Imani Randolph’s inquisitive mind doesn’t come as a surprise to many.
The complexities of human behavior and the human mind first appealed to her at an early age. In middle school she found herself puzzled by the actions of violent criminals. In high school her interests grew while taking psychology courses and learning about such researchers as Philip Zimbardo, Stanley Milgram and B.F. Skinner.
“My interest moved away from solely understanding the mentality of murderers to understanding people as a whole,” said Randolph, 21.
Now a senior psychology major, Randolph is eager to influence society with insightful research of her own.
The Richmond, Va. native is focused on publishing her current research project entitled “Utilizing Evoked Potentials to Index Neural Substrates of Violent and Non-Violent Pictures,” which she has produced under the supervision of Department of Psychology Chair George S. Robinson, Jr., Ph.D.
“I believe there is power in not simply relying on the answers provided by someone else, but rather, that an individual making the effort to find their own answers,” Randolph said. “Research allows me to always press toward answering questions of how the brain works and how it affects behavior. There are endless questions, so research is something that can never get old.”
Outside of her work in research, Randolph stays busy on campus as a member of numerous honor societies including Alpha Lambda Delta, Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi and Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, of which she has served as a past president and past vice president.
As a RISE Scholar, she was given the opportunity to present her research at a national conference, ultimately being named one of 18 winners in the research area of social sciences.
“The RISE Scholars Program has afforded me many opportunities that I would not have been able to experience on my own,” Randolph said. “It has expanded my mind to the importance of research, allowed me to surround myself with like-minded individuals, and helped to keep me on track with my goals and the way in which I plan to achieve them.”
She also was appointed to the Dean Student Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences, and served as a member of the Council of Presidents Executive Board where she contributed to events designed to enhance the leadership skills of other campus leaders.
In addition to gaining more research experience, Randolph’s long-term goals include earning a doctorate degree in clinical psychology with a research focus in forensic or community psychology, and one day establishing her own non-profit organization to assist African-American children in low-income communities in achieving academic success.
She currently volunteers with Senior Resources of Guilford County and helps students improve their reading skills as a volunteer at local elementary schools.
“I personally believe that reading is a step in the direction of independence,” Randolph said. “Knowledge provides a sense of confidence that no one can take away. It leads to exposure, whether tangibly or mentally, to all that is truly achievable.”