Inneke Vargas, from Houston, appreciates the interdisciplinary approach of her liberal arts degree from Wichita State University. After graduate school, she wants to work on policy changes to help eliminate health disparities.
“My research broadly focuses on the effects of mental health stigma, particularly among African Americans, across the lifespan,” she wrote. “More narrowly, I am currently interested in the ways mental health care inequities disproportionately affect minority men during adolescence and very late adulthood.”
Inneke is one of more than 1,200 students eligible for fall 2020 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.
What is your degree in?
I majored in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. I am also completing the Cohen Honors College Interdisciplinary Track for Law and Public Policy.
What led you to Wichita State to begin with?
WSU has an excellent psychology department.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?
The research experiences I have been fortunate enough to gain through the McNair Scholars Program and working as a Research Assistant for Drs. Amy K. Chesser and Nikki Keene Woods.
What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
Fitting everything I want to do into the hours in a day. My calendar is my greatest tool. When someone asks me to do something, if I have a previous commitment on my calendar, I decline. If I have an opening, I accept. It sounds simple enough, but being comfortable saying, “No,” to avoid over-extending yourself is an underrated skill.
What has been your most helpful learning experience at Wichita State?
This is best described as an ongoing learning experience, but I would say: using my resources. As a first-generation low-income student it has been helpful knowing where to go when I have questions about finances, class registration, or my future educational endeavors.
What are your plans after graduation?
Graduate school. I am applying to Ph.D. programs for the upcoming cohort. Fingers crossed I get offers.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?
Moving to complete online instruction has been an interesting adjustment. With regard to post-graduation, many Ph.D. programs are waiving the GRE requirement due to the pandemic. This decision is creating a more equitable application process and has heavily influenced where I will apply.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
Be sure to explore the many opportunities WSU offers for interdisciplinary learning.