Student Profile - Joshua Raglon

Psychology major Joshua Raglon hits the ground running

A member of the Lamar University Track and Field team, Joshua Raglon balances his schedule between Joshua Raglon at LU trackrigorous track practices, a course load of 16 hours and other academic pursuits. He recently completed the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

“I am pretty busy,” Raglon admitted. “Every now and then I take a nap to catch up on rest, but when I wake there is work that needs to be done.”

Raglon wakes up at 6:30 every morning for his first track practice of the day, where he spends an hour and a half lifting weights and running, followed by a 30-minute cool-down. Then he hops out of the ice bath and on to class, leaving just enough time for lunch before he heads out to his second practice of the day.

“When you get done with practice, you’re still tired throughout the day, so sometimes paying attention in classes is difficult because you are more tired than the average student,” Raglon said. Still, with a grade point average of 3.7, the psychology major keeps education as his top priority.

Having competed in track and field since middle school, the Humble native was offered athletic scholarships at a few universities during his senior year at Humble High School. That same year, his interest in psychology emerged in his senior elective psychology/sociology course. Raglon had settled on a career path in time for graduation in 2008.

“I was looking at the track and field programs along with the psychology programs when I met with my coach. He told me that Lamar had a good psychology program,” said Raglon. “When I came for orientation, I felt comfortable with the faculty at Lamar and that contributed to my decision – and I would have the opportunity to do research.”

In the fall of 2010, Raglon applied for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, a scholarly research program at Lamar University designed to prepare minority and first-generation undergraduate college students for doctoral studies. McNair Scholars have one year to propose an approved topic to their advisor, conduct research with the help of a faculty mentor and present their projects at the McNair Research Symposium.

After he was accepted into the program that November, Raglon set to work on his research project, “The Effect of Prayer Styles on State Anxiety.”

“I wanted to see how three different prayer styles would decrease anxiety compared to participants who didn’t pray,” said Raglon. After completing a related literature review, he recruited students from campus to participate in the experiment.

“I’d tell students that they would be taking a difficult math exam and that there would be some assessments. Afterwards, I assessed their anxiety level, and I had them pray. Later I assessed their level of anxiety once again. We tried to see if there were any significant improvements in anxiety as a result of prayer,” said Raglon. “The results were not significant, and there were a few limitations. But the most important thing I got out of it was practice communicating with people about my research. I had to speak with leaders of several organizations in order to recruit their members to participate in my research. That, along with collecting and analyzing data has helped me understand how to conduct formal research.”

McNair Scholars are awarded a stipend for their work, and this summer Raglon was able to use his earnings to purchase his first car for his senior year at Lamar.

“I’m just getting to know my way around Beaumont,” he said. “Before if I ever went anywhere, I never knew where I was going because I wasn’t driving.”

With such a busy schedule and his family back in Humble, Raglon makes sure to set aside time for the friends he has made while living on campus.

“If I know my friends want to get together on the weekend, I will work harder during the week on assignments to try to get as much done as possible,” he said. “But I’ve had to say no to my friends quite a bit.”

Raglon intends to graduate with a bachelor of science in psychology with a minor in sociology in May 2012. He then plans to continue on to graduate school.

“As a student-athlete, I’ve had to become more disciplined in my studies, and throughout my course at Lamar my professors have really pushed me academically,” Raglon said. “My experience at Lamar has made me a better student and has prepared me to succeed in graduate school and other future academic pursuits.”