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Department ofPsychology


No Lab Experience? No Problem.

Psychology student gains research experience, thanks to REAL Program and APA grant

Psychology student gains research experience, thanks to REAL Program and APA grant

By Thanh-Thao Sue Do ‘19

L-R: Hector Martinez, Jade Bose, Prynce Martin, Leya Day

L-R: Hector Martinez, Jade Bose, Prynce Martin, Leya Day

Fascinated with psychology since high school, rising senior Hector Martinez ‘19 (Psychology & Spanish) is excited to be conducting research this summer at the Psychology Department’s on-campus lab. With a focus on language development, emotions, and their connections to learning and aversive behavioral aspects, Martinez’s research comes at the guidance of SCU professors Drs. Matthew Bell, Lindsay Halladay, Birgit Koopmann-Holm, and Kristen Read, as well as the generosity of the REAL program.

Administered through the College of Arts and Sciences REAL Program, support for Martinez’s research is provided by the American Psychological Association’s Summer Undergraduate Psychology Research Experience (SUPRE) grant. The purpose of the SUPRE grant is to provide talented undergraduates who have little or no prior laboratory experience with the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of how scientific research is conducted.

As a first-generation college student, the support of the SUPRE grant and REAL Program gave Martinez insight into a discipline he hopes to continue researching after graduation.

“I feel very grateful for this opportunity,” he says of his days spent between multiple labs, coding and analyzing psychological data. “I’ve always been interested in how the brain works, so it makes sense that I’m going into the field.”

Hector Martinez


Besides his accomplishments in the psychology labs, he is also a volunteer in the Ignatian Center at SCU, an employee for SCU’s My Own Business Institute (MOBI) program, and a Spanish translator for Professor Emeritus Dr. Francisco Jimenez’s book, Taking Hold. Martinez hopes to go to graduate school after graduation.


About the REAL Program

The College of Arts and Sciences developed the REAL Program to allow students to discover their interests, gain a rich understanding of a particular field, discern their career goals, and explore future employment fields. We believe financial means should not determine whether or not a student can participate in internships, research, or creative works opportunities. Committed to providing paid experiential learning opportunities for students, the REAL program provides stipends up to $5,000 for undergraduate opportunities lasting up to 10 weeks over the summer. In 2018, its first year, the REAL Program distributed $550,000 to over 125 students.

For more information about the REAL Program, email


REAL, student story