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Success Stories

Nicole Catalano

“The moment I stepped under the Havemeyer Arch for a campus tour, I felt an instant connection with Ramapo. The breathtaking hills and mountains, coupled with the intimate feeling of being more than just a number, were unparalleled. As a seventeen-year-old first-generation college student, Ramapo quickly became my second home. The acquaintances I made in my freshman classes evolved into a cherished group of friends, now taking turns as bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. My fondest memories are of autumn hikes in the Ramapo Reservation, watching my favorite band Brand New perform live at the Bradley Center, and enjoying snow days by the College Park Apartments.

I initially pursued a nursing major, drawn by a passion for science and a desire to help others. However, during my sophomore year, I discovered an interest in social sciences, particularly psychology. Psychology, to me, is a complex puzzle that seeks to decode human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. I grew ambition to piece together this puzzle, to grasp the intricacies of the human psyche. Despite the anxiety of changing majors midway through college, I persevered and graduated on time with cum laude honors, earning a double major and a double minor. This period was both challenging and rewarding, as I have diligently worked to ensure that my nursing studies contribute towards my degree and were integrated into my new major. My background in science has undoubtedly fostered a profound respect for compassionate healthcare and the connection between mind and body. I attribute my success in psychology and social science to the support of the Ramapo College staff, who not only encouraged me but also provided opportunities for growth. Upon graduation, I entered a Master of Science program in Professional Counseling with a specialization in alcohol and drug counseling.” – Nicole Catalano ’12 graduated as a double major in Psychology and Social Science.

While at Ramapo, Nicole was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, a National Freshman Honor Society, Psi Chi, an International Honor Society in Psychology, an Executive Board member of Tri Sigma Sorority and a Peer Facilitator/Teacher’s Assistant for first-year seminar course (“Reflections of Yourself and Others: A Psychological Perspective”).  She also was a leadership workshop presenter in Women’s Conference and a data entry assistant for Dr. Nicholas Salter and research assistant to Dr. Jacqueline Braun of the Psychology department.

Currently, Nicole is a dually licensed professional counselor and alcohol & drug counselor in the Bayshore area. She holds additional credentials as an Approved Clinical Supervisor, Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist, and Student Assistance Counselor. Nicole has experience working in community mental health, nonprofit consultation, public education, and private practice settings.