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Purchase College Psychology Program
2000 - 2004 Graduates

(in alphabetical order within class)

Updates and new listings always welcome! Send updates to Prof. Tony Lemieux at anthony.lemieux@purchase.edu.

Alumni Homepage | Complete Alumni Directory.

2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000


People Finder

2004 Graduates:
Cerqueira, Sonia ('04)
Comstock, Dan ('04)
Echavarria, Vanessa ('04)
Ferrer, Ray ('04)
Segarra, Caroline ('04)
Shichman, David ('04)
Smile, Tiffany ('04)
Solis, Francis ('04)
Steiner, Vicki ('04)
Wyck, Danielle ('04)

2003 Graduates:
Albert, Amber ('03)
Clark, Leah ('03)
Crawford, Zoe ('03)
Frost, David ('03)
Guimaraes, Rita ('03)
Michaelson, Melissa ('03)
Shapiro, Amy ('03)

2002 Graduates:
Gerrard, Jessica ('02)
Howe, Lydia ('02)
LoCascio, Suzanne ('02)
McRae, Chad ('02)
Perkins, Krystal ('02)
Punicki, Samara ('02)

2001 Graduates:
Goldstein, Elena ('01)
Hoard, Sarah ('01)
Siennick, Sonja ('01)
Van Ora, Jason ('01)

2000 Graduates:
Anderson, Andrea ('00)


Updates

2004 Graduates:

Comstock, Dan ('04)

Email: dan.comstock@gmail.com

December 2004 update:

I'm currently living in Albany, working as a Study Coordinator at a Neurological clinic. I was very glad to be one of the select gifted few who actually land a post-college job within the psych field, and am loving it. I'm doing alzheimers drug research and get to meet lots of really fascinating (albeit forgetful) people. This is basically a lot of data collection and cognitive testing. I'm rapidly learning about the leering and abyssmal evil of pharmeceutical companies and doing my best to fight them by reporting good data.

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Shichman, David ('04)

David entered the Masters in Social Work program at Columbia University in Fall 2004.

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Segarra, Caroline ('04)

Email: caroline82@optonline.net

I recently completed the initial Teaching Fellows summer training session, as well as my first two graduate courses towards my dual Masters in Childhood (grades 1-6) and Special Education at Brooklyn College. Good news--I earned A's in both classes! Although the training and coursework were quite intensive, and stressful at times, I am now even more excited to begin this experience in September. Many alumni reference the Psych program's ability to successfully prepare its' students for post-undergraduate work, and I couldn't agree more. Thank you! Fortunately, I will be teaching third grade special education in a collaborative team- teaching classroom in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The theory behind inclusive settings is to bridge the students with disabilities into a mainstream classroom by integrating them into the least restrictive setting- a general ed. classroom. In other words, this September my classroom will consist of: One regular education teacher, one special ed. teacher (me), and a ratio of no more than 60% general ed. students/ 40% special ed. students. While my co-teacher and I work as a team to ensure that all of the students are learning, my role is to differentiate instruction for those special students who may need modifications in lessons. I feel fortunate to have my mother (who taught in one of the first inclusive classrooms in NYC 10 years ago), and an extended network of teacher resources, such that my anxiety regarding teaching is minimized to some degree. I will certainly keep you all posted on my progression throughout the school year!

March 2005 update: I'm still working here at iMentor (it's been 3 months), and things are going really well. My supervisor and Executive Director have quickly expanded my responsibilities, so I am now running one of our sites at Sheepshead Bay High School , and also coordinating our Alumni Pairs Program. I must say that I am a part of a fantastic, well-run organization, and that I work with highly educated and motivated individuals. Because we are a close knit organization, I am really learning first hand what it takes to run a successful non-profit. I am directly involved in all aspects of the program, including fundraising, program coordination, event planning, technology, proposal and grant writing, and facilitation of site visits (among many other daily duties!). There are a lot of perks, and overall I am content and grateful to be so fortunate to work in such a supportive environment.

Although I am quite satisfied with my current position, on a whim I decided to apply for the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. Working indirectly with the teens involved with iMentor has re-ignited my desire to work closely with young people. I interviewed for Teaching Fellows program in February, and I was accepted! I will be entering the Teaching Fellows program this June as a Special Education teacher, and entering a Masters in Education (MEd) in Special Education program this summer as well.

January 2005 upate:

Well I must admit life after graduation has been quite the roller coaster ride! No matter how prepared for “the real world” you may think you are (or I thought I was), there is no way for me to explain just how hard it is out there- “out there” meaning the job market. The competition is beyond stiff- especially in the Psychology/ Social Services/ Health/ Non-Profit sector.

Over the summer, I was employed as a Head Counselor at the Asphalt Green Summer Day Camp. In the meantime, I sent out about 10-20 resumes and cover letters DAILY in the hopes of landing a full-time job in September. I interviewed for all types of positions: Research Assistant, Research Associate, Youth Development Director, Teacher’s Assistant, Personal Assistant—you name it, I interviewed for it. Thanks to the wonderful references provided by Purchase faculty and staff, and a contact I made through my Senior Project, I was finally hired as a Part-time Prevention Specialist with a non-profit agency. There, I facilitated substance abuse prevention programs for school-aged children in NYC Tier II family homeless shelters. I was told that what set me apart from the other applicants applying for that position was my SENIOR PROJECT and its relevance to the position! However, after the first cycle of programs I was laid off due to cut backs within the agency, and as the newest hire, I was the first to be let go. Welcome to “the real world!” It was very disappointing, however, the job search had to go on, and I remained steadfast.

Within two weeks of my last day, I was hired as a Full-time Program Assistant for a non-profit organization called iMentor, and I have been here ever since. Here at iMentor, I am responsible for all of the nuts and bolts of running the programs—I do everything! The work environment is very supportive, and it is generally a very positive organization to work for. Most importantly, the organization has promoted 5 out of their 7 full-time employees at least once. They also have a low turnover rate, which puts me somewhat at ease in my job security. To find out more about my organization, visit their website: www.iMentor.org.

Depending on how busy I am here at the office will determine whether or not I begin applying to Grad School this year or next year. However, within the next two years I hope to begin either a Masters in Public Administration or Masters in Social Work program, and eventually, complete my PhD in Education Administration. I would love to speak with seniors (or MAP/EOP students) about what it’s like after graduation, and the importance of completing their senior projects (among other senior-related topics). Don’t hesitate to call me or email me to set something up for the coming months; I will make time for my alma mater any day!

Psych professors—You are all amazing assets to the Liberal Arts program, and I could not have survived without you. Thanks!

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Wyck, Danielle ('04)

Email: daniellewyck@mail.uri.edu

Danielle entered the College Student Personnel Masters program at the University of Rhode Island in Fall 2004.

September 2004 email:

I had my first day of class today, and wow, thank you (and all the other psych profs.) I am so prepared for grad school! The class I had today was cultural competence, and I kept thinking back to social cognition and how that class was such a good frame work for this. It's like I learned how all the processes worked and now we're talking about how people play it out in their everyday lives (well, we did some of that too).

How's the new class schedule and your classes this semester?

I really miss Purchase, but I'm having a great time here.

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Ferrer, Ray ('04)

Email: ferrer_ray@hotmail.com

April 2005 update:

I've been accepted to the Educational Technology program at NYU (my 1st choice).

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Steiner, Vicki ('04)

Vicki was accepted to St. John's School Psychology M.S.Ed. program for Fall 2004.

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Smile, Tiffany ('04)

Tiffany won the Miss Jamaica US Beauty Pageant!

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Solis, Francis ('04)

Email: francisbsolis@hotmail.com

September 2004 update:

I'm enrolled in the Counselor Education program at Lehman College.

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Echavarria, Vanessa ('04)

Email: Nessd429@aol.com

April 2005 update:

I'm still working at Contemporary Guidance Services (CGS) a non-profit state funded organization that provides vocational training to developmentally and learning disabled young adults. As of February, I was made the retail program instructor, which I like much better than what I was previously doing (through a re-structuring of stuff, I got lucky with this position). I teach retail related and general work readiness skills one day a week, but the bulk of this training is through internships where students learn real-life, everyday work experiences. So the other four days of the week, I oversee my students' progress at their internships, by consulting with their supervisors. I work independently most of the time which is great, and I frequently consult with the vocational counselor and social worker. Its nice to work as part of an interdisciplinary team to help these students. It's been 6 months now, and I'm comfortable and happy where I am. I'll most likely be here until I'm ready for a new challenge. Still exploring options for graduate school. . this job has definitely helped to shape my ideas, and I've learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as someone working in social services with a tough population. Coming back to the 2005 symposium made me realize how much I miss the Purchase psych program, and made me remember to give this update!

October 2004 update:

Good news. . I finally got a job! I actually started last monday the 4th, but this is the first time since then I've had a chance to email anyone, ive been so busy and exhausted. it all happened so fast - I got an offer and only had 2 days to decide. since i had no other offers pending, i took it. I am working at Contemporary Guidance Services inc.- a non for profit state funded organization serving developmentally and learning disabled young adults. Its in the financial district, which is good, my commute is pretty short. My position is two-fold. I teach pre-vocational skills each day (interview behavior, social skills in the workplace, that kind of stuff) until 2:30. Right now theres only 3 students in the pre-voc program. Simultaneously, I am a full time floater, so i cover for other teachers when they are out. This means I bring my students into whatever room im expected to cover in and i have to tend to these two groups at the same time. These teachers i cover for provide vocational training (where students go once they leave my 30 day pre-voc program) in different areas- hospitality, food service, computer and office technology, childcare, retail, and mailroom skills. So im learning about all of these curricula. the teachers leave me work to give the students.

It's tough! I had only a day and a half of "training" - i shadowed the girl i replaced, and i was thrown into it. i was on my own the third day of work, so ive learned a lot. the teachers and staff are supportive and friendly. the students i deal with are a tough population - often they are from bad neighborhoods, they are very oppositional, they dont respond well to authority, and there can be a lot of hostility towards me. I am working on being more thick skinned and as firm as I can be with them. From 2:30 - 4:30 I do a lot of paperwork -case notes, all kinds of reports, correspondence with families and employment counselors. its overwhelming, but every day is a little better. my supervisor said im doing great so far, so im taking things day by day.

I want to thank you again for all your support, and for being wonderful references in this job searching process.

Lisa- thanks so much for your job lead, unfortunately i only got a chance to read it after i got a job!

Linda- Now that I am employed I'd be happy to speak to students about the market for psych majors, how to make oneself marketable while at purchase, job searching, etc. Although I suppose it might be hard to schedule since i am working full time, but I'd love to do whatever i can.

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Cerqueira, Sonia ('04)

Email: sonia.cerqueira@purchase.edu

January 2005 update: Last week, I accepted a direct care position with Adults & Children with Learning & Developmental Disabilities, Inc. Today was my first day of training and I will start working in a residential facility out in Nassau latter this week. Although this is an entry-level position, I think that it's the perfect place for me to start. I am really looking forward to the hands on experience with the consumers and learning more about what it means to be a person living with developmental challenges.

February 2005: I've now been working for two weeks and things are turning out to be even better than I'd anticipated.

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2003 Graduates:

Albert, Amber ('03)

In Fall 2003, Amber will be starting law school at New York Law.

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Clark, Leah ('03)

Email: lclarkmhw@hotmail.com

April 2004 update:

...I took the year off from school to work. I'm still at Four Winds Hospital but now I've taken a full time position on the adult unit. I also took a new position as a Mental Health Activities Specialist. I'm responsible for the planning and implementing recreational programs and activities for my patients as well as leading two therapeutic groups, a patient education groups and a dual diagnosis building sobriety group. I also do treatment planning with the nursing and clinical teams, and get to plan holiday celebrations and art therapy. I'm still enjoying it and I've been able to take on a lot more responsibilities. Its still a thirteen hour shift so it takes up most of my time, so there really isn't thing else going on.

I've started applying to Post Baccalaureate Pre Medical programs for the fall. I'm sending applications to NYU, Columbia, Hunter, and City Colleges....

I also want to thank the department one last time for all that you have done for me. I am twenty one living on my own far away from any family. I have a full time job, a beautiful apartment, and I'm beginning to make serious steps toward attending medical school. I know that I would not be where I am if it wasn't for my experiences at Purchase. Not only do I feel fully confident with the knowledge I receive from my psychology courses which has been vital in my success at the hospital, but I am also grateful for the faculty who also provided the support and reassurance I need to follow my dreams. I entered Purchase four years ago planning on majoring in Creative Writing. I now have my BA in Psychology planning to attend medical school. I've come a long way, and my life has completely changed. Thank you to the Psychology Department of Purchase....

Leah Clark (Class of 2003)

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Crawford, Zoe ('03)

In Fall 2003, Zoe started a Masters in Social Work program at New York University.

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Frost, David ('03)

In Fall 2003, David started a Ph.D. program in Social Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

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Guimaraes, Rita ('03)

In Fall 2003, Rita started a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Yeshiva University.

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Michaelson, Melissa ('03)

Email: Lissa2138@aol.com

In Fall 2003, Melissa started a Masters in School Psychology program at Gallaudet University.

A February 2004 email from Melissa:

So I was sitting in my office this past Sunday night and surprisingly received a phone call from a current SUNY Purchase psychology major on behalf of the phoneathon, it immediately made me think of you.

First, I really wanted to thank you for all you support and encouragement in applying to this program. Even though I've barely finished my degree I've received a huge amount of job opportunities and interesting internships. Also I can't believe how much Purchase prepared me for everything that has been thrown at me this past year. While others complained about long research papers all I could think about was how l did it before with the completion of my senior project.

I finished this past semester with a 3.970 GPA and will find out soon if I will receive another full scholarship. This past semester of course wasn't easy and I should of realized the amount of work that was expected of me when I was given an office (which I share with a few other of my classmates) and a key to the building. There are only 10 of us in the program and we've already been warned that it is unlikely that all of us will be continuing into next year (last year's class started with 7 and now has 3). My schedule consists of 5 classes, 3 hours a week of tutoring undergraduate psychology majors, 6 hours a week of working on research with one of my Prof., and I also tutored this past semester at night in our residential deaf high school.

It is exciting to meet faculty that I actually used in my senior project. Of course, within the past couple of months I've had to learn another language (ASL) and about another culture (Deaf culture is constantly a difficult culture to navigate and I myself have never been a minority before). I do tend to miss Purchase a great deal, a lot of my friends are still there or in NYC also this campus tends to be less "open-minded" but then again most student bodies are.

Pass on to whoever is teaching senior and junior seminar to tell the students a recent alumni says its all worth it in the end (I find myself performing better than fellow classmates that went to "big top named" universities such a Boston College and Michigan). Feel free to pass my information on to anyone who maybe interested in School Psychology and/or Deaf culture. I'm the student representative for the psychology open house here if anyone cares to visit for either clinical or school psychology at Gallaudet.

I'm hoping to come visit soon and maybe even attend the symposium if I get time off. Overall, I just wanted to say thank-you and I hope this e-mail finds you well.

September 2004 update:

I survived the first year and of course looking back it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it was at the time. Currently I have classes 3 days a week and work in a school as a psychologist 2 days a week. I'm right now actively looking for an full time externship for the 2005-2006 school year, so finally I may actually get paid. Ive decided to most likley pursue a Phd after that year with some encouragment from my current program unless I find a school position in 2005-2006 that I really love. Ive decided against working within a deaf and hard of hearing school system, mainly I've found that working with such a specialized population doesn't give me a wide variety of experience that I really want. I'm currently working in the Prince Georges county MD school system which is very culturally diverse and I really enjoy it (I'm trying to learn spanish at the moment). I hear Purchase has changed alot, unfortunately I was not able to visit there this summer but I'm trying to make it there this fall. My grandmother lost a long battle to cancer this summer and I returned to my parents home for most of the summer (I worked in a private school on SI). I've actually received some potential job offers in the Mount Vernon as well as CT area, however the pay isnt really great especially considering the cost of living in the area. Please keep me updated on things that occur within Purchase as well as in the dept., if you ever need a presenter on graduate school or school psycholoy or deaf culture feel free to contact me anytime.

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Shapiro, Amy ('03)

In Fall 2003, Amy started a Masters in Social Work program at Hunter College, CUNY.

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2002 Graduates:

LoCascio, Suzanne ('02)

January 2004 update:

I have just completed my first semester of the Neuropsychology, Ph.D. program at Queens College. The transition to graduate school was very difficult, however, I use the skills I acquired at Purchase to help me through the everyday challenges of graduate school.

I am actively involved in the Developmental Neuropsychology lab at QC. My first research project involves a cohort of children whom my lab has followed for three years. We are exploring whether children who were identified as "at-risk" for AD/HD during preschool will present with AD/HD and/or conduct disorders now. I am also working on papers exploring the validity and reliability of several measures we use to assess the quality of the children's home environment.

I will be teaching my first college course this spring, Social Psychology, and I will teach Psychometrics during summer session.

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Perkins, Krystal ('02)

In Fall 2003, Krystal started a Ph.D. program in Social Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

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Punicki, Samara ('02)

Email: slp1281@yahoo.com

April 2005 update:

After graduation I toured Europe for a month. I also drove (almost) across country to Colorado with my friend, stopping to see Mt. Rushmore, the SPAM Museum, and the Jolly Green Giant Statue. This was an awesome experience and developed a new love for Delilah the love songs talk show host. I worked as a case manager for a little while but was not interested in making that my career. After that, I tried just about every job and every degree there is on Long Island. Finally, I found myself working at Summer Study Programs and attending a Counseling & Development Master's degree at Long Island University. I am extremely grateful for the life that I have lead up to this point and always welcome new experiences!! Feel free to drop me an email to tell me how you are doing, I would love to catch up.

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McRae, Chad ('02)

Chad finished the Masters in Experimental Psychology at Brooklyn College in Spring 2004, and was accepted to several Ph.D. programs for Fall 2004.

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Gerrard, Jessica ('02)

Email: jessicagerrard@hotmail.com

August 2004 update:

I was looking around the Purchase web site and realized that I have moved several times since I have graduated and no one has my information. I am currently living in Boulder, Colorado and I love it here. I work at a hospital, in the alternative division as a Massage Therapist. (after I graduated from Purchase I went to Massage Therapy school). I also just started taking prerep classes for med school. My plan is to go to med school and do research in Complemetary and Alternative Medicine. (CAM), but I still have a few years before I start.

My phone is 720-771-6109.

Please send my regards to the Psych faculty
Thank you
Jessica Gerrard

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Howe, Lydia ('02)

Email: lyds21@hotmail.com

Lydia began a graduate program at Southern Connecticut State University in Fall 2004.

February 2005 update: I'm working and going to grad school full time. I'm enjoying school and am in a really good program. I will be getting my master's next year and then entering the Sixth Year program for another year. So I still have a long way to go. It's all worth it in the end though.

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2001 Graduates:

Hoard, Sarah ('01)

Email: sarah_hoard@hotmail.com

In Fall 2002, Sarah began a nurse practitioner program at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions. She is planning to work in women's health.

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Goldstein, Elena ('01)

Email: Elenamanda@aol.com

In Fall 2001, Elena began the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

May 2002 update: I'm writing to let you all know that I've just completed my first year of a Ph.D. program in clinical psych at George Mason University. Thanks again for all your help in preparing me for grad school - I use the skills I developed at Purchase every day.

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Siennick, Sonja ('01)

Email: siennics@childpsych.columbia.edu

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Van Ora, Jason ('01)

Email: JVanOra@gc.cuny.edu

At the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (QuadS) convention in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2003, Jason Van Ora won the award for Outstanding Student Paper. Jason presented a paper titled "Sexual, social, relational, and health care practices of lesbians and women who have sex with women". This paper won one of the two Best Student Paper Awards at the conference, typically awarded to students presenting their dissertation work.

September 2004 update:

I've just entered my third year in the Social/Personality Doctoral program at the CUNY Graduate Center. I've maintained my interests in social constructionism and Gender Theory and have been attempting to integrate those with a life-study approach to understanding the course of gender resistance. I have also been working on issues related to HIV disclosure and sexual risk and recently published (as one of five co-authors) two papers, one in the Journals of AIDS Education and Prevention and the other in AIDS Patient Care. Also, I recently began working full time as a Substitute professor at New York City College of Technology.

Otherwise, I've been living in the East Village among plenty of other Purchase grads and having a pretty good time. I am extremely grateful for all of the support and caring I received from the Purchase faculty and above all, my mentor Suzanne Kessler.

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2000 Graduates:

Anderson, Andrea ('00)

Email: emailandreaa@gmail.com

February 2005 update:

I passed my final orals for my dissertation today!!! What a huge relief!!

Because of the Psychology Department's guidance with my Senior Project at Purchase, I was very prepared to begin and complete my dissertation research. Thank you so much!!

I will graduate with my PhD in Clinical Psychology in June 2005.

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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.