Emphasis is given to psychology as both a natural and social science within the framework of a liberal arts and sciences education. The course of study for psychology majors is based on a generalist model that is designed to prepare students for a range of fields within psychology as well as in related disciplines.
The college gives students preparation for graduate study and in learning those skills necessary to be successful in a field based on research.
“Graduate school has been a tradition, has long as the major goes,” psychology professor Dr. Tony Tomasco said.
During student’s time at Cabrini, psychology majors focus on a more concentration in specialty areas such as clinical, counseling, developmental, educational, social and cognitive psychology.
“If students do not go to graduate school right away, they will usually goes one or two years after,” Tomasco said.
The psychology major really focuses on getting their students prepared from after graduation.
“I credit Cabrini’s psychology department and the rigorous curriculum for where I am today,” psychology alumna Vicki Maumus said. Maumus was a double major in psychology and sociology and also had a concentration in criminal justice.
“I specifically credit Cabrini’s emphasis on research,” Maumus said. During her time as an undergraduate, she did complete an internship working in a partial hospitalization with adolescents. “The statistics and research methods courses I took at Cabrini significantly prepared me for both graduate school at the masters and doctorate level,” Maumus said.
“This internship helped me to decided my career choice (not mental health,)” Maumus said. At Cabrini Maumus was also vice president of Psy Chi, a student ambassador and psychology club member.
After graduating Cabrini, Maumus attended Immaculata University where she received a M.A. in counseling psychology and school psychology certification. Her Master’s program required two internships, one in counseling and one in school psychology. Today Maumus has been a school psychologist for Spring-Ford School Area School District since 2005. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in Arcadia University’s special education program.
Psychology alumni Stacey Carpenter talked about how her internships helped her get to where she is today. During her senior year at Cabrini she sought out her own internship with the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (PRMH).
“This was helpful because for my Master’s practicum placement my previous supervisor during Cabrini time connected me with the social worker at PRMH who allowed me to come back for a new placement, this time with clinic work,” Carpenter said. After graduating with her Master’s and interning with PRMH, they hired her for on-call work when the clinical social worker had vacation or sick days.
Today, Carpenter current career position is as a Pediatric Psychologist in a medical clinic in North Philadelphia. She works with children of all ages with any social, emotional, developmental and cognitive problems. She also assist with well visits evaluating the child’s development and runs parenting groups and pregnancy groups with midwives.
“If I could offer any advise it is to always, always maintain connection with professors and supervisors that you respect and have a great rapport with,” Carpenter said. “If you inform them of what you are doing and what you hope to do, you never know how they can help connect the pieces.”
Alumna Diana Trasatti was a psychology, English and Communication major at Cabrini. After graduating, Trasatti went straight to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where she received her Master’s degree in Professional and School Counseling. She had a wide range of experiences in the psychology field during my time at UPenn and worked in the Neuropsychiatry Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She also interned at the UPenn’s Upward Bound program, a Philadelphia community mental health center and a New Jersey high school.
Today Trasatti is working with Dr. Colleen Lelli in the education department at Cabrini. They are doing work that will assist students exposed to trauma and their teachers. They also developed a website on domestic violence awareness that has launched, organized a symposium that was held at Cabrini in October 2011 featuring White House Advisor Lynn Rosenthal and they have more projects to come.
“I think it’s really important to pursue a range of experiences even ones you may think you are not as interested in,” Trasatti said.