Donovan Mattox has built his college experience around service to his fellow students.
Through his research and leadership roles, the psychology major has prioritized the needs of underrepresented communities.
“I believe the most enriching experiences involved being able to invoke my background in the work I have been a part of,” he said. “I am a first-generation, African-American college student. I was raised in a working-class background which fostered my characteristic of going above and beyond to get what I need out life.”
Mattox, a Class of 2020 Honors College graduate, has worked as a research assistant in the Perfectionism and Stress Lab at Georgia State since July 2018. Alongside Dr. Kenneth Rice, a professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, Mattox has conducted research on subjects such as mindfulness and the effects of stress on STEM-major students.
His work with stress inspired further research on the relationship between social spending and student performance, which Mattox considers a critical issue to many college students. He examined college affordability, specifically students’ ability to afford and maintain social relationships.
He presented his findings at the Spring 2019 Honors Thesis Pitch, where he won second place for his speech.
“Being able to pitch this research at the Honors Thesis Pitch gives me a sense of pride in what I can do for those I represent,” he said.
In addition to his research, Mattox participated in the Fall 2019 Ethics Bowl at Georgia State. He spent weeks preparing arguments and debated a series of ethical cases and public policies.
“I was able to bring my own unique experiences to the issues being discussed and represent myself and my community,” he said.
These experiences led to what Mattox considers the culmination of his time at Georgia State.
He served as a Residence Hall Association representative for University Commons, one of the largest dorms on campus. These student representatives advocate for residents by addressing student concerns and promoting campus engagement.
“These experiences are my legacy as a Georgia State student,” he said. “A legacy of pride and service to the communities I represent.”
Mattox has applied to various masters and Ph.D. programs and plans to attend graduate school in industrial and organizational psychology.