Patrick Robles travelled a long way before arriving at St.
John’s. Originally from the Philippines, he came to New York via
Los Angeles, California. For Patrick, it was the potential of
independence and promise of diversity that brought him to St.
John’s. What made him stay, however, was the Honors Program’s
unique approach to education.
As a Psychology major, Patrick was exposed to an especially
profound idea in his Honors Introductory Psychology course, one of
the first he took at the University. The professor, who was
providing a broad overview of the work psychologists do, wanted the
students to think of the material from an anecdotal perspective.
The course covered everything from tangible neurons to more
abstract personality, and the result was that Patrick discovered
all at once the many different viewpoints comprising the various
schools of psychology.
As Patrick took classes, he continued attempting to perceive the
material in different, often original ways. When he took Twentieth
Century Music he found that he could use criteria from one of his
philosophy courses in order to make aesthetic judgments about the
music he heard. He discovered that he could apply the
vocabulary he had learned in his Latin class to his Neuroscience
class and he even saw that there was a psychology of mathematics.
To Patrick, learning the material in this interdisciplinary way has
decidedly enriched his college experience.
Patrick hopes to bring what has become a habit of inductive
study to the field of health psychology. He believes that health
should be perceived not just in its relation to illness but also as
a psychological phenomenon. This is the area in which Patrick is
currently working with his mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Brondolo, to
better understand the effects of daily work stress on health.
Patrick hopes to become a professor and teach subsequent
generations that health should be viewed
One of Patrick’s many extracurricular involvements is the
University’s Pep Band. Having played trumpet in high school,
Patrick liked the idea of continuing to develop his love of music
simply for enjoyment. After two years with the band, Patrick has
become the assistant band director. Patrick is also a part of St.
John’s Student Government, Inc., in which he has served as a
student representative for St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences since his sophomore year.
Patrick often takes advantage of the Honors Program’s
extracurricular events. He frequently attends Dr. Robert Forman’s
Manhattan walking tours. During these tours, Patrick enjoys
being given a different perspective on seemingly familiar subjects.
He also frequently attends the New York Philharmonic concerts
offered by the Honors Program. “I like to live my life as I study
psychology,” he said. “I want my education to be more than the
classes I take, and I’m glad the Honors Program lets me do