Thomas Schleicher is an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Berley-Patton at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is expecting to graduate with honors in May of 2013 with a double major in Psychology and Philosophy. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a doctorate in Psychology.


What sparked your interest in psychology?
Even as a child I have always been interested in psychology, but what truly sparked my interest was what I learned in the psychology course I took with Professor Steve Schuetz back at the University of Central Missouri.

What led you to this topic?
While entering data for Dr. Berley-Patton’s survey, I wondered whether those who were giving wrong answers for the HIV knowledge questions were the same people that had high sigma towards those with HIV. I asked Erin Moore some of these questions, and she suggested that I write a paper about it.

Did you have a mentor and how did you get involved with him/her?
In addition to Dr. Berley-Patton’s patronage, Erin has been a huge influence on me. Without her invaluable sup- port and assistance with this project, I never could have completed it.

How long have you been working on this paper? What has the process been like for you?
I’ve been working on this paper for over a year now, and it’s been quite the experience. I’ve certainly had to learn some patience in the intervening year.

What was it like to be an undergraduate student completing your own research project?
It was very exciting. Before I started working on this project, I had been dreading the research that would be involved with graduate school. Thanks to this project, I learned how much I enjoy working on research.