#PittsburghMe: Meet Isabella Yobbagy, Psychology 4+1 Program Student
Meet Isabella Yobbagy
- Psychology-B.A., Community Psychology-M.A.
- Criminal Justice
- 2020, 2021
- Ebensburg, Pa.
- High School
- Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
"Another reason I chose to do the B.A/M.A. program was because some of the professors who teach the grad school courses are professors I had for undergraduate courses. These are professors who I absolutely admire so when there is an opportunity to continue my education with them, why wouldn't I? I really pride myself with the growth I developed over the past four years at Point Park. I wouldn't have become the person I am today without many people who have come into my life and a handful of those influential people are my professors."
Why did you choose Point Park University?
I chose Point Park for a variety of reasons, one of them being the amazing psychology program here. Point Park offers concentrations in forensic psychology and clinical psychology, as well as other areas. I also decided on Point Park because of the atmosphere. I was born in Houston, Texas, and lived there for eight years, so I have always been a city person. I just loved the fact that Point Park was right in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh and that there is always something to do and somewhere to go.
Why did you decide to enroll in the 4+1 program?
I decided to apply for the accelerated B.A./M.A. program for a few reasons. The psychology program taught at Point Park — whether you are in your undergraduate or graduate student — is taught through a humanistic lens. I value learning about mental health in a way that isn't how a lot of other universities look at it. Other universities often look at a person's mental health as directly related to their brain. While this is obviously true when it comes to psychology, most of the time that is all they focus on and forget about who people actually are inside and out. With the degrees I am earning, I get to focus on someone's mental health by looking at who the person is, beyond their brain. I get to delve into what they have experienced in life, their interactions with others and more.
Another reason I chose to do the B.A/M.A. program was because some of the professors who teach the grad school courses are professors I had for undergraduate courses. These are professors who I absolutely admire so when there is an opportunity to continue my education with them, why wouldn't I? I really pride myself with the growth I developed over the past four years at Point Park. I wouldn't have become the person I am today without many people who have come into my life and a handful of those influential people are my professors.
Also, there are a few other influential people I now get to continue my academic journey with, my friends. Not all of my friends are in this program, but there are a few who have been by my side either from the very beginning of college or somewhere in the middle. My friends have also helped me grow, and I am blessed to be able to earn my master's degree with them by my side.
Lastly, it is an accelerated program, therefore, it is a more cost efficient opportunity than going to another school for a two-year program. The accelerated program was a great choice for me since I already like my University, my professors, my classmates, and now I get to save money, too.
Describe your experiences taking graduate level courses as a senior.
We are very fortunate to have professors in the grad classes who understand the workload we have as a B.A./M.A. student. While we are still given a heavy course load, the professors are certainly understanding of and work with us since we have to simultaneously write our senior thesis paper and complete other course work. In this program, one must stay motivated and on top of things in order to get their work done. In the end, it has been a great learning opportunity and I am excited to see what I will learn next year.
Tell us about your involvement with the Confluence Psychology Alliance.
Confluence Psychology Alliance is a club that’s open to anyone, but is primarily made up of psychology majors. As a psychology major, this is a great organization to be part of. We bring in guest speakers, host fundraisers and hold club bonding activities. Last year we held a coat and blanket drive for the homeless, and we plan to continue that work this year. I am really excited to be a part of Confluence, and I would recommend anyone to join!
What's your favorite thing about living in Downtown Pittsburgh?
From all of the phenomenal places to eat to the amazing scenery, there are so many reasons why I love living in Downtown Pittsburgh. I would have to say the best thing about living Downtown is that there is always something to do. It’s amazing that we can go to somewhere big like the Mattress Factory, Carnegie Museums, a concert or a sporting event, yet we can also go somewhere small, but still equally as fun, like Point State Park or Mount Washington. There is always something to do and it makes you feel like you are a part of something.
Who is your professor and why?
Several professors have had an impact on me, but my favorite professor is Dr. McInerney, or as we all call him, Dr. Bob. I had Dr. McInerney my first semester freshman year for Psychological Foundations and he is also my advisor. He’s taught me so much about psychology and brought new perspectives to the material. He is a phenomenal professor and is very passionate about his work.
What is the best part about the city during the fall season?
I love going to Fright Night at Kennywood Park in the fall. My friends from home and my friends here at Point Park all go together. We have such a fun time and all of my friends get to know each other. Overall, I just enjoy that my friends and I can enjoy fall activities together.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
My advice to incoming students is to not be afraid to be yourself. Point Park is filled with so many interesting and diverse students, and everyone here is very accepting. It’s easy to get out there and make tons of friends. Also, get involved! It’s important to get out of your room, try new things and meet new people who could possibly have a huge impact on you.
Text and photo by Sydney Patton, sports, arts, and entertainment management alumna