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Adler G-Wing

Ramapo College of New Jersey Psychology Alumni Biographies

The following is a compilation of stories submitted by recent graduates of the Ramapo College of New Jersey psychology program. The stories discuss their career path since leaving Ramapo; what they are currently doing with their degree, what they have done with their degree, and whether or not they went to grad school.

If you would like to contact any of these students to find out more about their career paths, please email Dr. Nicholas Salter at nsalter@ramapo.edu.  All of the students featured in this document would be happy to speak with current students.

If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Dr. Salter! Students benefit from hearing about what all our alumni have done.  Students often don’t realize all the career options a Psychology major provides them with.  Hearing from alumni helps students plan their own career paths and realize that they will do great things with their degrees!

Careers in Clinical/Counseling/Therapy/Social Work Bachelor’s Degree

Anupa Mohan (2015)

I work as a teaching assistant/therapist at Eden Autism Services. It’s a school geared toward children with ASD (there is an adult services attached to the school, alas I don’t work with the adults). The job allows me to help educate the children and families as well as shaping behaviors and teaching functional life skills. The school I work for aims toward getting students with ASD jobs in the real world upon graduating.

I have also added on the extra task of working with these children on social skills – this includes taking them out to order food and roller skating (all levels of functioning). In addition I also do respite and home therapies, where I go to a student’s house and teach them about their neighborhoods and surrounding area.

I focused most of my BA taking classes geared toward developmental and child psychology – so this is a really fantastic option for people who share my interest.  It also allows us to get a taste of what it’s like without committing to grad school and other masters programs.

Jenna Paparozzi (2015)

After graduating from Ramapo with my Bachelors in Psych, I immediately acquired a job at Care Plus NJ as a residential mental health worker (courtesy of being placed there during my fieldwork semester along with all the other opportunities such as psi chi and research that I had through Ramapo). Because of this, I was just accepted into an accelerated masters program at NYU.

I basically go to the group homes of Care Plus and administer medications to the consumers, monitor them, do assisted daily living like making sure they do chores and tend to hygiene, take them on outings and to run errands, and provide counseling whenever it’s necessary.

Caitlyn Higgins (2013)

I graduated from Ramapo in May 2013; I majored in Psychology and minored in Substance Abuse. During my last semester, I took Fieldwork with Substance Abuse and interned at New Hope Foundation in Marlboro, NJ. New Hope Foundation is an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility that includes a detoxification unit, adult rehabilitation unit, and an adolescent unit. After my internship, I was hired to be a Treatment Associate on the detox unit and was responsible for doing intakes and running groups. After a few months, I was promoted to a full-time position of Utilization Review Coordinator, in which I was responsible for getting authorizations for treatment from insurance companies. A few months later, I was promoted again to Primary Detox Counselor and am now responsible for meeting with individual clients, developing treatment plans, and running psychoeducational groups. I currently enrolled in Georgian Court University’s graduate program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and graduated January 2017. After graduation, I will be eligible to apply to be a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) in NJ.

Skylar Zagleski (2014)

When I graduated from Ramapo I got a job at a detox facility as a chemical dependency tech/group leader. I worked with people from ages 17-all the way to 80 who suffer from either an alcohol or drug addiction. The first part of my job was checking them in (searching their person and bodies and putting their information into the computer, insurance, etc.) I am in charge of drug screening their urine and all the proper documentation. I am also in charge of taking their blood pressure, temperature and pulse. I did rounds, and I also lead group meetings about topics that would help them on their road to recovery. The courses that really stood out to me in school were Forensic Psychology, abnormal psychology, psychopathy, and addictions. And of course I-O was one of my favorites and was my first psych class at Ramapo! Currently I am in graduate school for School Counseling.

And that is my story! I took a year off after graduating and that was a great decision for me! No shame in figuring yourself out! And that’s my story!!

Maria Zampetoulas (2011)

I graduated Ramapo with my Bachelors Degree in Psychology and am now enrolled in a Masters Degree program in Counseling Psychology at Felician University. Prior to enrolling in my masters program, I was working as a ‘Life Skills Counselor’ for young adults with developmental disabilities. Very soon, I will be working as a part-time teacher’s aid for children with special needs at “The Children’s Therapy Center”. Following graduation from my masters degree program, I hope to work as a ‘Child Life Specialist’ and Creative Arts Therapist, utilizing dance and/or art as healing modalities.

Careers in Clinical/Counseling/Therapy/Social Work Master’s Degree

Kaitlyn O’Donnell (2014)

I graduated in 2014 with a major in psychology and a double minor in Substance Abuse Counseling and Criminology. The summer after my junior year I found an internship with the Housing Authority of Bergen County with the clinical coordinator at the Bergen County Housing Health and Human Services Center. This building houses the county’s single adult homeless shelter. During my internship I had the opportunity to complete intakes, work on assessments, create treatment plans and goals with clients, and work with them to help them secure the resources they needed to exit the shelter. At the end of the summer I was offered a part time position by the non-profit that runs the physical aspect of the shelter within the building. I worked my entire senior year of college as a Shelter Support staff member and worked daily with the clients to ensure both the smooth operation of the shelter and also in the daily community outreach program. When I graduated with my degree I was offered a full time position with a partnering agency Alliance Against Homelessness of Bergen County as a case manager. In this position I work with individuals diagnosed with a disability receiving a subsidized housing voucher to assist them secure an apartment, move-in, and successfully become independent in the community. After one year with the agency in June of 2015 I was promoted to Senior Case Manager at the agency. I still have my case load, and now also assist the other case managers in their day to day activities. In September of 2015 I started the three-year part time Masters of Social Work Program at Ramapo College, allowing me to continue to work full time and attend classes at night. I look forward to seeing what opportunities lie ahead in the field of Community Mental Health, far from where I thought I would end up working, but exactly where I belong.

Ashley Beaton (2013)

I graduated Ramapo College in May 2013; while at Ramapo, I majored in Psychology, minored in Literature, and earned an Elementary Education certification. From September 2013-May 2015, I attended University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and received two Master’s degrees within the school’s Applied Psychology and Human Development Department: a Master’s of Science in Counseling and Mental Health Services and a Master’s in Philosophy in Professional Counseling. At the end of my two years at UPenn, I had met the requirements to apply for licensure as a counselor in the state of New Jersey and took the National Counseling Exam. As of June 2015, I was hired at Robin’s Nest, Inc., a children’s services agency that services South Jersey (Burlington, Camden, Salem, Gloucester, Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties), to work in their Outpatient Services department. I work as a fee-for-service outpatient therapist, and am currently licensed in the state of NJ as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC), working toward my LPC.

Runa Khanom (2013)

While I was at Ramapo College, I majored in Psychology and minored in Gerontology. After graduation, I enrolled in the Master’s program at New York University, where I pursued a degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness. After graduation, I was studying for my licensure exam in order to practice therapy. I am a licensed associate counselor (LAC) in the state of New Jersey and I am currently in the process of obtaining my New York State license. I work at the Acute Partial Hospital Program at Bergen Regional Medical Center, where I work with patients who suffer from co-occurring disorders. As an LAC I provide individual/group therapy, formulate treatment plans, conceptualize cases, complete comprehensive psychosocial assessments, advocate for patients, and participate in the interdisciplinary care planning. Overall, my experiences at Ramapo College and along with the guidance from faculty members, provided me with the opportunity to explore my interest, which led me to find my passion.

Dominique DeJean (2013)

I graduated from Ramapo as a psychology major. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to work with kids and that graduate school was in my future. As part of my fieldwork for Abnormal Psychology, I interned at a school for children and adults age 3 – 21 with developmental disabilities. Within my first few hours, I quickly realized that is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Rather than switching majors senior year, I decided to continue with my psychology degree and go to graduate school to get my master’s/initial certification in special education. Having a psychology background has not only helped me with my graduate coursework (there is a lot of research-reading involved!), but it has given me an invaluable advantage and insight into my students and their needs. Specifically, I utilize strategies and knowledge from child, cognitive, and developmental psychology on a daily basis. If I could go back and do it all again, I would still choose to major in psychology.

Nicole Catalano (2012)

Hi! My name is Nicole and I graduated from Ramapo College in May of 2012. I held a double major in psychology and social science as well as a double minor in community mental health and science technology. With the support of my undergraduate professors, I was able to enter graduate school immediately in September of 2012. The courses that assisted me the most in my graduate studies were: Abnormal Psychology (as I constantly diagnose and assess individuals), Research Methods and Data Analysis (yes, as difficult as it is, you will be that much more prepared in graduate school!), and Advanced Topics in Psychopathy (I have encountered several clients who present with the symptoms). Above all, my internships and fieldwork have prepared me the most, and I definitely recommend getting more experience if you are able.

I attended Monmouth University’s Psychological Counseling program, which allowed me to have flexibility in scheduling in-person, hybrid, and online courses. I chose to take the 60-credit track and specialized in addiction studies as well as obtained certifications to become eligible as a Substance Awareness Coordinator and School Counselor. I graduated in May of 2015 and was very fortunate to obtain employment after graduate school in several settings. I have worked as a Behavioral Specialist at a summer camp for at-risk youth, a child and adolescent therapist in Trenton, and took a maternity leave position as a guidance counselor at the elementary level. Currently, I work in a substance abuse outpatient center where I am able to work with adults and adolescents who also present with co-occurring psychiatric disorders. I hold licensure as an associate counselor (LAC) in New Jersey and am working towards gaining hours so I can practice as a private practitioner someday with a license as a professional counselor (LPC). I am so thankful that Ramapo gave me the proper tools and education to succeed in graduate school and in my career!

Julia Nardone-Yoskowitz (2012)

I earned my Masters of Art Degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in School Counseling from Caldwell University. The program is a 48 credit, CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) accredited program providing a New Jersey School Counseling certification and license K-12. I completed my program in 2 ½ years graduating in December 2014 and was employed by August 2015.

For the program, I completed 12 courses; 3 of the courses included Practicum (100 hours) and Internship I (300 hours) and Internship II (300 hours) for licensure. I interned for the West Orange Board of Education with an on-site supervisor who was required to be a certified school counselor with a minimum of 2 years in the district. I completed my practicum hours at an elementary school. I wanted to continue and complete my hours only at the elementary level but my supervisor insisted I get middle school and high school experience to make myself more marketable in the field (best advice I received throughout my program). For my internship hours I remained in West Orange but completed hours in elementary, middle and high school.

I am currently employed by The Bridge in West Caldwell, New Jersey as an Elementary School Counselor for the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education (CWCBOE). The Bridge and CWCBOE collaborated and received a grant to provide a counselor in all four of their elementary schools.

At the elementary level, I do the following:

  • Once a month guidance lessons K-5 on character education, conflict resolutions or specific topics requested by the teacher.
  • Individual counseling (weekly or bi-weekly) for students with: academic issues, anxiety, friendship issues, negative school attitude and behavior, grief, etc.
  • Small group counseling: groups consist of 6-8 students for 6 to 8 weeks on different topics such as social skills, anger management, organizational skills, etc.
  • I&RS (Intervention & Referral Services) meetings with other school staff to assist students who are struggling academically.
  • 504 plans for students with disabilities to provide them with accommodations in the classroom to ensure the student’s academic success.
  • Crisis intervention

Brielle Marino (2011)

I graduated from Ramapo College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. From there, I attended a two-year master’s program at NYU in counseling psychology, where I was able to refine my clinical skills and study abroad in London and Rome. With my master’s degree, I was eligible to sit for the state licensure exam as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). From there, I landed a job at a private practice managing a caseload of 20 patients. I am currently a 3rd year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). PCOM is primarily a medical school, and so my training there has been centered around the role of psychology in primary care with an equal emphasis on research. I currently extern at Weill-Cornell New York Presbyterian where I provide individual and group psychotherapy to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, in addition to administering neuropsychological assessments. I am working on my second publication for the Journal of Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, and slowly chipping away at my dissertation on identifying subtypes of schizophrenia through differential neurocognitive profiles. I have authored two books, The Last Eve (2015) and Wilhelmina and the What Ifs (2016).

Throughout my academic training, I strongly believe that Ramapo College has provided me with the foundation necessary for pursuing a career in clinical psychology. Some of the most helpful courses have been in psychopathology, research methodology, and cognitive psychology. Ramapo also afforded me opportunities to conduct research under the supervision of Dr. Ishak, and to present at psychological conferences. My education at Ramapo not only prepared me for graduate level coursework, but continues to inform my everyday practice.

Wendy Levine (2011)

I graduated Ramapo in the winter of 2011, since that time I attended William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ and earned my M.A. in Clinical & Counseling Psychology. This was a licensing-track program but it also gave me the option to continue on to earn my doctorate, which is why I initially chose the program. My tuition for graduate school was waived because I took on a Graduate Assistantship, which is also something I would highly advise.

I am now a licensed psychotherapist and work at West Bergen Mental Healthcare out of their Mahwah/Wyckoff NJ location. As a Core Staff Therapist, my caseload consists of clients ages 4-75, with various diagnoses ranging from ADHD and behavioral issues, adjustment issues, anxiety (e.g. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Trichotillomania etc.) depression, personality disorders, eating issues and other impulse control disorders. I also run weekly social skills groups and go into the elementary schools to lead character education groups. I also have worked with several LGBT clients in adolescence and early adulthood.  In addition, I teach undergraduate psychology courses as an adjunct at William Paterson. I have taught General Psychology which is “Introduction to Psychology” at Ramapo and also Physiological Psychology that is akin to Ramapo’s “Behavioral Neuroscience” course.

It has been a busy few years since my time at Ramapo. I absolutely would not have the strong psychology background I need for both my positions had it not been for the education I received.

Jessica Jordan (2011)

MSW from Rutgers School of Social Work and currently licensed as an LSW and working on my LCSW.

When I was an undergrad and majoring in psychology, I thought I was going to enroll in a PsyD program, become a psychologist, and have my own private practice for the mentally ill. (I was fascinated by people with mental illness.) In my last semester at Ramapo, I was set up with fieldwork at a transitional housing placement for mentally ill adults. This is where I had my first interaction with this population. I spoke with workers at the home who were employed as “case managers” and I asked them all kinds of questions about the field and what credentials you need to do what kind of work. I realized I needed to take a year off from school to work, so I could figure out which direction I want to take before making a big commitment such as a PsyD program. (4 more years, more student loans, more time away from living my life.)

After I graduated, I found a job as a case manager for mentally ill adults in a partial-care program, which is a program for chronically mentally ill adults that struggle with living independently. This included a lot of re-directing people to take their medication and come to program. It wasn’t very clinical, which is what I had been craving but had been unable to find because every job I applied for required an MSW, LSW, especially LCSW, and/or LPC. I can’t say I hated it, because I learned a lot but I quickly realized I needed another degree to do the kind of work I wanted. My supervisor there was an LSW and encouraged me to go to social work school. At the time, I wanted to focus more on therapy or possibly even mental health screening. After researching the field, I realized how versatile the degree is. I can become a therapist and have my own practice or I can work in an HIV clinic, or I can become a supervisor of a program and other endless opportunities, whereas, if I didn’t end up liking 1 specific area of focus like school counseling, for example, I wouldn’t end up stuck. So I enrolled in Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work and it has helped me grow TREMENDOUSLY. I know I am biased, but I feel strongly about the MSW curriculum. It provides you with excellent training in various areas. LPC (counseling) or PsyD students that I have seen in my internships have said that their training, salaries and quality of jobs are pretty equal to social workers –if that helps with worrying about which direction to take at all.

I got an internship at Mountainside Hospital in their behavioral health outpatient unit in grad school and quickly saw how the mental health world works. That experience has helped me land my current position that I’ve had since I graduated grad school, got licensed as a social worker and resigned from being a case manager. I am now a mental health and substance abuse clinician in a partial hospitalization program at Trinitas Hospital. This entails intensive group therapy and individual therapy for patients with acute psychiatric symptoms and substance abuse, for a duration of 4-8 weeks before discharging them to outpatient care where I also hold a small individual therapy caseload. This, of course, includes all types of paperwork such as treatment planning, etc.  I also do intakes and screenings and whatever else manages to come my way. So, now I get all the clinical work I want!

Social work school can be done in either a full-time, 2 year period or a part-time, 4 year period where you have classes and internships. After that, you can apply for your license and take the exam to become an LSW. After that, you work in the field, and obtain a certain amount of hours that equates to 2 years of full-time work, get supervision for cases (someone to talk to about your cases—which is not always provided at every job and would otherwise be an extra expense for you!) and take another exam, among other requests such as transcripts, background checks, etc. to become an LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker. This is what you need to have your own private practice as a social worker, unless you are a doctor. This is where I am now and I know I am in the right place. My advice would be to work in the field before committing to a next step because it can be a lot different than how you may think it is now. Or at least, that was my experience. But don’t get me wrong, if you are full on focused in a certain area and are ready to enroll in a doctoral program then awesome! Everyone loves it if you can add PHD at the end of your name. J

Jennifer Voelker (2011)

I graduated from New York University in 2014 with a MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness. I currently hold a provisional license to practice counseling in NJ (LAC- Licensed Associate Counselor) and am working towards full licensure in NJ and PA.  For the past year I have been working for Care Plus NJ, Inc. for the Partnership for Children Program as an IIC (Intensive In Community Clinician) providing in-home individual and/or family therapy to children, adolescents and their families to increase family stabilization and address the emotional/behavioral needs of children and adolescents throughout Bergen County. While at Care Plus NJ, I took part in training to be considered a “trauma-focused clinician” to provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy to children and adolescents. I also took part in training through the International Association of Trauma Professionals and am now a Certified Clinicial Trauma Professional (CCTP). I recently accepted a full time clinical counselor position with Progressive Health of PA, Inc. providing individual and group therapy for adults that have sustained a traumatic brain injury (moderate to severe) and am currently being trained as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

I am extremely passionate about working with trauma survivors and the importance of early mental health care interventions after a traumatic event. This passion led me to also pursue training in disaster response and crisis counseling. I am now certified in NJ as a DRCC (Disaster Response Crisis Counselor) and volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corp. in NYC.

Careers in Human Resources

Samantha Barone (2013)

While at Ramapo, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The classes I took did not necessarily directly lead to my current career path. However in my present role as a Division Director with Robert Half Staffing Agency, I find myself referring back to concepts and topics from Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and The Psychology of Leadership. I took both classes my senior year since I was working in a corporate environment and overseeing other employees. After graduating from Ramapo I did not pursue any additional degrees or certifications. My current industry is Recruiting / Staffing. I got an interview with Robert Half by applying to a Human Resources ad that I saw posted on Indeed. I’d been working as a Recruiting Manager in a call center for about 3.5 years and was looking to move into something closer to my home and with more growth opportunity. I didn’t match all the requirements listed for the HR role, however based on my resume and my personality the recruiter I spoke with said I could be a good fit for a career in staffing. I accepted an interview with Robert Half, Nick Salter gave me some feedback and tips on my resume and interview, and I eventually ended up accepting a job with the company.

Currently I assist companies with placing qualified candidates in roles that are open within their organization. Robert Half is an international organization and we work with companies all over the world. We assist small “mom and pop shops” to Fortune 500 companies. A big disclaimer I like to let anyone know that is interested in staffing is – I am not in Human Resources. This is a business development / sales role. When I began at Robert Half it was my responsibility to build strong relationships with companies in my territory by calling, visiting, and emailing them on a weekly basis. The goal is; when a position needs to be filled, I am the recruiter they call to fill that role. I want them to remember my name, my professionalism, and what I can offer. Now that I’ve been in my role for almost 2 years, it’s less about building new relationships with hiring managers and more of maintaining my relationships that I’ve built over time. I started as a Staffing Manager, which is the entry level role at Robert Half and have since moved into a Division Director position. I still have the same job as before, but now I also oversee 5 staffing managers and I am held accountable for hiring, training, and advancing those individuals’ careers with Robert Half. In addition, I’m responsible for increasing the revenue that my team brings into the company and presenting our financials each year to executives and stock holders. Leaving my previous job at the call center and coming to Robert Half has been the best career move I have made yet. I love what I do and I am excited to come into work every single day.

Adrianna Ronan (2012)

My name is Adrianna and I graduated from Ramapo in May ’12. During my final semester at Ramapo, I secured an internship in Human Resources with The Vitamin Shoppe in North Bergen, NJ. After working as an intern for about 4 months, I interviewed and was hired to the company as an HR Administrative Assistant. After that, I was quickly promoted to Human Resources Coordinator for The Vitamin Shoppe’s Distribution Center in March ‘13, and have held this position since then. I have numerous responsibilities in my role as an HR Coordinator, including:

  • Managing the Human Resources budget
  • Reviewing and editing Corrective Actions and monthly performance reviews for all DC employees
  • Assisting the HR Manager with all employee relations issues, FMLA, and Worker’s Compensation cases
  • Posting all open job positions and screening potential candidates
  • Interviewing temporary employees
  • Conducting new hire orientations
  • Updating and editing policies, procedures and job descriptions
  • Responding to unemployment claims
  • Approving payroll
  • Coordinating Open Enrollment to ensure all employees are knowledgeable regarding benefit offerings

I have not yet pursued graduate school, though I do plan to do that in the future. For now, my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology has been enough to provide me with the opportunity to gain a ton of experience in Human Resources. The experience that I have gained in my current role as a Coordinator has shaped my career and put me on the right path to eventually become an HR Generalist.

Britnee Berardino (2012)

I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and the Business Essentials certificate. After a few internships in payroll and HR at Novartis, I ended up at Atrium Staffing working as an Account Coordinator for large event staffing clients. My position involves components of payroll and HR, and the goal is to help pre-identified employees across the country get set up on our payroll. Some HR components of the position include: training associates on proper completion of new hire paperwork (ex: I-9s and W-4s), evaluating pre-employment background checks and drug screenings, and dealing with escalated employee complaints. Some payroll components include: reviewing payroll exports for payment accuracy, resolving timesheet and payment discrepancies, and ensuring that payments are set up and issued according to state specific tax/overtime laws. I get to work with a lot of people on a daily basis, and love helping them receive payment for the work they complete.

Kim Mahaffey (2011)

I graduated Ramapo in 2011 with degrees in Psychology and Sociology. It was during my time at Ramapo, that I actually fell into Industrial Organizational Psychology. During undergrad I took my first I/O class, focused all my studies from that point on Labor Studies – which was relatively easy as a double major. I also tried to take all the social psychology courses offered. I also took an internship at a management consulting firm.

After graduation, I went on to get my Masters at Baruch in Industrial Organization Psychology. I worked for two years at a large tech company on the administrative side of their HR team. I recently have moved to a smaller financial firm where I am now the first and only HR staff member. My current role includes recruiting and hiring, training, employee development, and policy implementation. Most recently I was able to develop a standard review process for annual reviews, as well as implement a maternity leave policy. All of which from my conversations with employees seems to be going over well.

I could not have predicted that I would end up working in HR or in any type of corporate business for that matter. However, people spend so much of their day at work that it becomes how they define themselves, and it is my job to create an environment that makes working easier and less stressful while also keeping the business profitable.

Careers in Neuropsychology

Christian Lucca (2015)

Leaving Ramapo, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life.  I knew I wanted to continue studying psychology, but I wasn’t sure how to apply it.  I decided I would take some time off before applying to grad school to see if I could find some opportunities to get experience in the field. I already had research experience from working at Ramapo, in addition to applied field experience working in activities at a nursing home on weekends.  To fulfill a requirement for a neuropsychology class in my final semester, I shadowed a researcher at the Kessler Foundation. This, coupled with my previous experience, led to my first post-graduation job working for Kessler.

Working for the Kessler Foundation has given me the opportunity to wear many hats.  As a research assistant, I collect, analyze, and occasionally even report on data collected from human subjects for several different studies.  I work in the Foundation’s Traumatic Brain Injury lab, where applied research is carried out with the goal of finding new ways to improve the lives and recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury.  Many of the studies I collect data for are survey-based (and usually involve interviewing the patients or their families directly), while others are formal, controlled experiments.  Some of the experiments require me to administer neuropsychological batteries (sometimes during an fMRI scan) or E-Prime programs. This job has given me skills that I could apply in both clinical and research routes, which has made it much easier for me to decide which path to follow.

I’m planning on sending out applications to graduate schools this fall. I’ve chosen a healthy selection of clinical and counseling psychology Ph.D and Psy.D programs. At the moment, I’m working toward becoming a practitioner at a hospital or group practice with some degree of involvement in applied research.

Christopher Bober (2014)

Students in psychology programs at Ramapo may find themselves surprised after graduation to find out that several opportunities do exist for them that would 1. Forward their careers in the direction of their choice and 2. Provide them with unique learning opportunities in areas that they find interesting.  These opportunities are for the most part not meant to be held indefinitely, however, and they may often not be considered career ends in and of themselves.

Two roads exist for psychology bachelor students still interested in completing the career goals they set out for themselves when they matriculated into the school of psychology.  One is in research, and the other is in clincal practice.  As a graduate of the Ramapo Psychology Bachelor’s program, I have been working as a research assistant at a rehabilitation and research facility in West Orange, New Jersey called Kessler Foundation.  So far, the former path of research has been my major pursuit, but a career in social work is likely right around the corner.

At Kessler, I conduct or have conducted research with children and adults who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, autism spectrum disorder, spinal cord injuries, or multiple sclerosis (MS).  I work directly with accomplished neuropsychologists to recruit research participants, conduct neuropsychological assessments, administer fMRI scans, and score and (sometimes) analyze data so that these scientists can publish papers and raise money for future research studies.  We collect all of this data with two general goals in mind: 1. To compile enough evidence for our theses so that any number of organizations feel justified funding our research and 2. To create interventions or treatments that would be beneficial to individuals with these disorders some time in the future.

To me, however, and to many people in the same position that I hold, Kessler is an amazing temporary placement worth holding prior to enrolling in a graduate level program.  I want to stress to the students currently attending Ramapo that many positions like mine exist, where they allow students time to explore their options before they spend much of their savings towards a career they will explore for the rest of their lives.  Most positions worth obtaining following graduation with a bachelor’s in pyshogoly at Ramapo are just that, however: small steps forward not meant to be maintained forever, but always to be used to explore their growth.

Jessica Parascando (2011)

Research Technologist at Penn State College of Medicine
Master of Public Health (MPH) Biostatistics/Epidemiology – In progress

I graduated from the psychology department at Ramapo College in Spring 2011. Early on I had interests in neuropsychology and sleep research, so I wanted to take advantage of all of the opportunities at Ramapo that were relevant to my interests. All of my classes, my involvement in student organizations (Active Minds, Psychology Coalition), and the support from my professors really helped me along my path towards my current career. In particular, my Neuropsychology class with Dr. Naseem Choudhury, and my Research Methods and Data Analysis class, and independent research with Dr. Joseph Cataliotti provided me with the necessary knowledge and skills that I am utilizing at my current position. Before attending graduate school, I spent 4 years working as a research assistant at Rutgers University – Newark in the Infancy Studies Laboratory. The majority of my time in the laboratory was spent collecting and analyzing electrophysiological data from infants with the focus of this research to assess and compare rapid auditory processing (RAP) abilities between typically developing infants to those with a family history of language impairment, such as dyslexia. I am currently working at Penn State – Hershey as a research technologist in a biofeedback/neuropsychology laboratory where we use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR), electromyography (EMG), ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and actigraphy to study patients with opiate addiction in hopes of identifying factors that may be associated with an increased risk of relapse during various stages of recovery. While working, I am also enrolled in the Master of Public Health program studying epidemiology and biostatistics. When I graduate in 2017, I plan on integrating my degrees with my research experience in order to make the public more aware of positive sleep practices, and emphasize the importance of sleep at all ages.

Careers in Higher Education

Sara Gordon (2013)

I started at Ramapo as a Psychology major, knowing that if I wanted to do anything within psychology, I would have to go to graduate school. I was in the Teacher Education Program, and initially intended to be an elementary school teacher. I then considered going into the therapy/counseling field, before I stumbled upon the field of higher education/student affairs through my work as a Peer Facilitator at Ramapo, and the people I met doing that work.

During the fall of 2013, I applied to ten Master’s Programs for Higher Education and Student Affairs, and ended up at Harvard in the fall of 2014. At my internship last year, I was responsible for putting together a manual for peer mentors, using my own experience as a Peer Facilitator as well as research I did into other successful mentoring programs. My most recent employment (a 6-month temporary position) was at the Harvard School of Public Health working as a Program Assistant.

At Ramapo, I found it extremely valuable to talk to faculty and staff about their career paths and pick their brains for some information that might help me realize what I might want to do with my degree. Networking is key, and starting early is important! Don’t be afraid to meet with a faculty or staff member who you aren’t sure you would connect with; if you end up learning anything from the conversation – whether it is that you do or do not want to follow a similar path – then it was worth it.

Kayla Lauricella (2013)

I went to grad school at Teachers College at Columbia University (EdM in Psychological Counseling). Right now I work in higher education at Fordham University. I work as a Career Counselor so I help students figure out what they want to do and help them get there. Another part of my job is “strategic communication” so like marketing, trying to figure out how to reach students and make an impact. I never realized how my background in psychology could relate to other fields like marketing. It’s such a rewarding job and one that you might be able to share with students.

Careers in Other Areas Related to Psychology

Loretta Turner (2013)

Loretta Turner is currently the Senior Program Director for Kula for Karma; a non-profit that offers yoga free of cost to people in need across the tri-state area (www.kulaforkarma.org). Loretta found yoga when she started practicing through the Ramapo College Yoga Club in 2009. A year later she enrolled in Ramapo College’s Yoga Teacher Certification program. Through the certification program she was introduced to Kula. Loretta chose to intern with Kula to complete her independent study requirements in Psychology. She conducted a successful qualitative research project that observed the relationship of yoga and addiction recovery. Three months later she was hired as one of Kula’s full-time staff. In addition to non-profit management, Loretta teaches yoga full-time throughout New Jersey — she even teaches at Ramapo on Thursday afternoons! Loretta works with a wide variety of populations including adults with special needs, cancer patients, prisoners and women in recovery. Loretta attributes her success in the therapeutic yoga industry with at-risk populations to what she learned as a Psychology and yoga student at Ramapo College. For more information on Loretta, check out www.lorettaturner.com.