Jay Vega, a UDA NMSU student-athlete will be furthering his education in a PhD Program, working towards a degree in School Psychology while continuing to represent UDA NMSU on the field.
We sat down with Jay to learn more about his experience
Where's Home for you?
I was born in Clovis, New Mexico, but I grew up in a small town called Friona in the Texas panhandle. When I was eight, I moved to El Paso and have lived here ever since.
Tell us more about your PhD Program
I will be working toward a PhD in School Psychology. This degree is unique because the school
systems in the U.S require psychologists to be specifically trained and certified to work in the school
systems. However, since my degree is a PhD, I have the freedom to work in various settings such as
hospitals, universities, and clinics.
What was your academic experience at nmsu like before applying to the program?
Before I was accepted into my program, I was working toward a Masters in Social Work. My primary
goal was always to pursue my doctoral level degree. I was advised that a degree in social work could give
me the flexibility to apply to differing psychology doctoral programs.
What was your motivation for applying for the program?
Even while I was in Undergraduate school, I had the goal of being a psychologist. The hardest
decision for me was choosing the PhD program that would give me opportunities that I wanted to
take throughout my career.
I wanted to make sure I would have the opportunity to teach at the
university level, work with clients based in different mental health settings, and work with children
after I graduated. When I saw NMSU had a school psych program, I initially did not know anything
about the profession. However, after researching it and talking with my professors I was heavily
encouraged to apply.
How has your time at nmsu prepared you for your phd program?
Having a year of Master’s school at NMSU while juggling soccer, coaching my own teams,
and an 18-hour internship was some of the best preparation I could have had. Now that my new
degree has started and I have no internship, I feel confident in my ability to handle the stresses of a
What are you most looking forward to about next year?
There’s always a feeling of excitement when you’re doing something you love. Being able to study
high level psychology and play soccer for UDA is going to be such a fun experience. I’m looking
forward to the coursework, the research I’m participating in, and of course continuing to play soccer
in a competitive and rewarding environment.
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