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Class of 2024: Tyra Pritchett

Tyra Pritchett may be done with her bachelor’s in Psychology, but she’ll be continuing at McDaniel in the Mental Health Counseling master’s program — a five-year accelerated B.A. to M.S. pathway on the Hill. Besides her scientific work in the campus pigeon lab and an internship with Kennedy Krieger Child and Family Therapy Clinic, Tyra performed in 11 campus theatre productions throughout her undergraduate career. She ties together her passion for theatre and psychology with a capstone on drama therapy techniques.

A student stands in front of a purple flowering bush outside while wearing a yellow shirt and yellow bandana.

Tyra Pritchett is a Psychology major with a minor in Theatre Arts from Hanover, Maryland.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: Nervous but so excited to see what the next four years of my life would look like.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: A completely changed woman who feels fully prepared for life outside of college.

Real-world experiences: I’ve had a few research experiences within my classes. I helped Dr. Maggie McDevitt with studying the behaviors of pigeons when motivated by food, and I got to research my favorite topics in classes with Dr. Jack Arnal and Dr. Holly Chalk. My favorite experience was my internship with Kennedy Krieger. I interned with their Child and Family Therapy Clinic for two summers in a row. I got to score measures, watch therapy sessions, and have Q&A sessions with the therapists there. I met so many people and made so many connections.

My aha moment: That I am more than my awards and roles. I’ve always defined myself by my achievements, but McDaniel showed me I am so much more than what people label me as.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: I’m the president of Beta Alpha Chi, McDaniel’s music honors society. During my first year on campus, it was incredibly inactive. There weren’t any events or fundraising attempts to get us better known on campus. Since I became president, we’ve had several events and raised a lot of money. I hope that I’ve set an example for the future presidents of the club and that it will continue to flourish.

Faculty or staff member who most influenced who I have become: Kyle Engler has truly impacted my life and greatly influenced the person I am today. She helped me come out of my shell during freshman year and taught me how to be more confident in myself and my abilities.

Dr. Holly Chalk also greatly influenced my decisions for my future. She was the person I went to when I had no clue what I wanted to do with my future. Not only did she help me apply for the accelerated B.A. to M.S. in Counseling program, but she helped me apply to jobs. I will forever be grateful for all that she has helped me with.

Best class ever: My favorite class was Singing on Stage with Kyle Engler. I developed my singing voice in ways I never thought possible during this class. It also taught me how to be confident on stage, which is something I always struggled with.

Tell us a little about your activities, including sports, during your years at McDaniel: I’m very active on the theatre side of campus. I’ve been involved in 11 productions and took on roles such as actor and stage manager. I’ve been singing with McDaniel’s College Choir and a cappella groups for all four years. I had two jobs on campus: one at the Leroy Merritt Fitness Center and the other in our Psychology Department bird lab. I’m president of Beta Alpha Chi, the music honors society, and on the exec board of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honors society. I am an Honors student and part of Psi Chi, the psychology honors society.

A student in a yellow shirt and grey cardigan stands outside in front of a row of cherry blossom trees.

Took me totally by surprise: How much of an impact McDaniel and its community has had on my life.

My favorite spot on campus: The gazebo behind McDaniel Hall will forever be my favorite spot on campus! Since I entered college during the pandemic, the only places my friends and I felt comfortable being around each other at the time was outside. We would hang out in that gazebo, watch movies, do puzzles, and play board games. That gazebo holds so many precious memories for me.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: I think the most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel is that others are more forgiving of my mistakes than I am. I’ve always worried that if I made a mistake, it would haunt me forever or reflect poorly on me. However, being here has taught me that it’s perfectly OK to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and attempt to improve.

My capstone title: “Fake It Till You Make It.”

What it’s about in plain talk: My capstone is about finding potential ways to decrease stress as a college student through the use of drama therapy techniques.

What’s next: I’m currently in McDaniel’s accelerated B.A. to M.S. pathway program for Mental Health Counseling!

How will you stay connected to McDaniel? I look forward to coming back to see future productions and concerts.

If you received financial aid, what did that mean for you and your family? I received several scholarships and grants which made all the difference for my college experience. Thanks to my financial aid, both my brother and I are able to go to schools we enjoy being at and our parents don’t have to worry about fully funding two children. Receiving scholarships also helped keep me on top of my schoolwork and motivated me to do the best I could in all of my classes.

About Tyra

Name: Tyra Pritchett

Major: Psychology

Minor: Theatre Arts

Graduate Program: Accelerated 5-year B.A. to M.S. Pathway in Mental Health Counseling

Class of 2024

"I’ve always defined myself by my achievements, but McDaniel showed me I am so much more than what people label me as."