Eleven Elmhurst College students recently traveled to the United Nations in New York City for the 10th Annual Psychology Day conference, to learn about how psychology is involved in U.N. activities and the role it can play in improving the welfare of people globally.
The conference, “Promoting Well-being in the 21st century: Psychological contributions for Social, Economic, and Environmental Changes,” included remarks from U.N. ambassadors and top psychologists from across the field. Participants noted that responses during world health crises often overlook the psychosocial aspects of health and well-being. They also explored ways to integrate psychological science into the U.N.’s global sustainability efforts.
“It was a really powerful experience,” said Jessica Kennel, a junior psychology major from Metamora, Illinois, who attended the April 20 conference. “Some of the top people in the field that have done the most influential work were sitting next to me.”
Led by psychology Professor Kathy Sexton-Radek, the trip was open to psychology majors and non-majors interested in expanding their understanding of the field.
“I wanted to get more involved [in] psychology,” said Celeste Mendoza, a junior majoring in exercise science. “As a [psychology] minor, I only take a few classes, so I wanted to get more immersed in what was going on.”
She added that she was grateful for the opportunity to travel to New York City for the first time. The trip was one of the many real-world learning opportunities provided as part of the College’s Experiential Learning Program and the Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence (link to CPE).