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Mary C. Starke

Professor of Clinical Psychology - Retired

Year Joined RCNJ: 1972

Contact Information

  • Phone: 201-684-7623
  • Office: G259

Education and Awards:

  • BA: University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa 1968 (in Spanish literature and psychology)
  • PhD: clinical psychology State University New York at Stony Brook: 1972


  • National Defense Education Act Fellowship
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellowships
  • Veterans Administration Trainee-ship
  • Mindfulness Fellow
  • Freshman Advocate. Center for Study of the Freshman Year Experience,Columbia,SC,
  • National Excellence Award honoring individual researcher who has made outstanding contribution to student success.
  • Noel/Levitz National Center for Institutional Effectiveness and Innovation.  Chicago, IL
  • Nominated by Ramapo College for National Professor of the Year
  • Award, Council for Advancement and Support of Education and Carnegie Foundation. Washington, DC.
  • Multiple awards: Faculty-Student Research Award.  Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ
  • Wrote grant proposal to evaluate the national Reading Is FUNdamental program.  Grant was funded by Carnegie Corporation through the Institute for Human Development at level of $112,000.  Developed assessment instruments utilized in the outcome evaluation research.


  • Licensed as (clinical) psychologist in New York, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC (inactive)
  • Fluent in Spanish and (comprehension of) Polish; knowledge of French, Italian
  • Certification by PADI in scuba diving 1968 and again in 1990
  • Amateur radio license—technician level
  • 40 years ocean sailing and racing experience-in exotic locations sailboats,19 -347 feet



  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Childhood Disorders
  • Fieldwork courses: in Abnormal Psychology, Child Disorders, Behavior Therapy
  • First Year Seminar
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychology
  • Senior Seminar (capstone course)
  • Deviance through the Ages
  • Research Practicum in Psychology

Administrative Experience:

  • Convener (aka chair) of Psychology at Ramapo College: 13 years
  • Founder and director of All College Honors Program at Ramapo College
  • Co-founder and evaluator of First Year Seminar program at Ramapo College Sept 1986
  • Initiator of Fieldwork and experiential courses at Ramapo College, Sept., 1972
  • Initiator: Psychology Subject Pool (with manual)
  • Assistant director (dean): School of Metropolitan/ Community Studies

Research Interests:

  • Student Success
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Undergraduate Internships
  • Mindfulness


  • Author of a series of textbooks published by Prentice Hall/ Pearson/ Simon Schuster that sold more than 63,000 copies; were adopted by more than 200 colleges and universities, Strategies for College Success.
  • Book review of first edition of my book appeared in NY Times Book Review
  •  Author of refereed journal articles in ­Behavior Modification, ­
  • The BC Journal of Special Education ­
  • Teaching of Psychology
  • The Journal of Research­ ­and Development in Education
  • The Journal of the First-Year Experience


  • Consultant to colleges and universities on student success programs: Catawba College, University of District of Columbia, Washington DC, State University of New York, Purchase
  • Consultant to textbook and workbook publishers (in psychopathology and student success): Simon Schuster, Sage Publishers, Prentice Hall, Pearson, Society of Clinical Psychology Continuing Education: Advances in Psychotherapy
  • (former) Private practices (with outpatient adults, children, couples, & group therapy; inpatient, veterans & their families):at The Institute for Behavior Therapy in Manhattan, New York, at The Human Behavior Foundation and  H.L.P. Resnick Psychiatric Associates in  College Park, MD, at the Point of Woods School, Long Island, NY, Institute for the Development of Research Consultant Resources in New York City, and for the National Institute of Mental Health., Veteran Administration Hospital, Northport, LI.; Psychological Services at State University of New York, Stony Brook

Volunteer Work:

  • Teaching English as a Second Language: (TESOL)  St. John’s Church, Ramsey, NJ
  • 4-week course and teach English to speakers of other languages
  • Children’s Trust   Puttaparthi, Andra Pradesh, India, teach psychology to orphaned children in rural town, southern India 6 months;supervisor of food servers in western cafeteria: Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Prashanti Nilyam Ashrams in Puttaparthi and White Hall (near Bangalore) southern India and Mātā Amritānandamayī Devī Amma’s Amritapuri Ashram in Panachepally Kerala, India



  • CBS Television. “Behavioral control: The social aspects.” Thirty-minute lecture by Prof. Mary Starke presented on CBS series Dilemmas of Our Time: The Dilemmas of Science and Technology (ethics of behavior modification)
  • CBS Television. “Behavioral control: The medical aspects.” Thirty-minute lecture presented by Prof. Mary Starke on CBS series Dilemmas of Our Time:  The Dilemmas of Science and Technology. CBS Television. (ethics of psychosurgery)
  • National Teleconference Series. “Retaining Students: New Questions and Fresh Perspectives.” National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience. Columbia, SC. (Solicited interview as an expert on first-year college programming)
  • Wrote grant proposal to evaluate the national Reading Is FUNdamental program.  Grant was funded by Carnegie Corporation through the Institute for Human Development at level of $112,000.  Developed assessment instruments utilized in the outcome evaluation research.
  • NJ Cable-television Networks. “The new mothers:  Changing roles and parameters.”  Roundtable discussion with Professors Riesterer, Ross, and Starke.
  • NJ Cable-television Networks. “Changing student attitudes: Portent for the future.”  Roundtable discussion with Dr. Robert Scott and Dr. Mary Starke.  NJ Cable-television Networks.
  • WOR Radio. Interview of Prof. Mary Starke by Bernard Meltzer on WOR Radio’s “Bernard Meltzer Talk Show.”  WOR Radio, New York, NY.
  • NJ Cablevision & Affiliates Networks: Numerous “Meet the Author” interviews


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