the field through aninternship with a prestige’s firm. My long range objective is to acquirea teaching position with a college or university while opening a privatepractice. I expect that graduate work will bedemanding, challenging, and exciting and I look forward to attending aprogram of this sort. In graduate school I expect to receive theopportunity to learn, to grow, and to evolve as an individual and utilizethese skills to the utmost potential with clients and students. I take intoconsideration the knowledge, experiences, and opportunities that areassociated with the earning of Master’s Degree valuable and I amprepared to invest myself, my time, and my energies toward theearning of that degree.
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