I chose to be a psychology major at Saint Mike’s because I have always found myself being drawn to people and more importantly, human behavior and interactions. I have always been intrigued with how your emotions determine your actions no matter what the situation is. To understand a person you have to understand how their minds work and in choosing psychology as a major, I hope to understand people better whilst also helping them understand themselves.
The faculty has been incredible as far as helping me further my undergraduate psychology career. Whether I needed further clarification on how to find what interests me within my major or even just trying to pick the right classes, the faculty have walked me through every step while also helping narrow down and define my own goals.
I have had the excellent opportunity to work part-time as a residential counselor to adults with severe mental illness. Essentially, I work mainly with those who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and/or substance abuse and help them reach their individual goals and complete day-to-day activities. In conjunction with this opportunity, I had the pleasure of obtaining an internship with The Safety Team. They are a non-profit organization in Burlington, that works to promote the well being, safety, and empowerment of women by teaching martial arts based self-defense, and providing the tools necessary to recognize aggressive behavior before it becomes a threat.
After graduation I am planning on continuing my education by obtaining my master’s degree and eventually working as a clinical psychologist, either with a focus on substance abuse or marriage and relationships.
What is your current position?
I am in my second year of graduate school for occupational therapy.
What got you interested in the field of psychology?
I have always had an interest in the mind and human behavior, so I decided to take an introductory psychology course during my first year at Saint Michael's.
What was your favorite psychology course at SMC?
Psychology of Health and Illness
What experience in the SMC psychology department prepared you for your post-graduate training and your career?
During my senior year, I conducted an independent research study focusing on nutrition, stress, and the immune system with the guidance of my advisor Dr. Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo. In addition, I completed a year long practicum course and held an internship in the Winooski Elementary School. The combination of these two experiences fully prepared me for graduate school and my future as am OT because I developed essential research and clinical skills as an undergraduate student.
Do you have any advice for students in interested in Psychology?
If you have an interest in something, pursue it. Do not be afraid to talk to the professors if you have questions or an idea, they are more than willing to help you. Finally, take advantage of all opportunities!