Missouri State University
Caleb Marshall

Caleb Marshall

  • Major: Psychology
  • Second Major: Mathematics
  • High School: Grace Classical Academy
  • Hometown: Springfield
  • Activities: Honors College, Presidential Scholar, Kappa Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, Springfield Symphony Orchestra and other regional music groups

He found his 'fertile soil' at MSU

"It was like: ‘This is so refreshing, this is exciting.’"

Caleb Marshall loves psychology. He loves teaching cello to others, an instrument he has played since age 11. He loves rock climbing outdoors, and practicing on MSU’s climbing wall. He loves his cat.

And he especially loves the “elegance and beauty” of math, a passion he discovered at Missouri State.

Declaring a psychology major

“The great thing about the Honors College is that it’s really fertile soil. Whatever work you put into it, you’re going to reap 10 times out of it.”

For one of his first Honors College classes he chose Introduction to Language, which explores how the brain processes language.

“It’s taught by my now-advisor and mentor and good friend, Dr. (Erin) Buchanan, who’s the head of the research lab I’m now in. I remember sitting there on the first day and thinking, what have I gotten myself into? This is totally outside my realm of comfort. … Then in walks Dr. Buchanan, and she’s just got this amazing passion for what she does. It was like: ‘This is so refreshing, this is exciting.’”

He enjoyed the research and statistics side of psychology so much that it became his major.

Marshall and Buchanan have worked together on a paper that “examined hate speech against the LGBT community.” It was published in LOGOS, Missouri State’s journal for undergraduate research.

He’s even been able to attend a computational psychology conference in Boston, where he presented work done in Buchanan’s lab.

Discovering math’s “breathtaking beauty”

Next, he discovered his second major, math: “It’s kind of a base entry point for everything in the universe.” He hopes to keep studying the subject.

“I would love it if I could go all the way through PhD.”

Eventually, he may apply to work in Homeland Security or at the Department of Defense, using mathematical reasoning and analysis to explore “how can we be more accurate about the data that goes into protecting people.”

Marshall encourages high-ability students to take advantage of the opportunities they will find at Missouri State: “You make your education. You are the one that has to go out and plow the field, and then trust that the rain and the sun are going to grow what you put into it."