Yvonne ClarkYvonne Clark
Major: Psychology, Honors Program, McNair Scholars Program
Hometown: Kearns, Utah

Recently published in Bitch Magazine and an accomplished McNair Scholar, Yvonne Clark is an outstanding Psychology major with an emphasis in Developmental Psychology that will graduate from Westminster with an Honors Degree.

She is currently the President of Psi Chi for the Westminster chapter. Psi Chi is an international Honors Society for Psychology students. She is also a founder, and the current president, of Psych Club, the campus wide psychology club. On top of that, she is a member of the Peer Mentors for Balanced Lifestyles through the Counseling Center. She has been in these positions since the spring semester of her freshman year. Within the Honors program, for the past two years, she has been a Peer Mentor for incoming freshmam. She is also assistant to the Director of the Honors Program and the lead work-study in charge of Nunemaker, the home of the Honors Program on campus. 

Yvonne has had many academic highlights during her time at Westminster. She has been attending academic conferences since her freshman year, and presenting since her sophomore year. A few of those conferences have been the Western Regional Honors Conference, the University of California Berkeley McNair Scholar’s conference and the Oklahoma State University McNair Scholar’s Conference.

Her best conference highlight was this past summer, at UC Berkeley. This was her second year presenting McNair summer research at Berkeley, and this time around our McNair Scholars program picked her as their person to apply for a plenary presentation. And she got it! She presented her summer research, titled Sexist Affective Gender Characterizations in Young Adult Romance Novels, as a plenary speaker in front of the whole conference, at UC Berkeley. 

She has done three summer research intensives while at Westminster. Two of those have been with the McNair Scholars, working with her mentor Professor Lesa Ellis, and one this past summer was through Tim Dolan and the Provost’s office. This research project was on the sexual content amount and type in young adult and adult romance novels; she worked with Professor Christy Seifert on this project. 

This project lead to her first publication: Seifert, C. & Clark, Y. (2013, Spring). Paranormal boyfriends, purity myths, and practical virgins—the literature of losing it. Bitch Magazine, (58). She said, “It was an amazing experience and I’m very proud of this accomplishment. The publication is in a feminist pop culture magazine, which is exactly the type of material I hope to keep researching in graduate school.”

The most fun classes Yvonne took at Westminster were during May Term. It was “Jesus, Buffy and Good vs. Evil” with Professor Michael Popitch. Philosophy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a perfect May Term experience. 

Her favorite Westminster memories happened during her freshman year. During a fall final for the Honors Humanities course, Yvonne and her classmates decided to make the final, a Formal Final, and the majority of the class showed up to take the final in prom gear. “Afterward, we received a very kind email from Prof. Nick More telling us that, while he thought it was fun for us to dress up, he hoped that we realized that the most important thing to him wasn’t how we dressed or looked, but that we progressed as intellectuals and students—the learning aspect is and should be the most important aspect of our experiences at Westminster. That email always stuck with me because Professor More went out of his way to recognize us and point out that we should be most concerned with our personal intellectual achievements,” she said.

For an Honors course called History and Philosophy of Science, she went downtown and watched Hubble 3D, then wrote an essay on the importance of projects similar to Hubble to the course of science. Yvonne said, “Rushing back to campus from Hubble, for my last Humanities final, it began to rain. My favorite Westminster memory? Watching Professor Richard Badenhausen and Professor Nick More laugh as me and three other freshmen literally wrung our hair and clothes out before we could sit down to take the final.”

With the help of the McNair Scholars program, and her mentors Professor Richard Badenhausen, Professor Lesa Ellis, Professor Christy Seifert, Professor Jen Simonds and Professor Rulon Wood, she applied to 14 graduate schools, and she is very pleased to say that she will be attending the number one program on her list: The Department of Communications’ Masters of Science graduate program. She hopes to study critical cultural studies and feminist studies in the program. This is the first step on the road to what she hopes will be a career as a professor. 

Yvonne said, “Without Westminster and the resources that the Honors Program, the McNair Scholars Program, and the Psychology department gave me, I would not have been able to develop the skills and experience that I needed to get into graduate school—I wouldn’t have known what to do to be prepared, or even how to apply. But the decision I made in high school to come to Westminster was the best decision of my life and had put me on a path to become a professor. I’m very grateful for that.”

Yvonne's Additional Awards:
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Recognition (2011-2013) 
Westminster College Great Leadership Award Nominee for Peer Mentors (2012)
Westminster College Great Griffin Award Nominee (2010)

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