Tarika Daftary-Kapur came to Wilson from New Delhi, India, looking to be a part of small community where she could thrive. "Wilson is one of those places where everyone can be who they are, step up into leadership positions and have their voices heard," Tarika said.
Originally intending to go to law school after Wilson, Tarika chose to major in psychology. “People told me that psychology was a good degree to have if I wanted to go into law,” said Tarika. “But once I started to learn about psychology, I fell in love with it and a lot of that had to do with the wonderful faculty.”
Along with a major in psychology, Tarika also graduated with minors in economics and sociology.
After graduation, Tarika continued her education in psychology. She received a master’s degree in general psychology in 2005 at the University of Dayton in Ohio. She received her doctorate in experimental forensic psychology in 2009 from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Experimental forensic psychology focuses on psychology and its function in the legal system. “It is the application of psychological principles to the legal system and how psychology can inform the workings of the legal system,” said Tarika.
Her dissertation work in the field earned her the American Psychology-Law Society Dissertation First Place prize in 2009, as well as the James McKeen Cattell Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Psychology.
Tarika recently started in a tenure-track position at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey as an assistant professor in criminal justice. In this position, she will have the opportunity to teach both in the undergraduate and master’s programs, as well as continue her research in the areas of psychology and the law.
At Wilson, Tarika enjoyed being active in the college community. She was editor of the Billboard and she was also a member of WCGA, Candle Club, Phi Beta Kappa and Muhibbah Club. “I really tried to participate in everything. That was one of the best things about Wilson - you were able to expand your horizons and get involved in things you were never involved in before.”
During her senior year, she received the Edward and Sarah Anderson Psychology Prize for her outstanding scholarship in the discipline of psychology. She also won the Grace Tyson Schlichter Award in Communications for her general academic excellence and outstanding promise for a career in communications.
Tarika believes that Wilson prepared her for everything she has done. “Being such a small college, everyone has a chance to excel, have a voice, and no one really gets lost,” said Tarika. “My experiences at Wilson definitely shaped who I am now.”