Devion Rehbein originally wanted to complete college as quickly as he could. Now, he is trying to make this time last as long as possible.
“Graduation is coming up. I don’t want to leave. College is the best time of my life,” he said.
Rehbein realized the best decision he could have made was not to rush through his college experience. He understands a lot of honors students are driven, including himself, but the importance of a work-life balance is key, especially while managing research and classes.
Intramural sports played a big part in perfecting this balance. After a one-year hiatus from soccer, scoring a goal at one of his first games back is one of his favorite memories.
Rehbein says this involvement allowed him to strengthen relationships with his friends. They were able to learn teamwork, while spending quality time together.
After a few years of being part of various teams, Rehbein looks back at his collection of championship glasses and remembers the good times.
Rehbein, like many people, assumed the Honors Program was all “rigor and academia, and late-night hours hitting the books.” The classes he took however, were “more focused on provoking thought”.
Another aspect of Honors positively influencing Rehbein’s experience was a meet and greet he attended as he entered the program in fall of 2020. He had a long conversation with Dr. Fielding, the Director of the Honors Program. Discovering Dr. Fielding was also in her first year of the program, Devion formed a connection with her that gave him another support system on campus. He also worked with Dr. Fielding on the Honors Council, the program's faculty-student advisory board, that year.
His experience as part of the Honors Living Learning Community also helped form important relationships in college.
Research and Academia
Rehbein chose his psychology major and sociology minor because of his interest in therapy and the fields’ many applications. Naturally, he searched for the best psychology schools in the area and found UW- Eau Claire to be his top choice.
Rehbein is working on two research projects. His first, an independent study project with Dr. Mary Beth Leibham of the UWEC Psychology Department, began by looking into procrastination, a challenge faced by most college students. From there, it transformed into a study of “social media, sleep, and school readiness in preschool children.”
His second study is in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Research Collaborative (SPARC) and looks at the trajectory of suicide in relation to self-harm. As he works with a team to publish this manuscript, he said this is one of his greatest accomplishments.
Rehbein’s involvement with the SPARC lab and this study taught him a lot about interpreting and conducting research. He also had the opportunity to present the study at the 2022 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention in New York City.
Plans for the Future
After graduation, Rehbein hopes to stay in Eau Claire and find a job in data and statistics. Eventually he hopes to pursue graduate school, but not before gaining experience in his field.
Staying in Eau Claire will allow Rehbein to stay in close contact with his friends still at UW-Eau Claire, keeping his favorite parts of college alive.