Accepted into Ph.D. program
As one of five children in her family, Taylor Baldwin has learned to rely on herself, a quality that has served her well.
“It’s the five of us and my mom,” says Taylor, a 2013 LaGrange College graduate from Woodstock. “She has her hands full, so we’ve all had to learn to be independent. If we want something, we’re driven to do it ourselves.”
For Taylor, the oldest of her siblings, the desire to earn a college degree was paramount. As a high school senior, she had joint enrollment at a large university in Atlanta and entered her first year out of high school as a sophomore at LaGrange College.
“I wanted to go to a college where I could play soccer, which I’ve done all my life,” she says. “I came to LaGrange College on a recruiting visit. The campus was beautiful and the people were so friendly. I didn’t apply anywhere else. I knew then that this is where I wanted to go.”
From the beginning, Taylor says attending LaGrange was completely different than going to class at a large university.
“When I went to that larger school, I had a lot of professors I had no way of even contacting; they came, they lectured, and they were gone,” she says. “We had no homework, just tests. I love it at LaGrange because I have close relationships with my professors and the people in my classes. Instead of having 40 to 90 students in a class, I’ve had anywhere from three to 20 at LaGrange.”
Like many freshmen and sophomores, Taylor was unsure of a major when she arrived on campus, but that all changed when she took an Introduction to Psychology course with a professor who noticed Taylor’s passion for both psychology and mathematics.
“She told me more about quantitative psychology and suggested that I major in psychology and minor in math,” Taylor says. “The college just introduced a minor in computational mathematics, and so I’m the first to graduate from here with that minor.”
Taylor was intrigued. Quantitative psychology would allow her the chance to research, to crunch numbers for the measurement of human attributes. The field of study centers around the “statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of research studies and the analysis of psychological data,” according to the American Psychological Association.
“There’s such a wide range of research in the field,” she says. “For instance, it might mean research for an advertising company so it can better market a product to a certain demographic, or during a certain season. You find connections that help predict an outcome.”
Taylor, one of the youngest LaGrange College graduates to cross the stage at the 2013 commencement ceremony, was one of six students nationwide to be accepted into the five-year Ph.D. program in quantitative psychology at Georgia Tech. In Atlanta, she’ll have an apartment with a 2012 LaGrange College psychology graduate who is in the same program.
“We’ll be roommates and work in the same lab together,” Taylor says.