Nykhala Coston '14
• Psychology major originally from Edwardsville, Illinois
• Who's Who Among Students in American Universities
• Studied at Fergusson College, University of Pune, India, 2012
• Former Bearcat cross country runner
• First Generation Student Scholar
A significant part of Nykhala Coston’s college education has taken place in other cities, countries and cultures.
“Many opportunities I received have been nearly equally divided, both on and off the McKendree campus,” said the psychology major, who completed her bachelor’s degree requirements in December 2013. “As a result of my study abroad trip to India, I am planning a future career as a psychiatrist focusing on global concerns. My interests are in alternative medicine and treatments and I believe India is a great place to further explore these methods.”
In the meantime, Nykhala is continuing her education at two research conferences this spring. The Ivy Plus Symposium, hosted by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in March of 2014, allows top students to learn about cutting edge research, present their own work, and network with peers and faculty members from leading institutions.
In May 2014, she will attend the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago with Dr. Guy Boysen, associate psychology professor, and two McKendree students. As an undergraduate, Nykhala conducted research with Dr. Boysen and attended several conferences with the university’s Psychology Club.
Not all of her writing has been purely academic. “I wrote features for the McKendree Review about the study abroad program to get more students on campus interested,” Nykhala said. A year of experience as the Review assistant editor, and a networking event on campus, led to a marketing and communications internship for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias. Nykhala wrote social media updates and web page stories about families affected by the rare genetic disorder.
She also spent a spring break on a mission trip to a Chicago homeless shelter with McKendree’s Campus Ministries group.
“One of the most motivating factors in my life is a desire to make a significant contribution
to society and to be in a position to help others in need. I have been blessed with
so many opportunities, many of them made possible by a very supportive group of people
on and off campus.”