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Meet our Psychology Alumni and Students

In the profiles below, meet undergraduate and graduate alumni and students from the Department of Psychology. These alumni and students talk about why they chose Point Park University and how earning or pursuing a degree in psychology or behavioral sciences is helping them reach their career goals.


Pictured is Orlandria Smith, psychology alumna. | Photo by Arthur Alexander

Orlandria Smith

B.A. in Psychology, 2016
Pursuing M.A. in Clinical-Community Psychology
Executive Director, Connect With Your Heart

"While completing my undergraduate degree in psychology at Point Park University, I fell in love with the program's ideology and holistic approach. I found myself to be both inspired and motivated to further my education within the University that has molded my beliefs of humanistic psychology so I decided to enroll in the M.A. in clinical-community psychology program."

"I have been inspired by all of my professors at Point Park. In their own unique ways, they have all offered me opportunities to examine foundational and current theories and gain knowledge of human thoughts, feelings and behaviors." 

Pictured is psychology alumna Kerry Glova, a graduate student who works for The Academy Schools, City Parks Alliance/RAND Corporation and Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. | Photo by Shayna Mendez

Kerry Glova

B.A. in Psychology, 2015
Graduate Student, Weekend Activities Coordinator, Data Collector and Quality Improvement Intern
University of Pittsburgh, The Academy Schools, City Parks Alliance/RAND Corporation and Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc.

"The research and writing I did at Point Park really benefited me, along with the support and guidance I received from faculty in the Department of Humanities and Human Sciences."

"The University offers a lot of flexibility for students regarding course selection, transfer credits and campus living."

Pictured is Melissa Ferraro, B.A. in behavioral science alumna and development director for Sisters Place, Inc. | Photo by Jim Judkis Melissa Ferraro

B.A. in Behavioral Sciences, 2011
Development Director, Sisters Place, Inc.

"I transferred to Point Park from another institution because I wanted to be in Downtown Pittsburgh closer to my workplace at the time. Soon after starting at Point Park, I fell in love with the school. There is something special about going to school Downtown when you've grown up in Pittsburgh. What I've come to love about Point Park is the diversity of the student body and the integrity and knowledge of the faculty."

"During my undergraduate studies, I really enjoyed the course in abnormal psychology with Dr. Fessler and all of the sociology courses with Dr. Corado."

Pictured is Taylor Goska, psychology and dance alumna of Point Park and Baltimore area dance teacher and job coach. | Photo by Sarah Koch Taylor Goska

B.A. in Psychology and Dance, 2015
Job Coach, Jewish Community Services of Greater Baltimore
Dance Teacher, Bel Air Dance Academy and Supernova Dance Company

"Through my psychology course work, I became more aware of the experiences and emotions of others, which I believe has instilled in me a broader, more understanding perspective and compassionate approach to working with clients at Jewish Community Services as well as my dance students."

"Also, I had some great professors in both psychology and dance who were truly passionate about what they were teaching me."

Pictured is Brian Smith, a psychology major and intern for GNC. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula Brian Smith

B.A. in Psychology, 2016
Rent/Administration Intern, GNC

"Point Park's psychology program faculty do a great job of teaching class in a variety of ways. Just about all of my professors lecture, but they have also illustrated ideas through the use of film, literature and music."

"I would just like to say that Point Park is a great university to attend, especially if you like being in the middle of the action. The faculty members here do a great job of guiding the students in the direction they want to go."


Pictured is psychology student Calla Kainaroi, volunteer for the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape organization. | Photo by Chris RolinsonCalla Kainaroi

B.A. in Psychology, 2015
Volunteer, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape

"I chose Point Park because the urban atmosphere appealed to me, and it wasn't too far from home. I was also drawn to the idea of attending a liberal arts school, where the focus is placed on the humanities."

"The program is unique in that it views psychology as a human science, rather than a natural science. To put it simply, emphasis is placed on the individual and his or her experience, rather than attempting to find answers in the brain or some ultimate truth about existence."

Pictured is Melissa Bender, psychology alumna, occupational therapist, yoga instructor and fitness blogger. | Photo by Chris Rolinson Melissa Bender

B.A. in Psychology, 2007
Occupational Therapist, Masonic Village of Sewickley

"To this day, I love Point Park's psychology program. I learned so much about the different psychological approaches and philosophies. The teachers presented the material in a way that offered more than rote memorization. They fostered understanding and learning."

"Point Park prepared me for graduate school. The educational foundation I entered grad school with, including my research and writing skills, helped set me up for success. I also utilize my background in psychology in both my blogging and my career as an occupational therapist."

Pictured is psychology alumnus Dr. Nick Williams. Nick Williams, Ph.D.

B.A. in Psychology, 1998
Program Director, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic

Williams credits the humanistic style of psychology taught at Point Park for giving him a strong foundation in the field.

"The humanistic perspective taught me that psychology is at the heart of all inquiry, whether it's in the natural sciences, computer science, social sciences and so on."

"Being at Point Park was great. I got exactly the kind of exposure to psychology that I needed to get."

Pictured is Hana Valle, global cultural studies and psychology double major. | Photo by Amanda Dabbs Hana Valle

B.A. in Psychology and Global Cultural Studies, 2016
Speaker and panelist at Third Annual Storytelling and Human Rights Symposium

"One of my friends in Hawaii told me about Point Park. He said I would probably enjoy the psychology program. I applied to several schools in the Northeast region and chose Point Park because it offered me the best scholarship. It worked out. I love Point Park."

"Many of the professors in the HHS department will come and talk to you personally … I'm amazed by how much my professors know about their subjects. It's impressive."

Pictured is psychology alumna Dr. Marcia Sturdivant. Marcia Sturdivant, Ph.D.

B.A. in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 1978
Deputy Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families

"I liked that Point Park offered small class sizes where you can get one-on-one attention. Also, there was just something about the atmosphere at Point Park that intrigued me. It was such an inviting, friendly environment and had a real 'family feel' to it."

"I got a good foundation at Point Park that encouraged me to continue my studies. The professors were very forward thinking. I believe positive undergraduate experiences encourage students to want to continue learning."


Pictured is psychology alumna Veronika Panagiotou. Veronika Panagiotou

B.A. in Psychology, 2011
Graduate student in applied developmental psychology, The University of Pittsburgh

"My graduate advisor at Pitt was really impressed with my academic background and the practical experiences I gained at Point Park. Like Point Park, Pitt's psychology program also teaches qualitative research methods. Not many college programs teach this more humanistic style of research."

"Psychology has so many different niches. When you find the niche that is right for you, you'll know it because it will no longer seem like work." 


Pictured is psychology senior Angelica Audia, who spent a semester at sea. | Photo submitted by Audia Angelica Audia

B.A. in Psychology, 2013
Completed Semester at Sea program

"The psychology program at Point Park is really different than most other psychology programs. It doesn't teach you that diagnosing and medicating people is the best method to help them. We are taught to think critically about common methods of therapy that essentially tell the client the problem lies within them and not their social or cultural context."

"Study abroad! Our world is globalizing so quickly. Even if you're not interested in other cultures and countries, chances are you're going to have a lot of encounters with people much different than you."

Pictured is psychology student and Allegheny General Hospital intern, Robert Novia. | Photo by Connor Mulvaney Robert Novia

B.A. in Psychology, 2013
Internship: Neuropsychology intern at Allegheny General Hospital

"The philosophy that Point Park's psychology program is grounded on was right for me. I really enjoyed the way in which this program is taught and has prepared me for the field I will be entering in the workforce. The professors I had the pleasure of learning from in this program were amazing and really made coming to class enjoyable."

"The friends I have made, the experiences I've had and the knowledge I have gained here at Point Park are things I will never forget and will cherish for the rest of my life. It's been truly amazing and I am so glad I took that leap of faith to come here."

Pictured is behavioral sciences alumnus Anthony Sanchez. Anthony Sanchez

B.A. in Behavioral Sciences, 1982
Attorney, Andrews and Price

"The small classes and personal attention from professors were important to me. I first began to see myself as someone that could succeed professionally because of the encouragement of some of my professors. I also learned a great deal from many friends that attended Point Park."

"Take advantage of the unique opportunities that Point Park provides - smaller classes, the opportunity to interact with your professors and make great friends, and the access to everything that Downtown Pittsburgh has to offer."


Pictured is M.A. clinical-community psychology alumna Kristee Cammack. | Photo by Brandy RicheyKristee Cammack

M.A. in Clinical-Community Psychology, 2015
President and Owner, A Giving Heart

"I pursued an M.A. in clinical-community psychology because I wanted to get a better understanding of how to work with children and adults to improve their mental health and well-being."

"During my graduate school years, I enjoyed the cohesiveness of my cohort. Everyone helped and encouraged each other to reach their full potential."


Pictured is Psy.D. student Isaiah Noreiga. Photo by Brandy Richey. Isaiah Noreiga

Pursuing Psy.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology
Founder and Executive Director, Free Imagination Leaders

"There are so many amazing things about the Point Park University faculty. They do a great job of being accessible, valuing my opinions or concerns and teaching in a way that creates room for me to formulate my own ideas."

"I am still working out the specifics of my dissertation topic, but I think that I would like to focus on exploring the interrelationship between trauma and early-to-high school education through the lens of disability and disability justice."


Pictured is M.A. in clinical-community psychology alumnus Kevin Gallagher, program supervisor for Pittsburgh Mercy's Operation Safety Net. | Photo by Jim Judkis Kevin Gallagher

M.A. in Clinical-Community Psychology, 2015
Program Supervisor, Pittsburgh Mercy's Operation Safety Net

"Point Park's M.A. in clinical-community psychology program allows students an almost radically open space to explore these approaches that many people would consider nontraditional."

"Also, the community aspect of this master's program engenders knowledge that human suffering is not always a dispositional or personal issue. It is connected to experiences the person has with outside institutions, including social and environmental systems."


Pictured is Chloe Detrick, a 2015 M.A. in clinical-community psychology graduate of Point Park and media relations specialist for The Humane Society of the U.S. | Photo by Meredith Lee/For The HSUS Chloe Detrick

M.A. in Clinical-Community Psychology, 2015
Media Relations Specialist, The Humane Society of the United States

"My graduate classes taught me many lessons, but one of my most important takeaways was that real change happens through grassroots organizing from people who are truly committed to a cause. This has really helped guide my career path and sparked my interest in the areas of outreach and political lobbying."

"I have been exposed to so many wonderful perspectives and such a diverse group of people at Point Park University."

Pictured is Leatra Tate, M.A. clinical-community psychology alumna and Girl Talk Project coordinator for Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula
Leatra Tate

M.A. in Clinical-Community Psychology, 2015
Girl Talk Project Coordinator, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force

"The clinical-community psychology master's program at Point Park is heavily influenced by humanism, which focuses on the innate goodness and potential of human beings. This perspective really captures the way I approach my position and the way I approach the young women."

"I have been exposed to so many wonderful perspectives and such a diverse group of people at Point Park University."


Pictured is Shari Boddin, Point Park M.A. in clinical-community psychology student and IELTS invigilator/TOEFL administrator and administrative assistant for the ELS Educational Services Center in Pittsburgh. | Photo by Amanda Dabbs Shari Boddin

Pursuing: M.A. in Clinical-Community Psychology
IELTS invigilator/TOEFL administrator and administrative assistant, ELS Educational Services Center, Pittsburgh

"A majority of the experience I have, both voluntary and paid, is related to working with children, their families and communities as a whole. This is the reason why Point Park's new Master of Arts degree in clinical-community psychology interested me."

"What I value and appreciate the most is that all of the professors in this program provide students with a very realistic view of the field while equipping us with the educational tools to be successful in our careers and effectively help people."