Kyle Jensen '13 has taken a unique path from Psychology to the Peace Corps
Psychology alum Kyle Jensen ‘13 has taken a unique path since graduating, exploring widely what the world has to offer - he spent a post-grad year at San Diego State University studying Criminology and Criminal Justice in an MS program, he worked as a lead guide ziplining in the trees of Asheville, NC where he taught about local ecology, he held an internship in aquaponics on the big island of Hawaii where he learned the ins and outs of the business as well as how to design and maintain aquaponic systems, and he even spent two and a half years in Madagascar as a Food Security Advisor Peace Corps Volunteer. While in the Peace Corps, he learned the local language of Malagasy and worked with farmers to build climate smart biointensive gardens next to their homes. He also helped lead the training of other volunteers to prepare them for their own service. Having had the time to explore, now Jensen is going abroad again to work in the field of diplomacy for organizations like the United Nations.
"Having a psychology background has helped me understand the world that I have been walking through. The Psychology program at SCU helped me to think critically about behaviors, emotions, and the stories of individual people and communities. Serving as a Food Security Advisor Volunteer, I was tasked with convincing farmers who have been working with a set of long-standing passed down traditions that there was a different way to grow food that would produce more with less resources. Giving information is easy but in order to help make a change, I had to understand the foundations of the culture there; I discovered that my background in Psychology was better suited for the job than my little bit of experience in Agriculture. I do not believe that I could have been as successful if I had not gained a background in Psychology from Santa Clara. The positive relationships that I built and the work that I did at my site stemmed from my learned ability to take a step back to understand my environment and the people that fill it. I can thank Psychology for that."