Jessica Riggs has a knack for recruiting students whose talents can be used to better someone else’s life. Whether it is a Psychology Club canned food drive, a project of Women in Learning and Leadership to educate and empower women, or a mentoring program in which college students guide and encourage youths in the area, Jessica believes that an important part of college life is paying forward the opportunities we have to those who are in need.
“I always push myself to be better, and I expect the same of those around me,” she says. “I encourage my fellow students to challenge themselves the same way I would want to challenge myself, both academically and professionally.”
A Dean’s List regular for seven consecutive semesters, Jessica helped guide her peers while serving as president of both UM-Dearborn’s Psychology Club and Psi Chi - the international honor society for psychology majors - where she’s organized everything from social events and community service projects to regional conferences which allowed psychology students to present research to a national audience.
An honors student, Jessica conducted her own research - a psychological study examining social support networks in two populations - which she presented her findings at the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference.
Going forward, Jessica will continue her quest to help others and earn graduate and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology. “I want to work with youths and their families, improving communication and social support between parents and children,” she says.
IN MY OWN WORDS
"As a UM-D student, the accomplishment I am most proud of is my involvement with the psychology department's mentoring program. Beginning as a mentor who piloted the program, I soon became coordinator, where I oversaw UM-Dearborn students who mentored youths from a local K-12 school. While the mentors are rewarded with experience, the mentees are rewarded with the drastic and lasting changes that one truly invested UM-D student could make in the youth's lives. The experience was so rewarding."