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Majoring in Psychology at LCU: Dr. Carlos Perez and Sam Henderson

Thursday, Sep 29th, 2022
Author : Keegan Stewart
Podcast image for Majoring in Psychology at LCU: Dr. Carlos Perez and Sam Henderson

Dr. Carlos Perez and Sam Henderson joined the podcast to talk about LCU’s department of Behavioral Sciences as well as what it looks like to be a Psychology major!

Episode length 15:10 minutes
00:00 15:10


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Keegan Stewart : Hello and welcome. This is the LCU podcast, a podcast that will bring stories, insights and people from Lubbock Christian University. I'm your host, Keegan Stewart, and I'm happy to be with you for another episode. On today's episode, I had a conversation with Dr. Carlos Perez and senior Sam Henderson. Carlos is the chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at LCU as well as an associate professor.
Sam is a senior psychology major and has been involved at LCU in a number of different ways. This episode is all about learning what it looks like to major in psychology and be a part of the Behavioral Sciences Department at LCU. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Carlos Perez and Sam Henderson.
Dr. Perez, Sam, thank you all for being here today.
Dr. Carlos Perez : Yeah, thanks for having us.
Keegan Stewart : So, Dr. Perez, you should major in behavioral sciences at LCU, if you're interested in what?
Dr. Carlos Perez : Yeah. So? So our department is a department of behavioral sciences you can major in if you're interested in psychology, you can major in general psychology with a general psychology emphasis. We also have emphases in sports psychology, even art therapy. We also have a major for family studies. If you're interested in some kind of counseling, family counseling, that's a good precursor to a graduate degree.
Even if you're not, it's still a really good degree to have. So you can major in psychology or family studies within the behavioral science department.
Keegan Stewart : Fantastic. And Sam, what was it about the behavioral sciences or this degree that that drew you to it?
Sam Henderson : Initially, it was just that I wanted to help people, but it started with I thought there would be tricks and gimmicks, I guess, to behavioral sciences, like to helping people, but really it's been grounded in just a relationship, and that's what I like about it. That changed my perspective when I first came in and just wanted to be like a master of the brain and stuff like that and like understand how to help people in ways that would shock them.
It changed into helping them to help themselves. Mm hmm.
Keegan Stewart : So what are your plans as it comes to using this degree as you graduate from, LCU soon and start moving forward?
Sam Henderson : Yeah, the first thing post graduation is taking the year off. I'm tired. So, gap year? Yeah, gap. Before I go to some school, I don't know what school yet for a master's degree. So grad school for two years. And then after that, wanting to be a chaplain or church counselor. Because I found out that I really like counseling in areas where I can live with people and just be in relationship with them outside of that counseling too.
So like at church, I can have a relationship with these people. I can worship with these people and do everything, and then I'm there if they need me, which is kind of I got that love because that's exactly what I do right now in the residence hall at JH. We as RAs are just there in case they need us, you know, like we build those relationships with them and they're our friends because we're all the same age, but then they know they can come to us.
So that's why I got that love and that's why I want to keep going.
Keegan Stewart : Dr. Perez, thinking about the students you've seen come through this program at LCU, what are some of your favorite stories or careers that you've seen young alums or just alumni in general jump into?
Dr. Carlos Perez : I've seen I've seen people graduate and get into different areas, different careers. Of course, most people go to graduate school, and that's always encouraged. But I've seen people go into the police department with a psychology degree. I've seen people go to agency work like Planned Parenthood, early childhood education. I've seen people work for churches. I tell people that there is psychology in absolutely everything.
Like Sam was saying, it's about relationships. And and yeah, you can learn some fancy brain tricks in the psychology program, but ultimately it's about relationships. It's about how to be with people. And so I tell people, if you have a certain skill, if you have a certain area that you're that you're interested about and passionate about, like Sam does the psychology degree is perfect because it will give you the skills.
It will give you the, the language, the, the practice, the research to be working with people. So, yeah, I've seen some of my favorite stories I tell people when they first get into the department that if you really let the degree change you, it will. I feel like psychology and family studies is different than than most of the degrees because there are few degrees that really force you to dive deep into personality, into relationships, into family systems and that kind of stuff.
And if you if you really allow yourself, you will be this is really cheesy. You'll be changed going through degree because of how much it challenges you, how much it pushes you, and how much you're forced to be introspective because of everything we do there.
Keegan Stewart : What, in your opinion, makes the LCU Behavioral Sciences Department different? What makes it unique? What makes it special in comparison to some other, you know, options of going to study psychology?
Dr. Carlos Perez : Yeah, that's a good question. Of course, the smaller class size is always a plus. I think the biggest classes I have this semester are probably, I don't know, 30 students at most. And so you do get a lot more intimacy. You get a lot more conversation. I think that's always a key. But I'm thinking of the people in department.
We're we're all Christians and we all we all love people because of our Christian background. And that leaks into our training, our psychology, even our counseling practices. And so I think that's the most unique about the LCU experience. You can go to a psychology degree at a different school, a non Christian school, you can still have a great degree and a great experience.
But I think because of the Christian background and the Christian mindset, we are that much more unique and I think Sam is perfect for that because of his passion for for ministry and working the church. And I think that's well suited. I don't want to speak for you, Sam. I'm sorry, but.
Sam Henderson : No, that's okay. I appreciate it.
Keegan Stewart : Sam, what's your favorite thing about being in the Behavioral Sciences Department at LCU?
Sam Henderson : I already talked about this a little bit, but just that shocked me and being so grounded, my favorite classes so far have been the ones where I go in expecting something big, some grand gesture, and they're just like, Actually, it's about a relationship. It's about just being there for this person. When they need you. Um, and we've had a lot of training in that, like the, side tangent, like one of the things we learn, we do learn about the tricks, like if you, this stays in this room, of course, if you want to just like shuck somebody, you just stare at their forehead when they're talking to you, if they're mean or something.
And then the they'll get shocked. They'll be like, Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to be mean. They'll like back down. Like, that's the stuff I went in expecting all of psychology to be like I was just like, I'm just go.
Keegan Stewart : Learn little things, stare at.
Sam Henderson : People's foreheads. Yeah, stuff like that. But it's definitely not. It's so grounded and just the most humane department that I see, I mean everywhere explores different parts of the human, but this one is definitely about helping people and just being there for them wherever that's meeting them in the bottoms. Um, and I mean, Dr. Perez already said this to another one of my favorite things.
It's just the introspection. I've learned so much about myself that I did not know at all. Um, things that shocked me and that helped me to. Because knowing is scary, but knowing is necessary. Um, like, we're in a class right now called the family and we're doing Gina Graham's and just mapping. I've already started on this even though it's like week three, but I'm just mapping family relationships and what those cause and what those harm and what those help and just understanding from the get go why you are the way you are.
So just the introspection is massive and very scary and helpful at the same time.
Keegan Stewart : Dr. Perez, what's your favorite thing about teaching in this department? Being in the classroom.
Dr. Carlos Perez : It's like Sam is saying, it's those moments. It this is also really cheesy, but those aha moments that that students get when you can see introspection, like if I'm standing in front of a classroom and we're talking about I’m using in the family class at Sam's talking about and if we are having a conversation about Gina Grams, about family systems, about relationships, and to see people and to see them practice self-reflection, to see them practice that introspection and to see that aha.
Moment and and to and to see that. Oh, wow. This explains so much that is that's a really key moment for me. It's it's sure the content is fun and I like talking about it, but it's about when, when it sinks in and when you see that in front of you, those moments are great. For me, they are.
Keegan Stewart : LCU also offers a graduate program in the behavioral sciences where you you sell that to prospective students.
Dr. Carlos Perez : Sure, we have a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling that prepares you to be a licensed professional counselor in Texas. You get to sit for that exam after going through that degree. We also have a master's degree in school counseling. And so if teachers want to come back to school and get their their degree to be a school counselor, we offer that as well.
But I tell people the same thing in the graduate program. Once you start practicing counseling, once you start working with people, it changes you. And I think this these degrees this department is unique in that way because you get to be introspective and the graduate side, you get to practice that and to work and to and to actually be a counselor.
And and I tell people, that's a difference between a good counselor and a great counselor. I can learn these tricks, the psychology and counseling tricks, but to be introspective and to grow from it, that's a really unique thing. It really is.
Keegan Stewart : Sam, obviously you're in this department. This is your major. But as we all know, being a student at LCU means so much more than just the classroom. And so as we as we begin to close today, I want the audience to hear what your LCU experience has consisted of. You've been a very involved guy. You've been involved in a lot.
So share with the audience some of what you've done outside of your major and outside of the classroom and what that has meant to you.
Sam Henderson : Yeah. Um, well, coming into college, I was a business major and then after a semester, moved to English for a year and a half. And now I'm in psychology. So I got to explore a lot of majors, which now I'm paying for because I'm still taking 18 hours as a senior. So I think it was worth it to just see the differences and narrow down what I wanted to do.
I'm also in the Honors College, which has been it's been fun. I get to take classes that I would never have taken because we're forced to take certain things to fit the honors requirement. It's almost like a like a major of everything. We just get like a taste of a bunch of different classes. Like I took a science class, which I was expecting to just be bored of because I was like, I'm a psychology major, why am I here?
But it was so interesting and grounded. So just the honors college is great because it helps you get just a little taste of everything and understand more about how it connects as a whole just to the body of knowledge. I also ran cross-country for two years here and track. I did choir for two and a half years, which was fun because we went on tours and everything.
Um, the biggest thing I do is I'm an R.A., a JH, um, which I talked about that a little bit. Just building those relationships is my favorite part. Um, which there are really two big pieces of that job that are my favorite one is just building events so we can create an environment like open mic night, which just happened where we had a lot of people show up and just and I see it as a really good way for freshmen to just get up and like put themselves on the line because we had a moment where it was an intermission because it only went like an hour.
And then we ran out of people and it was all older people. And then I had someone go up there and just be like, Hey, intermission time if you want to sign up. Like, We're going to take 15 minutes and then we'll come back. And like 20 freshmen came up to me and they were like, Hey, I want to do this.
Like, this is what like my first week of college looks like is I'm going to get up on stage and sing to a song, even though like, yeah, it was awesome. But the second part is just, you know, talking about who needs you, who needs help. Um, I get to work with the RAD and the RAs just meeting with them and saying like, how is your relationship with this guy?
Like with all your guys, with all your 12 to like 20, sometimes eight guys? It varies, but just what can you be doing different for each person? What are you doing good for each person? Because we want to keep that positive reinforcement to just, Hey, you're doing awesome at this. Keep going. That is my favorite part of the to just building those relationships, noticing kids in the cafe who are eating alone and then bringing that to the dorm and asking them to hang out.
So it's just recognizing people and knowing where to help them.
Keegan Stewart : That's awesome. You've been very involved and you've seen the fruits of it as with your LCU experience, and I think that's so cool. Dr. Perez One last pitch to people why they should come be a major in the behavioral sciences department at LCU. Well.
Dr. Carlos Perez : One last pitch. I think if you're even a little bit curious about psychology, your family studies or mental health, if you're even just a little bit curious, dive into it. I really think, of course, I'm biased. I think to the best degree. I think we're living in a time where mental health is is such a big thing. The demand is high, the need is high.
And we need good people like Sam out there who want to build relationships and to want to have some kind of career path where you get to help people. And psychology of family studies is perfect for that. If you're even just a little bit curious, dove into it and give it a chance because I really think it'll hook you in and it'll change you.
Keegan Stewart : Fantastic. I'm so glad that we got to have this conversation with you two guys today. Thank you for being here.
Dr. Carlos Perez : Yeah, thank yeah. Thanks for having us.
Keegan Stewart : Thank you for listening to the LCU podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, send it to someone who you think needs to learn more about the Behavioral Sciences Department at LCU. Please give us a rating, leave a review, follow and subscribe. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you have a great day. God bless.
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