Evan Harris

Psychology: Roscoe Bell

From Jacksonville, Fla., Roscoe Bell has left his mark on the Wake Forest community during his four years, majoring in psychology, minoring in music, being heavily involved in campus organizations, and even having founded one. He spearheaded the student-led arts festival, Wakeville, is founder and president of the organization “Songbird” and is co-president of the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

It was a game during a college counseling activity in high school that led Bell to choose Wake Forest, and since then, he has never doubted it once. The game was all in an attempt to get students to pick schools outside of Florida that weren’t the norm.

“The idea of going to a small private liberal arts school, and being able to do multiple things and not centering my studies on one thing and being encouraged to explore, really appealed to me,” Bell said.

As Bell is ready to graduate, feelings of nostalgia overwhelm him.

“I’ve been going to the Pit again these days, and it takes me back to freshman year when I used to go every morning before my music theory class,” Bell said. “Being in Scales Fine Arts Center brings back so many memories because of the amount of time I have spent in the practice rooms and the memories I have shared there with so many people.”

Throughout these four years, Bell has completed research in psychology and has been a proponent of strengthening mental health resources.

“As a psychology major, the best part is getting to learn about so many people and getting to connect with them,” Bell said. “You understand people better, understand yourself better and I feel like it helps you become a better person.”

A story that Bell’s mom told him about his grandfather as a child played a huge role in convincing him to pursue psychology professionally.

“My grandfather was a very smart man and so esteemed and well-known, but what no one knew was he suffered a heavy depression behind closed doors,” Bell said. “He carried around a bag of antidepressants that he needed to take around with him at all times. Learning that anxiety and depression run in my family really made me want to uncover what lies behind it so that no one else ever feels the same way.”

Falling in line with his passion for mental health, Bell started a company called Noveltor  with his best friend from home and co-founder Matthew that builds accessible tools for clients.

“The problem that exists in the therapy world right now is that, while there is talking therapy, therapists also give out worksheets and these tools to assist their clients, but only 50% of their clients engage with them,” Bell said.

Noveltor builds visual and engaging interactive components that allow therapists to build their own customized worksheets.

“Our goal is to help strengthen the therapeutic practice so that people stay consistent and don’t leave, because that is a huge problem,” Bell said.

Bell is always trying to get a grasp on how to help people better.

“One of my favorite aspects is that it is a major that lets you be around people who are not self-focused and trying to bring good in the world,” Bell said.

Bell says an example is one of his professors, Dr. Shannon Brady.

“Dr. Brady has been an incredible mentor of mine throughout these four years, has helped me out with my own research, and also has given me advice on my long-term career goals,” Bell said. “She is always there for me and incredibly supportive, and my journey wouldn’t [have been] the same without her.”

After graduation, Bell plans to work on building Noveltor for two months and then return to Wake Forest to work at the Leadership and Character Office. After that, he hopes to pursue a Fulbright research program in Norway for nine months. Bell is most looking forward to working on building his company. 

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