John Felt, September’s Bobcat of the Month, is a fifth year graduate student and PhD candidate. He completed his B.A in psychology at San Francisco State and went on to do his Masters on General-Experimental Psychology at Cal State Northridge. Now, we have the privilege to have him here at UC Merced.

John conducts multidisciplinary research on campus with an emphasis on health and quantitative psychology. Throughout the span of his collegiate career, he has published 5 papers in various journals, 3 of which he was first author. His first two papers focused on how endocrinology can be used to help doctors understand the quality of uncertain patient groups. His other three publications were tutorials on advanced statistical methods, giving a step by step process on how statistics can be used to see the gradual change in hormones affecting stress. His current research focuses on extracting stress hormones from saliva and using the the data collected to conduct quantitative analyses.

On top of being a full time student, a teacher’s assistant, conducting research and being a PhD candidate, Johnny is also a loving husband and father. He has a six year old son, who loves to help him out in the lab; John animatedly described his son’s, Oliver, eagerness to use pipettes (with water of course) and participation in studies. Balancing  such a full schedule is an incredible feat yet John seems to do it gracefully; however, he remains humble, “ I don’t think I have it any harder than the undergrad students but the way I allocate my time is different… I have to make it work”.

Looking to the future, John plans to further explore two areas in the general population. Firstly, understanding what affects the decisions we make under stress and how to ensure that we are able to make better decisions under strenuous conditions. Secondly, he hopes to make advanced statistics more accessible to researchers by providing more tutorials so that researchers are able to answer more complex questions. Currently, John is looking for faculty positions. On behalf of us all here at The Prodigy, we wish John the best of luck in his future endeavors!


Photo Credits: Christopher Pang


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