Learn About Our Psychology Graduate Students and Alumnae/i!
Alumnae and Alumni
Belmonte, K., Senko, C. (2010, May) "Are Performance-Oriented Students Stagnant or Flexible Learners?" Poster presented at the 2010 Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, Massachusetts.
"I graduated from the Psychology Master's Program at SUNY New Paltz in 2011. Although I entered the program with an undergraduate degree in Art History and International Relations, I found that required coursework gave me a strong background in psychology while the master's thesis allowed me to develop my own research interests and skills. While at New Paltz, I worked with multiple faculty members on projects ranging in topic from incarceration to academic motivation and achievement. Through my research with faculty and my thesis, I learned both quantitative and qualitative research methodology. My thesis was a mixed-methods study exploring, in part, how different levels of environment are related to positive and negative sexual identity in lesbian and bisexual women. While at New Paltz, I also worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduate research methods, a position which will be an important stepping stone for a future career in academia. Overall, I found that one of the most rewarding aspects of the program was the mentor relationships I developed with my thesis adviser as well as the professors I worked and taught with. Currently, I am a doctoral student in the Social-Personality program at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. My research interests center on the exchange of injustice and resistance. I am interested in how women internalize or resist oppression (e.g., heteronormativity, sexism) as well as the alternative discourses of gender and sexuality that women construct."
"I will always look back to my formative experience at SUNY New Paltz as one of the favorite times in my life. First and foremost, the faculty at New Paltz is top-notch. They are not only great researchers and teachers, they are also just wonderful people to be around. Professors in the New Paltz Psychology Department will prepare you for whatever you plan for your future with thorough methodological and theoretical training, setting you up to be a competitive applicant in the workforce or in additional academic pursuits. Speaking personally, the program got me ready for my PhD in social psychology, which I am working on at the University of Florida. My research focuses on how psychological traits shape the structure of human social networks and how the topology of these networks influences natural selection, ideas which were incubated at New Paltz. My adviser, Dr. Glenn Geher, taught me how to conduct independent research and how to succeed professionally. This mentorship had a profound impact on my life and I will be forever thankful for my time at New Paltz and to Dr. Geher. Outside of all of this, the Hudson Valley is a wonderful place to live – New Paltz is close to mountains for snowboarding and hiking, along with many other fun nearby outdoor activities, NYC is just a quick ride away and the town and surrounding area are charming."
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Research and Applied Interests: human development and culture, immigration, parenting, qualitative research methods
Favorite Thing About New Paltz: The town and University are inextricably symbiotic—the community influences the ebb and flow of the university.
Advice for Prospective Graduate Students: Apply as early as possible and try to visit the school.
"I'm currently enrolled in a Developmental Psychology doctoral program at Clark University under the advisement of Maricela Correa-Chavez. My research focuses on the experience of Mexican immigrant families in the United States and the relationship they have to the American education system. Attending the MA psychology program was a positive and supportive experience; the courses I took and the work I completed with my MA adviser (Tabitha Holmes) prepared me for doctoral-level work and an eventual career in university teaching."
"I am a 2004 graduate of the Master's Program in General Psychology. Originally from Ukraine, I studied at SUNY New Paltz on a Fulbright scholarship. I arrived to New Paltz with a degree in language education and general interest in all things psychology, and I left it equipped with solid knowledge of research methods and statistics and the resolve to pursue a career in Psychology.
One of the best assets of the graduate program in Psychology is its accomplished faculty. The courses I took with Drs. Douglas Maynard, Giordana Grossi, Jonathan Raskin, Glen Geher, James Helpern and other professors were very stimulating and fun. Over the period of 2 years I got exposed to many different areas of psychology and learnt new concepts in a friendly and collaborative environment. I particularly enjoyed the lab components of my courses in experimental psychology and statistics, which helped cement the material learn through lectures.
Living in New Paltz was a unique experience. I found the town charming and full of character. Having traveled extensively in North America, I can say that "The Bakery" was one of the best independently owned coffee shops I have ever visited. I wonder if they still have those chocolate raspberry squares!
After New Paltz, I went on to pursue doctoral studies in Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the University of Western Ontario (Canada). I first became interested in I/O Psychology when I worked as a summer Research Assistant for Dr. Doug Maynard. I am very grateful to Dr. Maynard for inspiring me to pursue a career in this field and for offering me several opportunities for collaboration over the years.
As a doctoral student at the University of Western Ontatio, I researched work motivation, organizational commitment, and employee engagement. My dissertation focused on the ways in which managers can make employees feel more autonomous, competent, and connected to others in the workplace and ultimately, positively influence employee well-being and job performance. While at Western, I also taught undergraduate courses in I/O Psychology and collaborated with professor John Meyer on research projects, which resulted in the publications in respectable journals in the field, such as Human Resource Management Review and Journal of Vocational Behaviour.
After graduation, I joined a Human Resource consulting firm in Ottawa that specializes in developing competency-based HR processes. My job revolves around designing assessment tools for personnel selection and certification programs, as well as developing competency frameworks for various organizations. Completing the Master's program in Psychology at SUNY New Paltz set the foundation for my further education and was the first step on the way to becoming a practitioner in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology."
"I am currently pursuing my doctoral degree in quantitative psychology at the University of Kansas. As a former graduate of SUNY New Paltz, I feel very confident about my knowledge and research skills in psychology. Even though I was not a psychology major while I was an undergraduate, the diverse curriculum offered by the M.A. program has greatly broadened my perspectives in this field. My active participation in research with my mentor, Dr. Winograd, not only prepared me as an independent researcher, but also motivated me to seek answers for existing issues related to research methods and data analyses (this is also why I became interested in quantitative psychology). All in all, I think the M.A. program is a good choice if you want to pursue advanced training and find out which area of psychology interest you the most."
"My name is Rebekah Widrick and I am a 2008 graduate of the General Psychology Master's program at SUNY New Paltz.
During my time at SUNY New Paltz, I was able to collaborate with many different professors on a variety of research projects. Not only did I increase my knowledge about an array of topics, but I also developed a strong research skill set that has made me especially marketable to agencies looking for research associates and research analysts. Many of my courses set the foundation for this skill set, but the research projects I worked on outside of those courses truly brought my skills to a whole new level. This could not have been accomplished without the ongoing support, knowledge, and creativity of the professors I collaborated with. I was even fortunate enough to have my work with Dr. Jonathan Raskin published shortly after graduation.
In 2010, I was hired at the Early Care & Learning Council as the Infant/Toddler Research Associate. I worked closely with an Evaluation Specialist to develop a statewide evaluation system that would measure the impact of the services provided by Infant/Toddler Specialists in NYS. We developed tracking forms, data entry programs, and instruction manuals for the Infant/Toddler Specialists to enter the child care services they provided around the state. The Evaluation Specialist and I produced both a Preliminary Evaluation Report and a Final Evaluation Report based on the data that was collected. We are now marketing and distributing the reports to potential funders, legislators, and other interested parties. We also trained the Infant/Toddler Specialists on how to use the system for their own purposes and were recognized for creating on-the-ground researchers in the child care field.
I was also involved in another research project at the Early Care & Learning Council where I was able to collaborate with well-known names in early childhood, such as Dick Clifford and Mimi Graham. I served as the liaison between these early childhood professionals and other individuals in NYS as we pilot tested a new assessment tool based on quality child care.
At this point, our work at the Council is becoming more and more influential. We have recently created the Council's first Research and Evaluation Department and are anticipating additional funding for our research efforts.
The General Psychology program at SUNY New Paltz was especially helpful in the development of my data collection, analysis, and reporting skills. I could not have been successful in my current job position without the assistance of my SUNY New Paltz professors."