- Major: Psychology
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Psi Chi (Psychology Honors Society)
- Launch Career Community: Medicine and Health Professions
- Launch Identity/Affinity Community: Commuter/Transfer/Nontraditional
What attracted you to Drew?
I graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in History (on a pre-law track) but decided law school was not for me. I tried to launch a television show called Better Man Show for a year and a half after college, but that fell through. I then decided to go back to college with the intent of becoming a psychologist. Drew University was close to my parent’s house, affordable, and Sunita Bhargava in Admissions was very supportive of me getting a second degree, as she herself had gone back to school later in life. It seemed like a good fit for what I had set out to accomplish.
What is it about psychology that draws you to it?
Everyone has something in their life that is traumatic or holding them back, and I’d like to help as many people as I can overcome these challenges.
Do you work on or off campus?
I currently work as a recreation therapy assistant at the Matheny Hospital in Peapack Gladstone, a hospital/residential facility for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. I help run groups where patients play games, do modified sports, take trips, go out to dinner, etc. It helps the patients cope with the stress of living with their disabilities.
Have you done any internships?
While at Drew, I interned with Stepping Forward Counseling Center in Chatham, NJ. While at Stepping Forward, I was a camp counselor for children with various disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, oppositional defiance disorder, etc. I worked with the clients to follow their specific behavior plans and used a token economy to reward good behavior. During camp I went on trips, did outdoor sports, played games, and ran cognitive behavioral therapy centered group activities with the clients under the supervision of the more seasoned counselors. Overall it was a rewarding experience and I received a great amount of experience working with children with various disorders. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to work with children in a future psychological setting.
Did you have any mentors at Drew?
The entire Psychology Department was very helpful and welcoming, specifically, Dr. Cousens, Dr. Kalagher, Dr. Cermele, and Dr. Morgan, who all served as mentors when I had questions about the best way to get into a Psy.D program. I’m grateful for all their help and guidance over the past year.
What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about the burden of global mental health issues. I think if we could implement a successful plan to give everyone access to mental health treatment, we would have a much better world. I would be very happy if I had the time and expertise to work on such a plan in the future.
What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?
I have only been at Drew for a little over a year, but favorite memories for me were meeting Dr. Scott Morgan’s youngest daughter during class, and doing an EEG experiment for Dr. Cousens class.
Any hobbies or activities you enjoy that are not on your resume or Fun Fact (s) about you?
I’ve been playing guitar, and other musical instruments, since I was 7. I own 9 guitars, 3 basses, a piano, a keyboard, a violin, and a trumpet. I may have an musical instrument hoarding problem.
What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope I’m graduating from a Psy.D program. Ultimately, I hope to have my own practice as a psychologist with a focus on helping adolescents.
What advice would you give first-year students?
Explore. Take classes that seem interesting to you even if they don’t fall into your major. Make friends with people from different backgrounds than your own and expand your own horizons. Go to parties and have a good time. College is all about self-discovery and new experiences. Do things that get you out of your comfort zone and you’ll be amazed at what you may find out about yourself.