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Xavia Hobson celebrates her graduation

Xavia Hobson: Psychology Graduate

by Camala Moser '16

Growing up in Philadelphia, Xavia Hobson attended the Academy @ Palumbo High School. During her high school career, she saw herself as an advocate for justice.

"I was always the kind of person who stood up for people who couldn't stand up for themselves," Hobson said.

A psychology major, Hobson's interest in the field began in high school, where she took an AP Psychology course that sparked her interest. During her freshman year in the major, Hobson realized that she liked her major, but she needed something more. She took some criminal justice classes and realized that a psychology major with a criminal justice minor was exactly what she wanted to specialize in at KU.

When she came to KU, adjusting to the school dynamic was something she needed to work on.

"The diversity at Kutztown was different than the community that I came from. Coming from Philly, I'm obviously a city girl, and Kutztown was not an atmosphere that I was used to," she said. "Trying to see different people's points of view without losing myself and my opinions was a struggle that I learned to deal with, but one that made me stronger as a student at KU and as an African American woman."

She said that sometimes in class, professors taught from one point of view, but because she was an African American female from a very urban part of Pennsylvania, she needed to look at things a different way.

Hobson, right, presented her research in NYC with Dr. Catherine Best"I struggled with a few things along the way in school. Some professors taught in a way that I wasn't use to, so I had to reach out for additional help, as well as take on more responsibility  to make sure I understood what was going on in my classes," Hobson said. "Professors like Dr. Thomas Robinson, Dr. Arthur Garrison and Dr. Catherine Best were very helpful and wanted to assist me in any way that I needed to help me fully understand what was being taught. They really helped me reach my full potential at Kutztown University."

Hobson has persevered as a KU psychology student, and her efforts were recently noticed. In 2015, Hobson was offered a research opportunity by Dr. Best, KU psychology professor, to take an independent research course where she would conduct her own study and do research in the field.

After weighing her options for study topics, Hobson decided to investigate adolescent girls' beliefs and attitudes about friendships in a competitive setting.  Her findings were significant. She conducted this research at Golden Slipper Camp in Stroudsburg, Pa., where she had been a camp counselor.

Hobson presents her research in NYCWhen her research was complete, she presented her findings to the psychology board. The board awarded her with a KU Undergraduate Research grant, which meant she was going to New York City to present her research at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting.

Hobson, who graduated in May, plans to take the year off to gain work experience and apply to law schools.

"Being at KU was a learning experience for me. I learned that most places aren't like Philadelphia and there are a lot of people that will make me think differently than the ones from home," Hobson said. "The experience I had wasn't the college experience that I thought I was going to get, but it was a great one. Learning all of the things that I did made me realize that I want to be a lawyer and my psychology degree from Kutztown University with a criminal justice minor was the perfect start for my future law career."

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