Kristen Eggler ’19 Named Top Psych Student in Minnesota

The Gustavus senior won the Donald G. Paterson Award in Psychology from the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA).
Posted on April 8th, 2019 by

Kristen Eggler '19

Gustavus Adolphus College senior honors psychological science major Kristen Eggler was recently named the 2019 winner of the Donald G. Paterson Award in Psychology by the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA).

The Paterson Award recognizes and encourages high achievement in psychology at the undergraduate level and is given to an outstanding college senior planning a career in psychology. Each college in Minnesota nominates one senior student for the award every year and the award is given based on evidence of superior achievement in psychology and other areas of study, potential for further work in the field of psychology, and personal characteristics and attributes.

“It’s an honor to be identified as someone who can make a difference in the field of psychology in the future,” said Eggler.

“The Gustavus psychological sciences department is phenomenal,” the Hayfield, Minn., native added, noting how faculty members are both challenging and supportive. “Studying human behavior is applicable to nearly every scenario you encounter in life, and I’ve loved every minute.”

Her psychological science honors research project focuses on how motivational factors improve creativity and performance. By studying how factors such as autonomy and positive affect impact productivity and creative output, businesses and other organizations can learn to improve the employee experience and maximize employee efficiency.

“Kristen has a broad background in research and brings a well-read perspective to the classroom,” psychological science professor Marie Walker said, noting that Eggler’s participation in the College’s Three Crowns Curriculum helps inform her interdisciplinary approach. “She’s very articulate and takes a non-judgmental approach that takes peoples’ various perspectives into account.”

Eggler, who is also pursuing a management minor, is currently applying to graduate schools to study industrial and organizational psychology. Outside of the classroom, she is deeply involved in the Gustavus community. A member of the Chapel Choir and Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, she has also served as a Collegiate Fellow resident hall adviser and Nobel Conference host.

After graduate school, she plans to pursue a career in research and consulting, with the goal of helping organizations build healthy work cultures.

Asked to give advice to future Gustavus students, Eggler’s response was simple: “Try everything,” she said. “Gustavus is a great, supportive community that allows you to find what you’re passionate about.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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