Student and Faculty Spotlight

Nicole Gallups

By Kayla Braidfoot

Nicole Gallups is a Cellular/Molecular Biology and Professional Chemistry major. She is from Trussville, Alabama. Previously she was a member SGA Senate (served as Senate President from 2015-2016) and Phi Mu. Currently, she is an active member in the Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, Tri-Beta and LaGrange Society.

Gallups says she has always been fascinated with the human body, and even planned on going to medical school her first three years on campus, but the more involved she became in her department, she realized she was actually more interested in medical research.

Gallups chose UNA for many reasons, but specifically for the Honors program and the excellent professors. “UNA is easy to call home. The people are nice and welcoming. Wherever I go I never feel out of place. Also because of the size and quality education, UNA is a perfect place to develop yourself as a young professional.”

In the future, Gallups wants to enroll in a biomedical graduate program, and eventually get her Ph.D. in the biomedical field. She says she would like to research medical diseases. “As a type 1 diabetic, I know the struggles of living with a chronic illness. I want to research diseases, like diabetes, so that people won’t have to struggle with a disease their whole life.”

Dr. Larry Bates

By Savannah Johnson

UNA graduate and now Psychology professor, Dr. Larry Bates, always thought he would enjoy teaching. In the first class he taught at Auburn University, he was simply amazed that students picked up their pencil and took notes about what he was saying. “It was such a rush. That experience convinced me that this could be fun.”
The Psychology Department has many unique attributes that set it apart from other departments.

The Psychology Club helps students get to know each other within the department. There is also a student-led Peer Mentoring Program to assist students to maximize their potential. Dr. Bates said he would “put the Psychology Department’s undergraduate research production up against any program on earth, maybe even the solar system. Among many other incredible aspects,” he said, “we also have great coffee.”

Dr. Larry Bates is currently working on research with Dr. Hudiburg looking at binocular rivalry and religious taboos. They are going to show some green and red (taboo, religious, and neutral) images to each eye simultaneously and measure how they compete in the brain for dominance in the visual field.
Bates said, “It is a weird phenomenon and perhaps the coolest thing ever!”

When asked why he found it important to study Psychology, Bates said, “In an age of such information overload, facts vs. alternate facts, where everyone has an opinion about what causes behavior, I think we all long for a bit of terra firma of truth to place our wobbly feet… Psychology gives us the methods for sorting out the quicksand from the granite of truth regarding behavior.”