Beyond the Bluff: Veronica Rose Tan ’19

Veronica Rose Tan ’19
Major: Psychology
Minors: Music and Theatre Arts
Next Step: Teaching English as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program

Veronica Rose Tan chose Loyola Marymount University because of its intimate environment with small class sizes and because its the alma mater of her mom, as well as all of her mom’s siblings. As a psychology major with minors in both music and theatre arts, Tan has played an active role in shaping the direction of her undergraduate education.

Tan’s most rewarding courses have been ones allowing her to incorporate her multiple interests in psychology, music, and Asian and Asian American studies. In her Close Relationships Capstone Seminar she was able to design a research project focusing on cross-cultural psychology.

“My partner and I looked at attachment anxiety and dating simulators in Japan, a topic which we examined through the contexts of close relationships, technology, and cultural psychology,” says Tan. “I really enjoyed being able to apply what I have learned in the last four years to one particular topic.”

Tan has immersed herself in numerous other research opportunities as an undergraduate, and picked up some prestigious accolades along the way. As part of the Honors Psychology Program, she designed a study looking at the relationship between emotional intelligence and music listening habits when coping with a negative mood. Tan presented her findings at LMU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Western Psychological Association Research Convention and won the Honors Psychology and Trish Walsh awards for her work. She also received a stipend through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program to work alongside Professor Máire Ford. Together they studied social stress and travelled to San Francisco in spring 2018 to present a poster at the American Psychological Science Research Convention.

“With Professor Ford, I have learned how to actually conduct experiments. She has helped me to understand the research process, statistics software and analysis, and how to write abstracts and present research,” says Tan.

As part of her music minor, Tan wrote a paper on music as a mode of healing in Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe, again managing to marry her interests in psychology, music, and research. She also worked closely with Professor Paul Humphreys, and with his help, presented research on non-western music at the Undergraduate Research Symposium Arts Showcase in spring 2019.

In between all of her impressive research research projects, Tan also made time to study abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan, where she lived with a host family, sharpened her Japanese language skills, and took courses in Japanese folklore and music. During the summer of 2018, she studied in Seoul, South Korea. At the Yonsei International Summer School she took Korean, as well as developmental and social psychology in an East Asian context.

“My study abroad experiences are what fueled my desire to study Asian and Asian American psychology, cultural psychology, and ethnomusicology. Both psychology and music are heavily western-centric in education,” says Tan.

After graduation, Tan will return to Japan to teach English as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. The JET program is a competitive employment opportunity allowing young professionals to live and work in Japan while representing the United States as cultural ambassadors. Tan hopes this opportunity will provide an outlet for all of her passions and knowledge.

“I see myself as a sort of ‘renaissance woman’ built to serve others,” says Tan. “I look forward to many inspiring and cross-cultural experiences through my work in the JET program.

Seniors at Loyola Marymount University have been preparing for life after LMU all year. In our Beyond the Bluff series, liberal arts seniors reflect on their post-graduate next steps and the experiences that shaped their career plans.