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Child Studies Program


Gilly Dosovitsky

Gilly Dosovitsky

SCU Senior Delves into Child Psychology

Gilly Dosovitsky reflects on her SCU journey and her future in research.

Gilly Dosovitsky reflects on her SCU journey and her future in research.

Gilly Dosovitsky ‘18  chose Santa Clara University for several reasons. “I didn’t realize all the different layers that made it such a perfect fit for me,” Gilly says, noting that the draw of SCU has evolved since her initial decision.

One of those layers was her first major, Psychology. As part of her program, Gilly has conducted research for a significant portion of her undergraduate career within the Department of Psychology. Her study of children aged four to six provided insight into how children understand group preferences: “Monolingual kids will prefer to play with monolingual kids, and bilingual kids will prefer to play with other bilingual kids, regardless of the language.” This study is set to continue at SCU in the future.

Gilly also joined the Campus Ministry team as the Interfaith Intern from May 2015 to June 2017. This involved managing all the non-Christian campus ministry events, such as interfaith dinner discussions about matters of faith, religion, and spirituality. She enjoyed gathering people of different faiths to discuss their worldviews and provide what she called “casual learning opportunities” to broaden students’ horizons.

Gilly enjoys the variety of community service opportunities available through both the College and SCU’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. “Pretty much every quarter I did something off-campus, and about ninety-percent of it was with kids,” she says. Though Gilly feels she made a difference with the Experiential Learning for Social Justice program she completed through the Ignatian Center’s Arrupe Weekly Engagement program, she finds that her heart is more in the long-term programs that work toward a specific goal such as Cake4Kids, an organization that bakes birthday cakes for underprivileged children.

Gilly’s academic research and volunteer work go hand-in-hand with her second major in Child Studies. These factors led to her decision to pursue graduate work in psychology. “I know that this is what I want to do and can commit to a long time,” she says, explaining that her extensive community service is a primary factor in determining her long-term interest in child psychology.

Eventually, Gilly would like to operate her own psychiatric clinic. She’s taking the first step toward that goal by entering a Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University this fall. Gilly intends to focus her research on the relationships between parents and their children in order to help families strengthen their relationships.


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