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Department ofPsychology


Tlakaelel Gonzalez

Tlakaelel Gonzalez

Honors Program student Tlakaelel Gonzalez ’24 is looking forward to helping others

Graduating Psychology student Tlakaelel Gonzalez has kept busy as he works at a local rec center, conducts research in the Learning and Remembering lab, participates in the Psychology Honors Program, and completes coursework to graduate a year early.

Tlakaelel works as a Recreation Leader at the Youth and Teen Center in the City of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department. There, he leads activities at an afterschool program for children in elementary through middle school. He enjoys the work as it gives him an opportunity to make a positive impact in the community, something he hopes to continue doing after he graduates.

Tlakaelel is also a research assistant in the Learning and Remembering Lab with Dr. Simone and Dr. Whitfield. He conducted a study on how stimulus fluency influences people’s judgments of their own learning, and is currently analyzing the results and completing a write-up of the study.

During his time at SCU his favorite course was Cognitive Psychology with Dr. Whitfield, who also leads the Psychology Honors Program Tlakaelel is a part of. In his words:

“I find topics such as memory, recognition, and attention fascinating, as they are essential for understanding learning and behavior. I love [the Honors Program] because it is a relaxed and positive class environment where I have learned a ton about graduate school, internships, and research through guest speakers and the Honors project (which I am doing research for).

Following graduation, Tlakaelel plans to spend a year exploring various paths within the field of Psychology while working to earn money to fund graduate school. He will then pursue the graduate program that aligns best with his goals.

“Although I’m not exactly sure what path in Psychology I will pursue, I know I want to help those who struggle with mental health issues. My Psychology degree will allow me to reach that goal. Through the coursework I have taken, I have gained knowledge essential to effectively help others.”

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