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Sumaiya Muhammad

“If there is one word I could use to describe my experiences at Ramapo College, it would be growth. My time at Ramapo was so much more than attending classes and working for a degree. It not only nurtured me academically but also helped me thrive in opportunities for personal growth through leadership roles, collaborative teamwork, community building, and of course-friendships to cherish lifelong.

Serving as an E-board member for the International Student Organization from my first year helped me feel more at home and allowed me to partake in celebrating diversity and culture on campus, while my position at the National Society of Leadership and Success taught me a lot about effective leadership. Additionally, I got an opportunity to serve as a Peer Mentor to students with Autism in my senior year in the ENHANCE Program at Ramapo. Under the supervision of Suzanne Calgi (LCSW), I was able to help students with academic and social-emotional nuances, while they taught me the joy of being persistent towards learning and growth.

I also worked as a student aide in the ITS-Help desk throughout my time at Ramapo, and it equipped me with technical skills I probably wouldn’t have gained otherwise. More importantly, the support and patience from my supervisors in the department helped me feel comfortable and more confident in my ability to learn things beyond my field of interest.

Finally, my ambition to become a researcher in psychological sciences was greatly shaped by my experiences as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Palestroni Lab under Dr. Naseem Choudhury. I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to explore my curiosities beyond the classroom with an equally inquisitive and supportive lab team. Additionally, I cannot discount the crucial role of every encouraging interaction I have had with my professors in the Psychology Department, in my passion and future aspirations in the field.

Thank you for everything, Ramapo!” – Sumaiya Muhammad ’21 graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience.

While at Ramapo, Sumaiya received multiple awards: the 2021 SSHS Faculty-Student Award, the 2021 SSHS Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, the Faculty Award for Distinction in Psychology, an Honorable Mention for the COPLAC David Prior Award, Joshier and Mukul Family Scholarship, Deans List (2017-2021), Ramapo Presidential Scholarship. As a student, Sumaiya completed research on Attention and Working Memory as Cognitive Moderators of Loss Aversion with her advisor Professor Naseem Choudhury.

Sumaiya is currently a Research Associate in the Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience at Pennsylvania State University.