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2021 Commencement Information
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Alumni Highlights

Breki Bjarnason ’18 BrekiBjarnason.jpg
Psychology Major with Minors in Business Administration and Sociology

“For my integrative experience I was fortunate enough to work on two different independent research studies and present them at a professional regional conference (SEPA) with faculty and peers from the field of psychology. Furthermore, I was able to present my study at a national multidisciplinary conference (Alpha Chi national convention). Both research studies were conducted over a whole semester, but I did some follow up work on both of them, so a more accurate timeline for each of them would be a full school year for each research. The purpose with these research projects were to test concepts similar to what we learned in class (since we base most of our classes on peer-reviewed research data) and understand the challenges you face when trying to answer some important questions about why people behave as they do. By going through that process yourself you understand how many variables come to play when dealing with humans, which is also big reason why Psychology is so interesting to me!

I learned some valuable skills in my Psychology classes that put me in the position of being able to complete an extensive research project. First of all, we gained skills in reading and reviewing previous literature within the field. Being able to critique, realize potential limitations, and apply result findings to real life is a skill that you can take with you regardless of what you may end up doing professionally. My writing skills have also drastically improved as a result of taking Psychology classes. Now I feel proficient in reading and writing using professional and academic language, often on fairly complicated and sophisticated subjects. Lastly, we worked extensively with SPSS to analyze data, which was not only fun once you got the hang of it, but will also be valuable in future academic ventures. I know many people don’t feel like they need skills in dealing with data when starting their psychology major, but I feel that the consensus among my graduating class is that you can’t fully utilize psychology theories and concepts without understanding of the research that backs it up. So in sum, knowing your data will give you better tools to help people!

These experiences have helped my figure out what path I want to take and what areas within the realm of psychology interest me as possible career plans. Because the Psychology major is set at only 30 credit hours, I was able to explore different disciplines in more depth and expand my horizon. I think that is a big reason why I ended up wanting to pursue a master’s degree that is not only connected to psychology but also to business. I hope the future holds grad school in Europe (with Netherlands and Sweden being the top option) to study Industrial/Organizational Psychology

On a personal note, I really enjoyed the feeling of competence and mastery that you gain from seeing a big projects from beginning to end. It was a lot of work and the workload was overwhelming at times, but the busy work never felt pointless or unimportant in retrospect. Many other schools don’t put this much emphasis on going step by step through the whole research process and I got the feeling they were missing out. This was particularly evident when talking to few Psychology majors from other schools at a recent conference who didn’t seem as intellectually interested in what conclusions you could (or couldn’t) draw from the research being presented.

I really enjoyed the group of people I worked with in the department. My cohort was not only fun but also helpful in keeping everyone motivated and on the right track. Furthermore, the faculty I took most Psychology classes were always willing to help and assist us in our pursuit of mastery. They were “tough but fair”, which helped pushing me to fulfill my potential and grow as a student.” 

  • Academic all-district honors in soccer
  • Starter, Catawba College Men’s Soccer
  • Member of Alpha Chi, Phi Epsilon, and Psi Chi
  • Numerous awards for travel to conferences and number 1 paper (of 300 submissions) for undergraduates in the Southeast, named by Psi Chi, March 2018
  • Plans:  graduate study in I/O psychology, Maastricht University, Netherlands

Emily Fogleman '20
Psychology and sociology majors; honors program graduate.  Winner of the Roberts Senior Psychology Prize and the Whitener Award.  Alpha Chi, junior Marshall, Phi Epsilon, Psi Chi, president of the psychology club, writing center tutor.  Presented research at the Southeastern Psychological Association and had 2020 research accepted for presentation.  Next stop:  UNC-Greensboro MS Program in Counseling Psychology.

"My favorite experience was my trip to SEPA; I love travelling and seeing new things as well as showing off my research—but most important is what leads up to travel.  Conducting the research and fundraising was a lot of work but it helped emphasize the value of hard work, and gave me skills in things where I had no experience.  I can’t say I never complained, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  My psych experience also helped me learn about myself, taught me some invaluable skills, and helped me become more of a deep thinker.  I am a stronger student and have been challenged in a way that helped me grow, and I have made lifelong friends and developed relationships with my professors."


Sophie Hirsch '20
Psychology and exercise science majors; four-year varsity tennis.  Two internships, one as a health wellness coordinator in Selinute, Italy; Alpha Chi, Junior Marshall, Phi Epsilon, officer in Psi Chi and psychology club; Supplement Instructor and tutor.  Winner of the national Alpha Chi Gaston award for research in psychology, and was accepted in 2020 to present research at the Southeastern Psychological Association.  Next stop:  UNC-Charlotte MA program in health psychology.

"My major was a challenging experience I loved the whole time, especially because the courses in my junior and senior year prepared me for graduate school.  I have noticed how my skills developed from data analysis, through experimental psych, and into my labs in social and cognitive psychology.  My most intense memory was trying to finish gathering data for my large research projects, and walking the halls in the evening look for people to help out (and finding them)!  I also loved writing my final project in social psych and my autobiography in Personality.  I also made some great friends!"


Jaida Henderson '20
Psychology major; individualized minor; four-year varsity volleyball.  Internships each summer at FIU Behavioral Treatment Program (lead counselor, 2020).  Psi Chi and psychology club officer.  Next stop:  Bournemouth University for Masters Program in Health Psychology, and then an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist.

"I genuinely enjoyed everything in my psychology degree.  I learned so much about psychology but also each course allowed me to learn about myself and what I am capable of.  I learned how to think critically about things and apply material to real-life examples.  I’ve learned time management and how to balance.  I’ve learned new ways to study and have gotten out of my comfort zone because it’s always ok to ask questions or provide an example.  I’ve also learned to give presentations, and I can speak and write in an academic language."


Sierra Thompson '20
Psychology major, business and individual counseling studies minor.  Officer in the psychology club.  Internship at Families First Teen Parenting Program.  Had research accepted for presentation at the 2020 Southeastern Psychological Association.  Next stop:  work force before graduate school.

"After I work for a while I am going to graduate school for an MA in counseling, and I eventually plan on working with veterans.  My major is important to my career.  The writing, research experience, and learning about people will be a big plus for me on the job market.  I have learned a lot in each and every one of my classes, and I have learned how to handle stress and manage time! My favorite experiences have been working with the mazing people who made me feel comfortable and worthy.  I loved learning how to conduct a proper experiment with my classmates.  I loved learning the right way to write a paper, a skill that impresses my friends and family!"


RJ Robinson '20
Psychology major; biology and sociology minor.  Four-year basketball player.  Summer internship program for medical sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.   Next stop:  Entering the US Air Force as an officer, with an eye to eventually finding a position in the military that uses both biology and psychology and pursuing an MD. 

"I’m thankful I chose psychology as my major and it was everything I expected.  I few personally, intellectually, and socially.  I am appreciate for the professors who were in my corner and showed me what it is to be meticulous and to handle every situation with your best foot forward.  I also enjoyed having professors with distinct teaching styles, which has helped me adapt."


Abigail Alger '20
Psychology major, officer in psychology club, member of Psi Chi.  Heading to graduate school in Occupational Therapy with a likely focus on gerontology.  Presented research at the Southeastern Psychological Association and co-authored a published paper.

"I have had hands-on exposure to the research process, and not only have I learned a lot about data collection but also about the levels of analysis in interpreting data.  I also learned valuable time management skills that have not only helped me academically, but also personally.  I have learned how to take receiving a less-than-great grade as a learning opportunity rather than it being a discouragement.  My favorite experience is the sense of community we have—everyone, from students to professors—is very supportive of each other.  Getting to present research at SEPA and supporting my fellow majors while they did was great." 


Madison McFadden Steele '20
Psychology major currently working in the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) field after internship in Raleigh, NC. 

"Taking abnormal and counseling together was helpful because that was what I was interested in.  Socially, I gained life-long friendships and intellectually I achieved even though I didn’t think I would be able to do some of the things I did!"


Pierce Allman '20
Psychology major, business minor.  Presented work at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research Conference.  Continuing in the business sector.

"My psychology degree helped me better understand the human mind, average human behavior, and have a better grasp of statistics and reading data, which will be beneficial skills both throughout my daily life and within a business setting.  My counseling course and other health-related courses gave me clarity and a better understand the importance of the human mind in relation to a person’s physical health.  My research presentation at SNCURs was impactful because it helped me learn to speak about psychology with other people."


Jenna Linnick '20
Psychology major.  Internships at both Partners in Learning and Overton Elementary school.  Plan is to be a data manager for an elementary school.

"Being a psychology major really opened my eyes about who I was as a student.  Though it wasn’t my first major at Catawba, I enjoyed it and it relates to what I want to do in the future.  I would like to work with or around young children, which is why my favorite classes dealt with children, i.e., exceptionalities, human development, child psychology.  My favorite experiences were my internships—being able to have those hands-on experiences."



Malorie Ritchie '19
Psychology major with individualized minor in Criminal Forensic Studies; Winner, Roberts Senior Psychology Prize; Three-time winner of the SGA travel grant as well as a Psi Chi travel grant; Member, Psi Chi; Psychology Club President; Internships at Whitely, Jordan, and Inge and the Rowan County DA Office; Presented research at two different conferences; Accepted to law school.

"I aim to prepare for law school while I’m working at Whitley, Jordan, and Inge PA, where I have my internship.  Even though I am headed to law school, I am happy to have a psychology degree.  One major benefit has been my improvement in writing.  I have also learned to think of things more "scientifically” and I have also developed through my professional experiences.  The SEPA trips were favorite and most important psychology experiences.  Not only did I have a great time but learned about psychology (especially forensic psychology) while growing professionally.”


Marcia-Mariel Erhart '19
Psychology and Mathematics major; Winner of the SGA travel grant and a Psi Chi award for an outstanding undergraduate paper at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) meeting; Winner of a regional award for research at the national Alpha Chi conference; Member, Alpha Chi, Phi Epsilon, Psi Chi, and Kappa Mu Epsilon; Psychology Club officer; Winner of the SAAC award for the highest women's GPA on a Catawba athletic team (Swimming, 2019). 

“I am planning on travelling and little and working, then to enter graduate school for my PhD in Mathematics.  My psychology major was interesting and helpful to me, along with my math major.  It helped me personally to communicate better and to reflect on my and others’ behaviors and values.  Academic it definitely helped me to conduct work that is future-oriented and meaningful.  SEPA is my favorite memory because it actually allowed me to really get to know my fellow classmates and it was just a lot of fun!”


Rochelle Waldroop '19
Psychology major and sociology minor; Three-time winner of an SGA travel grant to SEPA; Member, Psi Chi and Psychology Club; Internships at Happy Roots, and shadowing a Middle School counselor; Presented research at three different conferences; ESL certificate.  

“I am moving to Mississippi to teach a Teach for American Delta Corps member for the next two years.  I plan on getting an MA and PhD in school psychology and counseling to stay in the school system.  The psychology major and experiences in the department have allowed me to strengthen several skills personally, intellectually, socially, and academically.  My communication skills have improved and I have learned how to be a better communicator orally and in writing.  The major not only teaches you about why people are the way they are, but also how to figure out why through research and conducting experiments.  The academic research aspect of the major has allowed me to develop skills and abilities related to professional practice, which include discussion of research design, data analysis and use, critical analysis of research, and presentation in a public venue.  My favorite experiences in psychology center around research and design.  Conducting research is not easy but it is enjoyable—learning through your mistakes and working with fellow students and your professors is beneficial and engaging!  Working out mistakes with others makes is easier and sometimes made for laughter and good memories.”


Makenna Pate '19
Psychology major and sociology minor; Three-time winner of an SGA travel grant to SEPA and winner of a Psi Chi grant for conference travel; Member, Psi Chi and Phi Epsilon; Officer in the Psychology Club; Presented research at two conferences; Captain and MVP of the College Dance Team; Internships shadowing a guidance counselor and at Prevent Child Abuse Rowan.

“My immediate plans are to work as a dance teacher and coach cheering at Corriher-Lipe Middle school.  I also will study for the Praxis and take some English classes because my ultimate goal is to teach middle school.  Still, my psychology major helped me in so many ways that I realize more and more each day.  Personally, it helped me learn endurance and responsibility when things get tough.  It taught me to be a better thinking and be mindful of all situations.  It boosted my confidence and helped me find a voice, especially when sharing my opinions.  It also taught me many lessons that I want to teach my students—like not worrying so much about the grade but mastery instead, and it is not about being smart necessarily it’s about time on task.  Going to the SEPA conference for three years was a great experience because it improved my knowledge of psychology, helped me build relationships, and pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I enjoyed my internships because they gave me a true idea of what each job was like.  Even the research process, as much as it was a pain during the process, was a beneficial experience.  Even if I walk away thinking “I’ll never do another experiment again” I am glad that I did them.”


Beth Ann Martin '19
Psychology major and business minor; Integrative experience: shadowing a realtor; Member, Psychology Club; Four-year player on the Catawba Softball Team; Co-authored research presented at SEPA.

“I’m planning on getting my realtor’s license this summer with hopes of working with Key Realty in China Grove.  I’m also planning and preparing my upcoming wedding.  Once I gain experience in realty I hope to expand my base to Lake Norman.  Even though I am not planning on pursuing a career in psychology, I feel as though I benefited from my psychology major.  I was challenged often in my classes, which helped me grow intellectually.  I have learned to work with others and finish projects.  I also think that analyzing data will help me deal with data and numbers in my career.  My favorite experience was the trip to Puerto Rico with the Cross-Cultural Psychology class.  It was fascinating!”

Beth Ann’s mom, Cindy Martin, is also a Catawba Psychology Alum, class of 1993.



Brian Peralta '19
Double Major, Psychology and Music; Member, Psychology Club and various musical groups; Internship at a Mental/Behavioral Health Clinic in PA; Co-authored research presented at SEPA.

“I plan on a job related to my chosen field—nonprofit organizations, social work, securing a position at the facility where I had my internship.  While it would be nice to get paid, I am basically taking a gap year to build experience, and learn new things, before pursuing my MA in Counseling with Music/Arts therapy.  Throughout my time at Catawba, I have become more productive and have developed a good work ethic.  I’ve become more confident with my abilities to succeed and approach problems with new perspectives.  My favorite experience was the field trip my peers and I took to the Ackland Art Museum for the Beautiful Brain exhibit.  Part from sharing that experience with my classmates and teachers, I appreciate the integration of cognitive psychology and the arts.”


Casey Day '19
Psychology major; Member, Psi Chi, Psychology Club; Internship at Families First Rowan!; Co-authored research presented at SEPA.

“My immediate plans are to get a job right away – I have a family with a husband and two children.  I would love to work in early intervention or school counseling.  For a while, I am going to work, spend time with my family, and enjoy life.  My psychology classes helped me to better understand myself, my children, and those with disabilities.  I feel more confident being able to use boundaries and reinforcement techniques with my children.  My favorite classes were abnormal psychology and behavior modification.  I love to learn about people with disabilities and how to help them.  I also enjoyed our psychology department Halloween fun!”


Natalie Naturile '19
Psychology major; Internship: Rowan County Sheriff’s Department; Co-authored research presented at SEPA.

“I am planning on getting my MA in psychology after a year of work and taking care of my young son.  Intellectually I feel like I learned a lot in psychology, more than I would have in other majors.  Socially I met a lot of great people who are always willing to help one another.  Academically it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done!  My favorite part of the psychology department was my internship.  I enjoyed every aspect and seeing how psychology works in law enforcement.  (Plus, the high-speed chase!)”


Maggie Morefield '19
Psychology and English double major; Co-authored research presented at SEPA; Heading to graduate school for an MA in counseling.


Hope Woods '18
Psychology and Biology double major; honors and environmental science minor.  Two-time winner of the SGA travel grant as well as a Psi Chi travel grant.  Member, Alpha Chi, Psi Chi, and Phi Epsilon.  Internship at the Yale University Canine Cognition Laboratory.  Presented research at four different conferences.  Graduate school in Physiology at NC State University.

"I aim to begin graduate work in physiology and then go on to social neuroendicrinology and I plan to earn a PhD and become a college professor pursing academic research in both human and nonhuman biological correlates of social behavior.  I had several turning points in my lab classes, and without the challenge of those classes I may not have pushed on to work at my research, which I presented at state, regional, and national conferences.  The friendships gained through our psychology cohort and academic travel provided a constant source of support and camaraderie.  Most importantly, though, was conducting original research and working through every step in the process, from creation of an idea to presentation at conferences.  Enhancing organization, teamwork, and interpersonal skills, research offers the chance to put theory and knowledge gained in the classroom to the test in practical experiences.  It was invaluable in gaining my summer internship as well as for applying for graduate school and job opportunities."


Shannon Wright '18
Psychology major, French minor. Winner of the Roberts Senior Psychology Prize and Psychology Club co-President.  Member, Psi Chi and Phi Epsilon.  Two-time SGA travel grant winner and Psi Chi travel grant awardee.  Internship at the Women’s Shelter.  Plans a gap year of travel and then to further schooling.

"My entire experience in the psychology department helped me to few myself personally, socially, intellectually, and academically.  It provided me with tools and challenges to gain knowledge for a lifetime, and I also really connected with a group of students with whom I completed the major (Catawba Psychology Breakfast Club!)  I really enjoyed all of the research classes, especially having the chance to build upon that research time and time again.  Presenting that research and representing Catawba at SEPA was a great experience, as was my travel to Puerto Rico in my cross-cultural psychology class."


Gudny Lena Jonsdottir '18
Psychology major, business minor.  SGA travel-award winner and co-author of 2018 first prize undergraduate research study (Southeast) by Psi – Chi and sole winner of third prize.  Psi Chi member and member of the women’s soccer team.  Internships at Partners in Learning and Families First Rowan. 

"My plans include returning home to Iceland to work at a children/adolescent psychiatric hospital, and then moving to Germany.  I will pursue my MA and PhD in clinical/counseling for families, children, and adolescents. Being a psychology major has helped me grow, become a well-rounded person, and become more open-minded.  It has opened my eyes and helped me realize what I want to do with my life, how to be organized and the effort I need to put in to reach my goals. My favorite experiences were SEPA, because it pushed me to challenge myself to be better, and my internships, which helped me realize what I want by giving me hands-on experience."


Jenna Thompson '18
Psychology major, sociology minor. Two-time SGA travel award winner. Internships at Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and Smart Start Rowan.  Future pursuits will be child advocacy and becoming a certified child forensic interviewer.

"My major equipped me with the knowledge of how to look at individual and collective behavior and search for the external influences on those.  I am called to the applied side of psychology, but still feel that all my experiences have helped me—especially my internships, which gave me hands-on experience that was invaluable to me.  I love that I can understand experimental knowledge and research as it helps understand what happens in “real life”.  And it’s amazing that I have experience with my own research."


Jordan Van Landingham '18
Psychology major, business minor.  Member, Psi Chi; two-time SGA travel award winner.  Internships at Partners in Learning and Footprints in the Community.  First employment as a special needs counselor with Trusted Parents, followed by a position as a Behavior Technician with Bridge to Achievement.  Pursuing post-grad internship for ultimate certification as a Child Life Specialist. 

"My major courses and experiences have been helpful to me in many ways!  I have seen myself grow and be more confident in my decisions, and in conducting research.  When I look back on my experiences what comes to mind is the relationships I have made with my fellow classmates and with the professors, relationships that will be long-lasting and will help me in the future.  I also loved my internship!  I learned and engaged in eye-opening experiences!"


Michaela Fink '18
Psychology major, biology minor.  Member, Psi Chi.  Internships at Rowan Regional Medical Center (birth center) and the Pregnancy support center.  Currently a doula and working toward post-partum services work, breastfeeding counseling, and childbirth education.

"My courses have helped me understand who I am as a person as well as helping me to understand others.  My internships, however, helped me grow the most—and through those I learned to make connections to my work in classes."


Tyus Lopez '18
Psychology major, business minor.  Member of the men’s soccer team.  SGA travel award winner.

"I hope to coach and teach in the high schools while I am working toward finding a great Masters Program in I/O psychology.  I hope ultimately to go into human resource analytics and work for a tech company.  My experiences with the psychology department have been vast—personally, this major made me a more conscientious individual and allowed me to grow and mature.  Socially I put myself around other students who had both the same and conflicting interest and beliefs, which made my experience at Catawba one I could never forget.  The guidance I received from the psychology department was my favorite part of this experience—they believed in my academically and the faculty challenged me and pressured me to always produce my best work."


Jennifer Beach '17
Psychology major; biology minor; winner of the Roberts Senior Psychology Prize; Psychology Club President; three-time SGA travel scholarship winner; practicum in data management for institutional research and biology department research; gap year and then on to graduate school in some area of data science.

"I learned really valuable skills as a psychology major.  I’m more conscientious now academically because the major (and publishing a research paper) really pushed me.  I also feel more confident personally because I’ve accomplished things; I know things now.  Psychology is more interesting and exciting to me than any other discipline and I needed that.  As far as tangible skills, learning a good bit about SPSS is good for my graduate school resume (plus it’s fun).  SEPA was my favorite experience because it was fun and really cool to present and talk to people about research."


Joshua Edwards '17
Psychology and sociology major; Psi Chi member; SGA and Psi Chi travel grant winner; three internships (including the Community Care medical clinic, tutoring at Knox Middle School, and shadowing at a neurosurgery facility).  The future holds medical school, and (hopefully) a neuroscience residency to become a physician and study Alzheimer’s Disease.

"My psychology major helped me become a more systematic writer and researcher, I am now a better public speaker, I am able to understand others’ viewpoints, and I can now better manage my relationships with others.  My most important experience was SEPA—it was fun, I got to see many cool research studies, and I got to show my own skills.  I also enjoyed presenting in abnormal psychology,  connecting neuropsychology to my internships, tutoring for adolescent psych, and being able to just drop by and have a normal conversation with any of the psychology department professors.  That made me feel comfortable over the years."


Melissa Green '17
Psychology and sociology major; Psi Chi member; SGA travel grant winner; internship at a peer-support counseling center in Salisbury; employed at Food Lion in Human Resources; graduate school at Southern New Hampshire University for MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

"Having challenging courses that I thought I wouldn’t pass has really helped me intellectually!  It has also helped me make friends and connections that will be beneficial in the future.  One of my favorite experiences was SEPA.  I got the changes to explore a place I’ve never been, meet people with the same interests as me, and see research that others have done.  I really enjoyed presenting my research at SEPA and CRCS.  Also, psychology courses have helped me understand some personal issues."


Evan Schultz '17
Psychology major; sociology minor; member of Psi Chi and winner of Psi Chi travel grant to present research; Internship at Family Crisis Council; Employed at Tucker Psychiatrics with plans for MA program in family and marriage counseling.

"My psychology major provided me with the tools and guidance to understand my strengths and weaknesses while providing me opportunities to develop a professional skill set.  My confidence and determination would not be where it is today without my experiences as a psychology major.  My favorite experience was conducting research on my own because it gave me insight on the reward and sense of accomplishment that goes along with hard work and dedication.  As a result, my most important experience was presenting at SEPA, which allowed me to learn and grow intellectually and socially through presenting and networking while also bonding with my professors and classmates.


Isabel Vasquez '17
Psychology major; sociology minor; winner of a SGA travel award to present research; internships at both Creative Counseling camp and Partners in Learning (multiple classes) to work with children with behavioral problems.  Will continue to work with children in the future.

"My psychology courses helped me socially; I was reserved and shy but by taking psych classes I became more outspoken with peers and professors.  The writing for the psychology classes also helped me become better at writing in general, and it also helped me read journal articles.  My favorite experience is when I conducted my own experiment.  This helped me develop social skills the most.  Also by attending the SEPA conference I better understood how professional conferences work.  It was also interesting to see the many different experiments that other’s conducted."


Kathleen Burris '16
Psychology Graduate; Sociology Minor; Psi Chi member; Winner of the 2016 Roberts Senior Psychology Award and the National Alpha Chi Edwin Gaston Scholarship for research; Two Internships (Rowan County DAs office and Food for Thought); Employed as a Victims Witness Advocate, Iredell County DAs Office.

"My psychology major developed a lot of diverse strengths and skills (e.g., statistics, writing, interpersonal ability, critical thinking) in me. It really diversified me and brought me out of my comfort zone and my knowledge and skills can be applied in so many different places. My favorite experiences include my research! It really built my self-confidence to do such challenging extended projects and I was fortunate to take my research to four conferences, win a national scholarship, and submit for publication to a journal. All of these were amazing experiences and opportunities that have made me a stronger person. And it was more fun than I thought it would be!"


Timothy Conner '16
Psychology Graduate; Sociology Minor; Psi Chi Member; Internship at S & H Counseling Services; Employed as a Peer Support Specialist in Training for Level IV Addiction Counseling, S & H Adult and Youth Services with Plans for Graduate School in Counseling

"I found my experience at Catawba to be extremely helpful to me personally in evaluating my strengths and weaknesses as a human being and everything has led me to a job that will begin my career. I don’t have a favorite moment or experience in psychology and all I have seen and done has helped me to mold myself into the person I hope to be."


Grace Tworek '16
Psychology Graduate; Sociology Minor; Psi Chi Member; President of the Psychology Club; Internship at Partners in Learning; Psy.D. Program for Counseling Psychology at Nova Southeastern.

"After my four-year Program and Internship year at Nova I hope to open my own clinical practice. My psychology major, courses, and experiences were helpful to me in that they helped me grow as a person while developing a professional skill set that will help me in the future. I would not be as determined or confident in my abilities without my experiences in the Psychology Department. My favorite experiences were attending the SEPA conferences in Hilton Head and New Orleans. These conferences allowed me to learn and expand my knowledge while networking and bonding with classmates."


Madelin Contreras '16
Psychology Graduate; Spanish Minor; Psi Chi Member; Internship at the Good Shepherd Clinic; Currently Working with Ultimate Goal of Working with Social Services.

"I feel that majoring in psychology and taking different courses helped me look at the world with a different lens. I feel that I comprehend why people are the way they are, and it has helped me understand myself as a person. My favorite moments were in Experimental Psychology, because I enjoyed running my own study, and at SEPA. At SEPA I got to experience presenting our study with people from different schools and I enjoyed spending time with friends and professors."


Joe McDonald '16
Psychology Graduate; Working and Studying for the GRE; Heading into Marketing.

"In my psychology major I obtained knowledge and pushed myself beyond my academic limits. I built really good friendships with my professors and people in my major. I was able to keep my objectives in mind and sight even when my motivation flagged!"


Abby Moore '16
Psychology Graduate; Alpha Chi and Psi Chi Member; Research Practicum Internship; Working while Studying for GRE for Graduate School in Sport Psychology, with Plans for Consulting with Teams, Individuals, or Military Personnel.

"Throughout my four years at Catawba I have faced several large adversities. My education and immersion in the psychology department provided me with tools—expected and unexpected, and the people to help me through these difficulties and shape my goals for the future. These courses, experiences, and people have helped me form a self-view that I am proud of and excited to pursue. Participating in and conducting my own research were my favorite experiences because these gave me a new appreciation of the obstacles to account for when collecting data. The most important experience was attending and presenting at SEPA!"


Faith Carleton '15
Graduate with Individualized Major in Community Health Management; Psychology, Sociology, and Business Minors; Psychology Club Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator; Department Work Study; Fieldwork through Sociology at the Community Care Clinic; Front Desk Manager at Cleveland Pediatrics while Participating in the Accelerate to Leadership Program.

"My end-goal will be an administrator of a health care facility. My psychology courses have helped me in ways that I am forever grateful for. Personally and intellectually they have helped me grow and develop a deep understanding; socially they have helped me in my workplace. My favorite/most important experience was my work study. I got to spend time with the majors and professors, and I learned how to work well in a professional environment."


Ellen Stout '15
Psychology and Business Administration (Marketing) Graduate; Co-winner of the Senior Psychology Prize. Working at LiviRae in Atlanta, GA, in marketing.

"My psychology major made me grow as a person. I improved my public speaking skills, and I learned skills that apply to a range of jobs I could possibly have. My favorite experience was spending more than one year with the same group of students in multiple classes, really bonding with them!"


Ekaterina Kruglov '15
Psychology and Mathematics Graduate; Graduate school in Applied Engineering at the Alto University School of Science, Finland. Winner of the Alpha Chi HY Benedict Award for her research in ego-depletion and self-enhancement and co-winner of the Senior Psychology Prize.

"My psychology major helped me in many ways, and it was different from my other major. I learned about why people do things, and now I can predict some actions and behavior. I learned how to reach people the right way!"


Katherine Sims '15
Psychology Graduate; English Minor; Winner of the Rebecca Franz Essay Award. Plans graduate school for psycho-oncology counseling.

"My major provided me with a strong background and foundation for future studies in counseling. It opened my eyes to different perspectives and psychological viewpoints. Intellectually, I have become more well-rounded; socially I have made friends; and academically I have expanded my horizons. Presenting my research at SEPA conference was fulfilling for me. My Independent study and internship in psycho-oncology were valuable experiences and fulfilling especially when I could help people directly."


Jessica Gibson '15
Psychology Graduate; Plans to enlist in the Air Force.

"While my psychology major did help me to understand why people do the things they do, I think it helped me the most in my ability to write to be understood. I feel my presentation skills have been boosted as well. The most important experience was my neuroscience class. That class opened my eyes to something I didn’t know much about before, but enjoyed studying very much."


Ben Patterson '14
Psychology Graduate; Biology Minor; Planning graduate school or optometry school

"I chose psychology because I wanted to know what makes you do what you do. Sure, chemistry and biology and all that jazz are fun (hence my minor) but psychology is the study of why you chose chemistry or biology or whatever your major is. And not only do I get to figure out how you click, I also get to do some sweet psychological tests that you may or may not be part of.... After I graduate I plan on going to school for optometry — where I plan on doing a lot more work and having fun. So if you need your eyes checked, come see me in five years..."


Leah Ryan '14
Psychology Graduate; Business Minor; Brands Promotion Associate at ALS TDI, a nonprofit in Cambridge, MA. planning graduate school

"I loved my experience as a psychology major. I learned a lot of diverse skills. We had to learn how to be analytical but at the same time see how people function and understand that as well. I felt very accomplished going to the Southeastern Psychological Association meeting and sharing my research with others."


Emily Carlton'14
Psychology Graduate; Sociology Minor; Plans to attend graduate school for MA in counseling; Ultimate goal is pastoral counseling

"I loved my psychology major and my time in the psychology department. I made great friends, went to the Southeastern Psychological Association meeting twice, presented my research in public, and learned a lot that will help me in graduate school and in life!”


Malachi Jones '14
Psychology Graduate; Planning to earn an MBA

"My psychology major really helped me learn about myself. I have learned how to study, to think before responding, and all sorts of stuff about my favorite phenomenon, the Stroop Effect!"


Cinthia Rodriguez '14
Psychology and Sociology Dual Graduate; Plans to work in Administration of Social Services/Health Care

"The psychology department made it easier for me to transfer and made me comfortable in the department as well as in the school. I think that the human mind and how it works is a fascinating field to study. I want to know why we behave and act differently under certain circumstances, and what makes us react in the form that we do."


Kedtrin Gallagher '14
Psychology Graduate; Psychology Graduate; Biology Minor; US Army/Uniformed Services University for Graduate School

"The psychology program has enabled me to understand the way people think better than I did. It also helped me to make a good group of friends. My favorite part was conducting my own research and being able to present it in public. It taught me how to go through all the steps—the data collection, the analysis with the same program I’ll use in grad school, and what it all meant in terms of people."


JuRaill Simpson '13
Psychology Graduate; Working with exceptional learners at the ARC

"My psychology major helped me understand people better, which is the basis of human interaction and behavior. This knowledge will help me in anything I do. My major also assisted me in developing and nurturing my personal relationship."


Maura Pantone '13
Dual Psychology-Sociology graduate; LaSalle University, Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Program

"My psychology major gave me great knowledge and the skill set for the future. I had travel experience, conducted my own research, and was pushed to better myself. I’ve had great mentors and I’ve made good friends. I’m ready for my graduate work as I pursue my Psy D at LaSalle, eventually to become a child psychologist in the foster care system."


Ashley Acken '13
Dual Psychology-Sociology graduate; Duke University Divinity School/UNC-Ch School of Social Work

"As a psychology major I have been pushed intellectually, personally, and academically through the courses and research, and I know I’m prepared for graduate school. My favorite experience was being able to produce a research project that I presented at a professional conference."


David Bowling '12
Dual Psychology-Politics graduate. Fors Marsh Group Research Associate

"My psychology major has made me more effective and comfortable in social situations. Ultimately, I plan to use my dual psychology-politics major in my job search with the government (Department of State, FBI/CIA) or in pharmacology, but right now I’m doing applied research for Fors Marsh Group to measure, understand, and influence how people think and make decisions."


Adam Osborne '12
Psychology Graduate; English and Music Minors. Pharmacy Tech

"This major helped me understand the way I, and other people, operate. Adam plans to pursue a Masters in metaphysics/parapsychology."


Michelle Lyons '12
Psychology Graduate; Sociology Minor; Living in the Netherlands

"Through the guidance of the psychology department I grew socially, professionally, and intellectually. I was a research assistant at the Veteran's Administration hospital, and I worked with children in a local day care center. I also designed and executed my own research, and then presented the results at a regional conference. These experiences allowed me to 'try on' different areas in which I was interested. No other department gives you this kind of experience, and I think I learned more as an undergraduate compared with students at other institutions. My future holds an advanced degree, and I look to work with veterans to try and help them re-integrate into civilian life. I may pursue my graduate degree here or in Europe."


Katie Zink '12
Psychology Graduate; Business Administration and Sociology Minors Working as a special instruction developmental play therapist at Partners in Learning

"My psychology major gave me a foundation for my future, both for my career and my personal life. I feel empowered with the knowledge that I can look at situations from a different angle than many people. I also have a basis for my education in the future; I feel confident in my ability to succeed in anything I try to accomplish. In the future, I will pursue a Master's Degree in either education or psychology.

The Psychology Department was like a second family to me. All of my fellow students were like brothers and sisters. Traveling to the Southeastern Psychological Association meetings in Jacksonville and New Orleans was awesome."


Megan Howard '12
Psychology Graduate; Professional Counseling Program, Liberty University

"I'm Interested in Psychology because it's in my genes! In the future I wish to get to my Ph.D."

Megan married Cody Jenkins in June, 2013, and is pursuing a Masters in professional counseling at Liberty University.


Jennifer McDonnell '12
Psychology Graduate; Business and Sociology Minors; Early Childhood Education at Chesterbrook Academy

"Psychology has helped me to better understand the people around me, which in turn enables me to work better with those people. I feel like I will be successful in any position that that requires working with the public. My two loves are kids and animals — I'd like to work for Faithful Friends (where I volunteer) or return to a position in early childhood education. I have enjoyed the friends I have made and the special times we shared every day, getting through our studies and taking our tests. And we all had New Orleans for the Southeastern Psychological Association meeting!"


Alec Thompson '12
Psychology Graduate; Music Minor

"I like psychology because it's interesting and challenging, and I can meet other goals with that degree. I ultimately plan on moving on to graduate school in counseling and I think I got a really good foundation for that here!"


Peter Glisson '11
Psychology Graduate

"My courses in psychology gave me a better understanding not just of others, but of myself. By understanding the processes and behaviors that define our actions and interactions, it has become easier for me to understand and work with others. This knowledge will be of great service to me in my chosen occupation. I'm planning on being a career Army officer."


Sowers.jpgTiffany Sowers '11
Planning to Pursue Art Therapy

"I am really going to miss the Psychology Department here at Catawba College. I don't know what I would have done without the professors in the department who have helped me in more ways than I had ever hoped for! It truly is an unexpected and welcoming family that I will be leaving behind with me this year. The Psychology Department at Catawba has taught me more about myself (and others) than most people learn about in their lifetimes. I feel as if I can now confidently walk away from this experience, knowing that I actually received something from my education. I will also be walking away with a new perception of the world, a better understanding of peoples behaviors in the social world, and (of course) a new sense of self!"

Nobles.jpgPaula Nobles '10
Seeks to Work in the NC or SC Prison System

"Being a psychology major at Catawba is extremely rewarding, as well as difficult. The professors push you to do your best, but also are there for you when you need help. The whole department is extremely tight-knit, just like a family. Fellow students are always together, and professors are always there when we need them. When I had a stressful moment and wanted to change my major, I quickly changed my mind because I couldn't imagine studying anything else. Catawba's psychology department has certainly been the place for me.

After graduating, I plan on searching for a job somewhere in the Carolinas in the prison system. I'm not very picky when it comes to jobs, but my main goal is to work with inmates. Graduate school is an option for the future, and if I do decide to attend, it will most likely be for criminology. My overall dream would be to one day be a criminologist."

Clabaugh.jpgAndrea Clabaugh '10
Pursuing Master's Degree at Johns Hopkins

"I began my journey at Catawba majoring in Elementary Education, however, psychology seemed to suit me better. I love the intimacy of the psych department. The professors always have their doors open to the students. We have become a family, and I will truly miss them after graduation. I will be attending Johns Hopkins University for graduate school. I have been accepted into the MAT program for Elementary Education. There, I will be able to combine my love of psychology with my passion for teaching young children."

Graham.jpgLauren Graham '10
Master's Degree in Public Health, UNCC; Physician's Assistant graduate school

"The Psychology Department at Catawba College has encouraged me to challenge myself academically and personally. The small class sizes have allowed me to develop close professional relationships with my professors. I have appreciated the opportunity to do extensive research and take great pride in my long-term research project. Catawba's Psychology professors have modeled a superior work ethic that will serve me well in the future. As I approach my graduate studies, I look forward to expanding upon the knowledge, skills, and professionalism that Catawba has instilled in me."

Capano.jpgKira Capano '09
M.S., UNC-Chapel Hill

"The Psychology department at Catawba prepared me for graduate school tremendously. I was not overwhelmed by the amount of work, the strict adherence to APA style writing, or was I unfamiliar with how to complete research. I liked that I was able to grow as a student in the psych department and how helpful the professors were at helping me achieve my goals. Without them I would not be where I am today! Currently, I am in graduate school at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When I graduate I will have a Master's of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology as well as be a Licensed Professional Counselor."

Davison.jpgJessica Davison '09
Graduate School in Educational Counseling

"As a psychology major I had the benefit of small classes and individual attention from each of my professors. The coursework and research were challenging at times, but in the end you'll end up with valuable skills, a path for your career and maybe even a publication."

fair.jpgKatherine Fair '08
Crisis Therapist at a Community Mental Health Agency

"I went to graduate school and received my Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. Once graduated, I got a job in Lexington, North Carolina at Daymark Recovery Services which is a large Community Mental Health agency. I am an Emergency Services Clinician which means I am a crisis therapist. I love my job and it fits great with where I want to be in my professional life right now and will give me the knowledge and experience I need to further my career."

Fluegge.jpgLauren Fluegge '08
Pursuing Ph.D. at UNC-Greensboro

"I love the psychology program because the professors are always there to help you learn. Any time I had a question, professors would take their time to make sure I understood. Their priority is to promote learning and facilitate discussion. Plus, they always make class fun and interesting.

I'm now working on my Ph.D. in Educational Research Methodology at UNCG. The psychology department prepared me well for graduate school. Because I learned how to present papers and projects, I was well practiced for research in graduate school, where presentations can be intimidating. The faculty in the psychology department gave me invaluable practice in writing papers; now, writing in APA style is not a chore but rather second nature."

boles.jpgAshley Boles '08
Pursuing a M.A. in Counseling at Campbell University

"The Psychology Department at Catawba College is small, but in a good way; the Professors were easily accessible and always willing to help you learn, not only about Psychology, but about life in general. Being able to participate in and conduct experiments gave me experiences I will never forget. Currently, I work as an Associate Professional at a Day Treatment facility for children and adolescents who have behavior disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and anger management issues. I work towards assisting them in learning how to regulate their behaviors and symptoms to remain and/or return to a normalized setting. I have recently been accepted into Campbell University in their Graduate Program for Community Counseling after which I will be able to be a Licensed Professional Counselor."

Lopez.jpgAlexander Lopez '05
Psychology Graduate; MS/LPA

"Catawba College's Psychology department provided me with a solid academic foundation. My experiences both in and out of the classroom instilled in me the value of hard work and perseverance. After graduating from Catawba College in 2005 I attended graduate school at Springfield College in Springfield, MA. I received a Master of Science in the area of Clinical Psychology. During my time at Springfield College, the value of my Catawba College education became apparent. I entered graduate school with a working knowledge of psychology, strong writing skills, and most importantly research experience. During my second year of graduate school I obtained an internship through the NC Division of Prisons. At this internship I was afforded the opportunity to conduct psychological evaluations and psychological testing procedures on inmates. After graduating from Springfield I returned to the Charlotte area and became licensed as a Psychological Associate (Masters-Level Psychologist). I am currently in private practice in Concord, NC. I specialize in psychological examinations (Intellectual, Personality, Neuropsychological, and Psychoeducational). I am also on staff at CMC-Northeast Medical Center where I provide psychological consultations to their Emergency Department."