Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning


Jason Pica

Jason Pica
Political Science

I have been a research assistant in Dr. Maryse Richards' Risk and Resilience psychology lab since January 2015. Our lab recently received a large federally funded grant to implement a cross-age peer mentoring program in urban, low-income communities on Chicago's Southside. My research is focused on the relationship between future expectation and beliefs about aggression. Being involved in research with underserved youth, has allowed me to be be a consistent role model in these youth's lives. Not only have I learned research skills that I will be using in graduate school, but most importantly, I have learned skills that I will implement in my future career. I want to work with children and families, and my position as a research assistant and my research itself has offered me ample opportunities to work directly with youth. I have had numerous opportunities to mentor youth who are going through extremely difficult times in their lives. I have submitted my research as a symposium to a national conference, the Society for Research on Adolescences. If accepted, I will travel to Baltimore, MD in March 2015 to attend this conference. Additionally, I plan to present my research at local conferences in Spring 2016.