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Purchase College Psychology Program
1990 - 1994 Graduates
(in alphabetical order within class)
Updates and new listings always welcome! Send updates to Prof. Tony Lemieux at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been quite busy working as a counselor for adults with chronic psychiatric illnesses. I'm employed by Search for Change, an agency that provides both residential and vocational care for such individuals. The work is quite demanding, but my coworkers are terrific and I've gained much from the experience. I do plan to continue my education, and I have been researching graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology.
On a more personal note, I recently got engaged and will be "tying the knot" at the end of August, so this year should be a busy and special one.
Following graduation from Purchase I worked for five years with developmentally disabled individuals. This work experience shaped my interest in Occupational Therapy. I am in the midst of completing my MA in Occupational Therapy at New York University. I graduate in 2001.
In 1998, I married a fellow South African and we currently live in Brooklyn.
I am a 1994 graduate of Purchase College where I studied Psychology as my primary concentration. During my formative years there, I feel I obtained the requisite skills for my later graduate studies in Social Work at Yeshiva University. During my graduate studies I participated in internships on an inpatient psychiatric unit, and later an outpatient substance abuse treatment program for adolescents. Both were challenging and growth enhancing. I received my Masters in Social Work in May 1996, and since then have worked on a Community Based Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
In the completion of my masters, I completed a Thesis which analyzed the disparities and congruencies between self-help and mental health modalities of substance abuse treatment, with implications for a relationship. I make mention of this for the sole purpose of lending credit to the strong emphasis Purchase Psychology places upon research and the strong foundation they provide students to excel in later graduate studies. Purchase Psychology clearly has established a tradition for the professional and educational development of Psychology.
Jonathan Margolies, MSW, CSW
166-26 Powells Cove Blvd.
Whitestone, N.Y. 11357
Kelli Yates is teaching special education at Lincoln Hall (a reform school for boys) and finishing her Master's in Special Education. In the Fall (1998) she will continue with her coursework at Columbia's School of Social Work. She is looking for a career that will allow her to utilize both degrees.
Ethan Korotzer got his MSW at SUNY Albany in 1996; he lives in Schenectady and works at a family therapy clinic and in a private practice. He is learning a lot and finds his work very rewarding.
September 12, 2000 update:
Ethan Korotzer is getting married in a few months and will be going to John Jay for a PhD in Forensic Psychology (he is still doing his MSW counseling work in Albany right now).
February 14, 2002 update:
Ethan is now the head forensics psychologist person for Albany county. He is close to his dream job, it appears. He is also married to another MSW but she also has an MBA so she might actually make some money some day.
I was so excited to visit the Psych Alumni pages. I found out that a fellow collaborator of our Center, Dr.Therese Kosten, also graduated from Purchase! I couldn't believe it. The pages are very helpful and I look forward to seeing more names. I am passing along the information to Christine Collura-Harris, who graduated as a psych student in January 1993.
I was so happy to be asked to be a part of the Purchase alumnae pages. I encourage all alumnae to write to the department and share their experiences of life after Purchase.
Life has been pretty exciting since leaving "the bricks". I received a job right after Purchase, due to connections I made while working on my Senior Thesis, at the New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center in White Plains. I remained there for a year working on the effects of neuropeptides on ingestive behavior in Sprague-Dawley rats (sounds more interesting than it appears).
After my departure, I moved back to Connecticut where I received a job at Yale. I decided to try my hand at laboratory research and took a strictly "bench" job in a molecular biology lab analyzing red blood cell membranes in pedigrees affected by hereditary anemias. At the same time, I was planning on returning to school for a Master's in Genetic Counseling. I spent a portion of my week in the neonatal unit at Yale New Haven Hospital shadowing a Genetic Counselor. I decided over that year that I was not interested in becoming a Genetic Counselor (three words of advice to everyone contemplating a career change - internships! internships! internships!) and wanted to pursue a research career.
Since then (over the past two plus years), I have been working at the Yale-VA Alcoholism Research Center. I am now the Research Coordinator of the Center, and I am applying to graduate programs for the Fall of 1998.
A few good words about Purchase - I received an excellent education in psychology as well as in life. The Psychology faculty provided me with a solid foundation that I have been drawing upon since my graduation."
September 28, 1999 update...."Since my last update, things have been extremely busy. After the year-long, ardous application battle (during which the Purchase faculty provided much-needed support and recommendations), I was accepted at Yale's School of Epidemiology and Public Health Master's program in Chronic Disease Epidemiology, from which I shall graduate in 2001..
I am interested in developing and/or evaluating programs aimed at chronic disease prevention. This summer, I will begin my thesis with the Yale Cancer Center studying the effects of nutritional supplements on cancer outcomes.
In addition to my interest in chronic disease, I have a passion for health and human rights. I have joined the Yale Health and Human Rights Committee which has members from the Medical, Divinity, and Public Health Schools (we will soon have a webpage if anyone is interested!)
In my "spare time" I am planning a wedding! I will be married this May to Brandon Nappi - a Divinity School student here. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!
I am available via email until May '01. If students have questions about the program here, please have them get in touch with me! Again, I want to thank the faculty at SUNY for being such a great support throughout undergrad and BEYOND! We truly have a great faculty in the Psych department.
P.S. - If you are ever gathering a panel of students and need someone from Public Health, let me know! "
October 5, 2000 update... I got married in May (I'm so glad it's over) and began my second year of the MPH program at Yale this past September (I'll be glad WHEN it's over!). I've been working part time at the Prevention Research Center in Derby, CT - which is one of 27 CDC funded centers in the country. It's great experience. I'm finding my psychology background coming in handy. Most of the work I am doing centers around promotion of behavioral changes - not an easy task as you might imagine.
I am currently interviewing for some research positions. My top choice at the moment is a small research firm in Massachusetts currently conducting a multi-center observational study on menopause and women's health. I will interview mid-October so I am keeping my fingers crossed. If all else fails, you may find me taking classes again in the fall. My husband (Brandon) will be graduating in May as well and hopes to find a position teaching Catholic education in high school.
All in all - I am well. I am presenting at APHA in November - I'm sure all of the anxieties I experienced presenting at the Nat Sci Symposium will pay off!
I received an email from a prospective Purchase student regarding the psychology proram and I gave the department a glowing review. I am always available if the psych department needs some alum to speak about Life after Purchase. I hope to get back to Purchase for the Nat Sci symposium in April (providing my thesis is finished!)
August 2004 update:
In 2002, I took a position as the Program Director for the National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at Griffin Hospital. The program focuses on increasing the health and well-being of women and their families throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley in Connecticut. My husband and I had a daughter, Sophia, in February 2004. I am enjoying motherhood and working part time. My new contact info is:
Susan M. Nappi, MPH
The Community Center of Excellence
in Women's Health at Griffin
The Women's Health Coordination Center
67 Maple Avenue
Derby, CT 06418
"I'm in the graduate program for Psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. I guess I'll be done some time next year. Right now I'm writing my thesis on depression and marital relationships. Once that is finished, I have to pass seven orals to get my degree."
October 6, 1999 update:
"I'm currently working in the clinical research department at the Psychology Institute of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. I'm working as a research assistant and coordinator. Our project deals with the emotional dysregulation of patients with borderline personality disorder. Right now we're still in the process of recruiting patients.
March 12, 2001 update:
I'm not working at the university of Heidelberg anymore. I have a 8-month-old daughter (Sonia) and I'm currently enjoying motherhood :):):)
Hi, I recently stumbled upon the Purchase website and dropped a note to Linda Bastone. She said it would be a good idea to send you some sort of bio for the alumni page. Here goes:
I graduated from Purchase in the Class of '93 and I remember my experiences fondly. My Purchase experience not only led to a degree in Psychology, but I learned so much about myself and others there.
After leaving Purchase I spent two years in an MA program in Psychology at UMASS Dartmouth. During my last semester there I applied for an MA program at SUNY Binghamton in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Now I am pursuing a PhD in Human Factors Engineering at Virginia Tech. I really didn't think I'd be a longterm student while I was at Purchase, but I think my experience instilled in me some sort of fondness for academia.
I spent my out-of-school time teaching and researching. I am presently interning with NASA in Houston.
NASA Johnson Space Center
Flight Crew Support Division
Bldg 15, Rm 252 (SP3)
I spent the first four years after Purchase working as Operations Manager for Bally Health Clubs in New York and Central Florida. I worked as a supervisor of an 84 bed residential group home for abused and neglected children in downtown Orlando (Florida) for the next seven years. After a brief stint working case management for an emergency shelter for abused/neglected babies, I have become the Independent Living Coordinator for Seminole County (Florida). I teach life skills and coordinate services for teenagers in foster care, and help transition them into adulthood. I have recently become engaged to a fellow Ex-New Yorker who works in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health office in my district here in Central Florida. I am still surfing regularly, and am glad to see that Ethan ('93) and Susan ('93) are doing well. That's all for now...
Dr. Elisabeth Gruskin is currently a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research. She focuses on alcohol, drugs and tobacco use of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals. She has 5 projects currently ranging from qualitative interviews of gay and bisexual African Americans to a 4 year grant exploring the relationship between smoking cessation and negative affect among lesbians, to a quantitative study comparing LGBT data with a large state-wide dataset on tobacco. she lives with her partner, Kimberly in Oakland, California and a zoo of pets.
After graduating from SUNY Purchase in 1992 (and making the difficult decision not to pursue graduate studies in psychology), I went to SUNY Buffalo School of Law and graduated in 1995. I practiced corporate law at two private law firms, Cummings & Lockwood in Stamford, Connecticut and Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York City representing foreign and domestic clients in raising capital through public and private securities offerings and in acquiring and selling businesses through merger and acquisition transactions. The work also included general corporate representation and securities exchange compliance matters. I am currently serving as Counsel in the Corporate Legal Department of Pitney Bowes Inc, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, on general business matters.
In addition to the academic foundation that I obtained in the Psychology program at SUNY Purchase, I made lasting friendships. My favorite class was Experimental Psychology and my senior thesis was on the effects of odor on cognitive tasks. That was a fun experiment. One of the most useful classes for law school was Statistics.
I was the Assistant Director of Residence Life here at Purchase, and am now the College Judicial Officer. I've been here at Purchase for 14 years.
Email update June 2002:
I'm still working here at purchase as the Campus Judicial Officer. In December 2001 I graduated from Fordham University with my Masters in Social Work (MSW). In February 2002 I was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. In May 2002, I passed my exam & got my Certified Social Worker (CSW) Credential.
Qui Qui Ledee
College Judicial Officer
Division of Student Affairs
Purchase College, SUNY
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577-1400
Phone: (914) 251-7988
Fax: (914) 251-7996
Well, what have I been up to since SUNY Purchase....Hmmmm. I received my Masters degree from Columbia School of Social Work in 1994 and began doing adoption home studies privately and for agencies working in foreign adoption. In the Winter of 1994 I began working for Putnam County Department of Health in the Early Intervention (E.I.) Program.
E.I. is a Federal program designed to assist children from birth to age three who are suspected of having, or who have, developmental delay. I have recently been promoted and am now the Director of the E.I. program here in Putnam. It's demanding work, but the joy of it comes from working with children and their families and making a difference in children's lives. The agony is the POLITICS!!
If you recall, my husband and I successfully adopted two children from Colombia. Thomas is 10 years old and is in fifth grade and Catalina is 7 and in the first grade. As a "non-traditional" age student, my experiences at SUNY were somewhat different than those experiences that a younger student may have had. One of my richest experiences was the time I invested as a teaching assistant in Introduction to Psychology. The class was in the evening and my room (the one I used as T.A.) was filled with students. Most were Hispanic, all were there because they needed help with class content, concepts, etc. It was a wonderful experience seeing the light of recognition, of understanding, and of mastery illuminate a student's eyes.
During my last year at SUNY, we brought Thomas home from Colombia and I needed to disrupt my course work to care for him. Suzanne Kessler was very supportive and helpful to me during this time of great change in my life. When I was able to resume my studies, I was welcomed into class with my son, who was an infant in a stroller. I could not have completed my work had this option not been provided me. So, Thank you Suzanne, if I haven't mentioned it before..
I could go on and on about what it meant for me to actually go to College. I am the first in generations to have achieved such a goal.
Well, I did finish and defend my Master's thesis at Long Island University in May 1996 (it seems like yesterday, however). That was a lot of fun and it went really well.
I moved to Long Island and spent 5 months working as a golf caddie (can you imagine? I didn't even play the game then) until I got a job as a data analyst at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center In New York (that was in November of 1996) . This is where I am currently working.
I moved to Manhattan in October 1997 when a nice one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side became available.
I am currently working on a study that is tracking 1500 HIV positive Medicaid recipients. I develop and manage all of the databases for the project, and develop software and applications as they are needed. As work goes, I can't imagine a job that suits me better.
On September 29, 1999, Paul sent the following update:
I am engaged to be married next summer. My fiancee's name is Mercedes Duran, and we plan to live at my apartment in Manhattan.
I began my doctoral studies this fall in CUNY's Educational Psychology Program, where I will be focusing on Quantitative Methods. As I am still working full time at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a data analyst, I am taking six credits, rather than a full load.
June 2002 update:
I am currently the Supervisor of Admissions at Stony Lodge Hospital. This facility is a private acute care psychiatric hospital. I am also involved directly with managed care and all aspects of it as it relates to patient care, medical necessity, eligibility, contractual matters and utilization issues as well as rate negotiations. I enjoyed my educational experience at SUNY. Some of the older faculty may remember me. I am visually impaired but accommodations has contributed to my success today.
August 2002 update:
I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Schizophrenia Disorders Program at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division.
The Second Chance Program recruits chronically mentally ill patients from the state hospital and has had good outcomes in community reentry. My focus is on neurocognition in schizophrenia with a specific interest in neurocognitive remediation and social skill rehabilitation.
Outside of work my passions include: 1) Two active and loving teenage sons. One cognitively slow but loving black Labrador Retriever. 2) Playing for the Westchester Volleyball Club, White Plains, NY. Nothing relaxes me more that hitting a big white ball as hard as I can. Our women's team plays competitively in the tristate area, and we culminate each season with the week-long US Open National Volleyball Tournament which is held in different US location each year. 3) Issues of multicultural sensitivity and participation in Embracing Diversity, Erasing Racism, (EDER)-- a White Plains community organization aimed at facilitating greater multicultural understanding and better race relations.
Attending Purchase College marked an important cross road in my life. Changing careers while raising my boys, what I called "racing the school bus home", I entered Fordham University's clinical psychology program in 1992. I received my Masters in 1994 and am currently working to complete a doctorate in Clinical Psychology with subspecialty track in Neuropsychology & Health Psychology.
I get such a thrill when I can combine my outside interests with my work and studies. In April,1999, I attended a wonderful fellowship sponsored by the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation in Washington, D.C. This was a unique opportunity targeted at AsianAmerican professionals in the mental health field and designed to further understanding of social policy change at the national level.
Actually, Purchase College opened doors to quite a few of my passions... in fact, I began to play competitive volleyball there (trying out for the team on a whim). Many of my important decisions about going on to grad school were also born there and then.
I would welcome contact from any person or potential grad student who shares my interests.
My work telephone number- (914) 682-6975
April 2004 update:
After graduating from SUNY Puchase in 1991, I pursued a graduate counseling program at Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1995 I graduated with two Masters (Ed.M, M.A.) from Columbia University.
Since that time I moved to Rochester, NY and was a guidance counselor both in a private and public school setting. Six years ago I switched to a drug counseling position in a high school setting. In September 2003 I earned my CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor) in NYS.
May 2003 update: For 5 years I was a social worker in New York City. First with JASA, working with an elderly, mentally ill population, and then for Goddard Riversaid/Project Reachout, working with a homeless, mentally ill population.
I then was an Art Director on various film and photo projects. I co-wrote and art directed the award winning feature length film "Snapped" with fellow Purchase alum, Jesse Feigelman.
My son Malcolm was born, October 5 2002.
My first Novel "Bruiser" was released March, 2003 on Artia Books/Simon & Schuster. Here are what some of the reviewers have said about it:
Kirkus Review: "a harrowing debut," marked by "moments of transcendent beauty."
Publishers Weekly: "Starkly beautiful...harrowing to behold, impossible to ignore..."
Booklist, starred review: "Chorao [is] an extraordinarily gifted first-time novelist, [he] achieves a lyrical intensity and psychological acuity akin to that of Henry Roth in his masterpiece, Call It Sleep...Chorao's exquisite evocations of all the pain and wonder of his young hero confronts are profoundly transporting."
Library Journal: "Exciting road story with narrow escapes and strange occurrences...convincingly depicts the inner landscape of children's fantasies and nightmares."
Jane Magazine: Four Stars (highest rating)
Time Out NY: "And usually vivid snapshot of a child at the end of childhood, this remarkable debut marks Chorao as a major new talent."
I saw the psych department web page which is very nice, and made me feel like I am back at home.
I graduated from Purchase in 1990 and enrolled in the MD/PhD program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I graduated from Einstein in 1998. My PhD work was in the area of developmental neuroscience. I studied how embryonic neural stem cell generate oligodendrocytes ( type of glial cells that produce myelin). In 1998 I started residency in Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
In June I will become a Clinical Scholar at the Rockefeller University combined with a Rheumatology fellowship at the Hospital of Special Surgery. I would like to concentrate on CNS autoimmunity.
My wife Rebecca and I have a 5 year old son and we are expecting a baby (see update below) in March. We live in the Upper West Side/Manhattan.
Violet Bella Marmur
Things are going well, Violet and Benno are growing, Rebecca is well. I have been at Rockefeller since July working with patients with autoimmune neuropathy (it is called paraneoplastic neuronal degeneration) which allow me to bring together medicine, neuroscience immunology, cell biology etc. I am also seeing rheumatology patients once a week at HSS. I can not ask for a better post-residency set up.
Ronen Marmur MD, PhD
Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology
The Rockefeller University, NY NY 10021
phone# 212-3277454 Fax # 212 3277147
April 2000 update:
It’s been ten years since I walked the ‘hallowed halls’ of Natural Sciences, and still the titles of the books whose meanings once comprised the fabric of my daily thinking -- Thought and Language, Ghosts in the Mind’s Machine, Child Language, Symbol Formation, Mythologies – conjure up mysteries of their many teachings. If asked now about that time in my life I would unhesitatingly say that it had been monumental. “Higher learning” had not been something I’d experienced in its truest form as of yet, and my three-year sojourn in the late eighties at Purchase proved to be an important step in what turned out to be a significant change in my life.
I was a freelance musician at the time, having recently married, and my wife and I were expecting our first child. We saw this new addition as both a wonderful gift and a strong dose of ‘reality medicine.’ Since my music work wasn’t as reliable as I felt it needed it to be as a parent, I decided to return to college after having been out for five years. I was twenty-five years old at the time and my two years of college five years earlier – one at Manhattanville and one at Fordham – seemed more important now than they had then.
I enrolled in Purchase and took up the study of Psychology with the intention of going into child therapy. Having had teaching experience both as a summer camp music/drama specialist and as a private piano instructor, I found the experience of working with children both invigorating and exciting. In what turned out to be an enlightening education, I came to meet some of the finest teachers I ever had: Ronnie Halperin, Suzanne Kessler, Bill Needham, and my mentor, Sybil Barten. At Purchase, and under their guidance, I pursued some of the more interesting questions I’d ever posed before: ‘How does the title of an ‘abstract’ artwork influence a viewers impression?’ ‘How much influence does an accepted authority-figure wield in a subject’s compulsion to carry out a specific order?’ ‘Can auditory sounds – music, for example – be visually depicted and matched by children and/or adults?’ It was through these studies and questions that I came to develop a new respect for the human psyche. Little did I know it then, but I was laying the groundwork for much of my own philosophy toward ‘appropriate’ elementary education.
I graduated proudly from SUNY in 1990, summa cum laude. (Somehow, going back to college after a few years ‘in the trenches’ does wonders for one’s motivation!). I had been working full-time shifts at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison as a psychiatric technician on the adolescent unit (while still teaching piano lessons as well). At St. Vincent’s I came in contact with many young people who carried burdens far heavier than most adults might have been able to bear. It was arduous work, and for me, it turned out not to be something I could see myself waking up to each morning for the rest of my life. I decided I would pursue another avenue of ‘therapy,’ namely elementary education.
I enrolled in a Master’s program in education at Fordham University, and there, over the course of one full year, I took a Master of Science in Teaching degree and was soon hired as a third grade teacher in Ardsley, NY. There I enjoyed working with youngsters, applying many of the tenets I acquired in my previous studies. However, I should say, there is no better teacher than real experience – I was petrified for much of that first fall season, questioning my thoughts and intentions continually, yet, without realizing it, refining my craft as well. I was successful and went on to teach third grade for three more years. Thereafter, I requested a transfer to the middle school to teach sixth grade. It was granted, and for the school year 1995-96, I taught sixth grade English and Mathematics.
Teaching English in Ardsley during that time was fantastic. The district was enrolled in a partnership program with Teachers College Columbia University, and there, many of us teachers would go to lectures given by the likes of Lucy Calkins, Randy Bomer, Sandra Wilde, and poet Georgia Heard. We teachers also had the opportunity to act as hosts in our own school where a master teacher from TC would run a six-week writing project with our students. I was fortunate to have been a host teacher twice: once in third grade and once in sixth. Through these experiences I not only honed my skills as a teacher, but as writer as well.
Later that year, our school chorus teacher resigned and I immediately asked my superintendent for the opportunity to interview for the position. Although I greatly enjoyed teaching English, Music was still my first love. To have the opportunity to bring my love of fine music to students was an opportunity I did not want to miss. I was subsequently hired, and I am now completing my fourth year in that position. I have happily directed three choruses, two select choirs (one a cappella), as well as directed and produced eight musicals. I am privileged to work with some of the most talented children I have ever known. I produced a one-act play this year that was written by one of my prior students, and I am now working with another student on an original composition to be performed at her graduation this June.
My wife and I now have three beautiful children, Christina, Michael and Nicholas. Christina loves theatre, Michael, baseball and playing trumpet, and Nicholas – anything and everything he can get his hands into! My wife makes custom-curtains for a small clientele, and I still keep about fifteen private piano students a week.
Music, poetry and art still encourage me to go further into the questions and mysteries that life has to offer. I now know life’s greatest treasures are those that cannot be bought, and as I read, write and occasionally compose, this overall Truth is never far from the center of my heart.
A Note About Privacy: Our policy is to post information only with the permission of the alumnus/a (although we may post your graduate program or degree as long as you don't object). Please be aware that information posted here is publicly available and easily accessible to anyone with a search engine. You should submit only information that you feel comfortable making public. Send updates to Prof. Tony Lemieux at Anthony.Lemieux@purchase.edu.