Scholar Spotlight: Cavel Whyte ’15
Cavel Whyte hails from Kingston, Jamaica, and attended a high school in the Bronx that did not have any college counselors. So she took it upon herself to learn the college admissions process firsthand, then teach it to her peers. She feels that she hit a home run getting accepted to Syracuse University, and has become involved in both research in her major (psychology) and the community.
Q: What do you like about Syracuse?
A: The atmosphere here is so different and refreshing. I’m used to everyone back home always going about their business and forgetting to smile or say ‘hi.’ Syracuse University is filled with friendly people who do amazing things, on and off campus. It makes you wonder if there’s something here in the water.
Q: What does your research involve?
A: I’m currently working on an independent research project titled ‘Media Images and Body Satisfaction: A More Valid Test.’ It’s supervised by Leonard Newman, associate professor of psychology, and studies media objectification and body image issues. My research focuses on whether or not the nature of models affects women’s satisfaction with their own bodies.
Q: What else are you involved in on campus?
A: I help out in the College of Arts and Sciences admissions office. I meet with hundreds of prospective students and their families, guiding them through the admissions process. Also, last fall, I was asked to serve on the A&S Dean Search Committee. Communicating to others the importance of identifying a candidate that values transparency about the issues pertinent to the student body was crucial, especially as the committee’s lone student representative. Being part of that committee has allowed me to represent my peers and to engage with faculty and staff across disciplines.
Q: What else have you been involved in, both on and off campus?
A: I am a member of the Psychology Club, volunteer for the Syracuse University Literacy Corps and help to feed the homeless through the Phi Chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity.
Q: How has your family background helped you?
A: My mother and brother instilled in me a sense of compassion and social justice.
Q: How do you hope to use those attributes in the future?
A: I hope to someday serve as an academic advisor to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I want people to know I can relate to them, and that, regardless of their income, they’re capable of doing great things.
Written by Christina Tiberio, student in the Office of News Services