Yvonne Tirakian, <i>Sociology Pre-Med, 2020</i>

Yvonne Tirakian, Sociology Pre-Med, 2020

Yvonne Tirakian, Sociology Pre-Med, 2020

Your name, major and prospective year of graduation

Yvonne Tirakian, Sociology Pre-Med, 2020

What are you involved in at Wayne State? 

Volunteer coaching youth swim teams, brain and neuroscience research at the Wayne State School of Medicine brain imaging and neuroscience research division, service for Life Remodeled for rebuilding the city of Detroit.

How has Honors prepared you for your accomplishments? Remember the four pillars: community, service, research and career.

Honors gave me guidance in finding service opportunities, which have been rewarding. The Honors program has given me a true understanding of our great city, which led me to my work with Life Remodeled, a nonprofit organization that does neighborhood cleanups and battles blight. The program revitalizes the city and brings the community together. Through a sociology for pre-meds learning community, I was given the opportunity to meet with medical doctors as well as medical students. Meeting with these people revealed opportunities for research, which led me to the brain imaging and research division at our School of Medicine. My work with the community and children, research, and focus on academics makes me feel confident that I will be successful in my career path, which is Psychiatry.

What makes Honors at WSU unique?

Honors and WSU has given me insights into the social and political world (especially in Detroit) that I would not have gotten elsewhere. I have learned a great deal and feel more connected to the culture of our city and its history.

What's your most memorable experience in Honors?

My most memorable experience in Honors was the policy project in PS1010. I focused on fighting urban and suburban blight in the city of Detroit. The assignment was to formulate a political policy that would counteract and help the city to recover from the blight that has overtaken certain parts of Detroit. I learned, from this project, how complex the entire situation is. It is the result of years upon years of political and social problems, and is harder to fix than one might expect. I also learned about the complexity of the political world, gaining a new respect for public servants and a new outlook on our government. It is truly difficult to solve such issues, and I have since gained an appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to being social activists and public servants.

What class or professor has shaped you the most and how?

I entered Wayne State University as a psychology pre-med major. After taking SOC2000 with Dr. Janet Hankin, I realized that I hadn’t chosen the right major for myself. Dr. Hankin inspired me to follow the path of sociology, rather than psychology, as I feel a deeper connection to the subject and think it will help me in my career as a psychiatrist. I cannot thank Dr. Hankin enough. She did not tell me to switch to sociology - she simply acted as a role model and I realized that her work was something that I felt a deeper personal interest in than any other field. Understanding society, I feel, will help me in my career as a psychiatrist.

We will create and advance knowledge, prepare a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities.