Andrew Carnes ('16)


"I’d definitely like to get a Ph.D. in clinical neuro­psychology, which is almost like neuroscience, and then I’m also considering the field of Human Factor Psychology."

The eye-tracking research project you worked on sounds interesting.

I took Sensation and Perception with Dr. Jeff Andre. I really liked the class and I found out that it is a field that I am really interested in. And I’ve also always been interested in web development, but have never been sure whether I wanted to translate that into a career. After thinking about these things, I approached Dr. Andre and asked if there was any sort of research that I could help him with. He said he’d get back to me, and then Randy Budnikus from JMU’s University Marketing area approached Dr. Andre with a request to do eye tracking on a new version of the university’s website that he and his team were putting together. Randy asked if we could evaluate the site through some experimentation, and so that’s what we did. It has been pretty rewarding for me so far. I’ve gotten to play with a lot of very cool technology, and at the same time I felt like I made a real difference in JMU’s newest website design.

Watch: How Andrew Carnes’ undergraduate research project informed JMU website redesign

What have been your favorite classes?

Probably Abnormal Psychology with Dr. JoAnne Brewster or Biopsychology with Dr. Jeff Dyche because those are the classes that really presented a challenge and are some of the more difficulty psychology classes, but you learn so much about why things are the way they are, why the brain works the way it does, why we think a certain way about people with certain disorders.

What’s next?

There are a couple of plans. The web development career is always a nice option. I think I’d definitely like to get a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology, which is almost like neuroscience, and then I’m also considering the field of Human Factor Psychology. Human Factor is sort of a blend between the psychology and the web knowledge that I am building as I go. So this means graduate school, and I’m looking at a bunch of schools depending on which direction I ultimately end up going in. There are a lot of possibilities ahead of me.

Does your minor fit well with your major?

I think it does. I’m hoping to get usability and web design out of my writing, rhetoric and technical communications minor, and then translate that with the psychology and pursue a human factors psychology career.

Was JMU your first choice?

I wasn’t set on any one school in particular, but I would say that I had an affinity for a different school before I finally decided on JMU. My parents said to apply to all the Virginia public schools and then see what happens—and then JMU said come to JMU. The campus is one of the nicest campuses that I’ve ever seen.

And it’s worked out well for you?

I’ve had a lot of opportunities here. I am very pleased with JMU.

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Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Last Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018

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