After graduating from high school, Jessica Purcell was faced with a choice; study and become a professional opera singer, or find another career that would fulfill her passion for helping others.
Jessica transferred as an undergraduate to SUNY New Paltz in 2004 and graduated later that year with a degree in psychology. Soon after, she decided that she wanted to go on to receive her master's degree to further acquire the skills that she felt were necessary to help others. She is currently studying as a graduate student in the psychology department and hopes to eventually get her Ph.D.
To supplement her education, Jessica has spent much time in the field applying what she has learned in the classroom. As an undergraduate, she worked as a volunteer for AmeriCorps, tutoring high school students with learning disabilities. She also worked as a home aid for an individual with a disability and as a case manager aid at Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) for those left unemployed because of a disability. Jessica is currently working as a graduate assistant in the Disability Resource Center (DRC) on campus.
At the DRC, with the help of another graduate assistant, Jessica has helped develop a system to allow perceptually impaired students access to computerized texts. As an assistant in the office, it is also her responsibility to help solve problems and facilitate services to meet the needs of students. Jessica also helps with the office's physical access group and the peer-mentoring program.
Interests: Travel, the arts, multi-culturalism, history, anthropology
Inspired by people who strive to achieve their highest potential
Goals: To eventually get a Ph.D. and open her own practice
Why New Paltz? Jessica picked SUNY New Paltz because she felt it "provided all of the opportunities for an excellent education."