Patrick Robles travelled a long way before arriving at St. John’s. Originally from the Philippines, he came to New York via Los Angeles, California. For Patrick, it was the potential of independence and promise of diversity that brought him to St. John’s. What made him stay, however, was the Honors Program’s unique approach to education.
As a Psychology major, Patrick was exposed to an especially profound idea in his Honors Introductory Psychology course, one of the first he took at the University. The professor, who was providing a broad overview of the work psychologists do, wanted the students to think of the material from an anecdotal perspective. The course covered everything from tangible neurons to more abstract personality, and the result was that Patrick discovered all at once the many different viewpoints comprising the various schools of psychology.
As Patrick took classes, he continued attempting to perceive the material in different, often original ways. When he took Twentieth Century Music he found that he could use criteria from one of his philosophy courses in order to make aesthetic judgments about the music he heard. He discovered that he could apply the vocabulary he had learned in his Latin class to his Neuroscience class and he even saw that there was a psychology of mathematics. To Patrick, learning the material in this interdisciplinary way has decidedly enriched his college experience.
Patrick hopes to bring what has become a habit of inductive study to the field of health psychology. He believes that health should be perceived not just in its relation to illness but also as a psychological phenomenon. This is the area in which Patrick is currently working with his mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Brondolo, to better understand the effects of daily work stress on health. Patrick hopes to become a professor and teach subsequent generations that health should be viewed holistically.
One of Patrick’s many extracurricular involvements is the University’s Pep Band. Having played trumpet in high school, Patrick liked the idea of continuing to develop his love of music simply for enjoyment. After two years with the band, Patrick has become the assistant band director. Patrick is also a part of St. John’s Student Government, Inc., in which he has served as a student representative for St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since his sophomore year.
Patrick often takes advantage of the Honors Program’s extracurricular events. He frequently attends Dr. Robert Forman’s Manhattan walking tours. During these tours, Patrick enjoys being given a different perspective on seemingly familiar subjects. He also frequently attends the New York Philharmonic concerts offered by the Honors Program. “I like to live my life as I study psychology,” he said. “I want my education to be more than the classes I take, and I’m glad the Honors Program lets me do that.”