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Psychology News

Date: Oct 2019

Note: Sharelle Langaigne will be co-hosting the “Art and Mental Health” session with Dr. Iannone on November 5, 2019 (Tuesday) from 7 to 9pm in MAC Room N204. Come join us to learn about how art and creativity can impact and improve your mental health by participating in art activities. 

I graduated with my B.S. in Psychology from Stevenson University in May 2015. I recently completed my Master's degree in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from the Pratt Institute and will be taking the licensing exam to become a Board Certified Art Therapist.

Sharelle Langaigne

I am currently working in Washington D.C. at an emergency domestic violence shelter where I am designing and facilitating arts-based integrative mental health groups for domestic violence survivors. Taking place at both the shelter and in the community, these groups inspire individual expression and bring healing through creative arts.

The Stevenson Psychology program has provided me with the foundation to learn and grow in various contexts. The thoughtfully-designed curriculum has prepared me very well, from conducting research to communicating clearly in writing using APA style. The many opportunities to present at SU (e.g., Stevenson Psychology Student Research Showcase) and Regional conferences (e.g., Eastern Psychological Association), as well as the completion of internship were crucial for my professional development. Above all, the Psychology faculty are always going out of their way to encourage us to achieve our dreams. I would like to especially thank Dr. Spada and Dr. Tulloch. While Dr. Spada has taught me the value of engaging in community services and what it means to become a woman leader, Dr. Tulloch has taught me not to give up when I encounter challenges. Taken together, I feel very prepared as a result of the excellent education I received as a Psychology major at Stevenson.

I am ending my essay with a piece of advice for our current students. You are all so lucky to be studying at Stevenson! As I talked to my friends from other schools, I found out that not many of their faculty knew them by their names or able to establish close relationships with them. As such, make the most of your Stevenson experience! Work hard and you will be successful!

I first decided to become a psychology major when I was 12 years old. Growing up, I have always found joy in helping out my family members, specifically my cousins, with the problems that they were facing. As I began visiting various colleges, I was impressed by how much the Stevenson Psychology professors care about their students. During my visit, I heard from Nick Mehiel, who was a recent graduate of this program, as he shared how the psychology department had nurtured and empowered him to be the best student he could be. From my small talks with the Psychology professors, I was surprised by how much they were interested in me as a prospective student. I instantly knew that the Psychology program at Stevenson University was the right fit for me. 

During my freshman year, I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Metzger and Dr. Wong in the classroom setting, and they were truly exceptional teachers! Beginning this semester, I have started working closely with Dr. Elliott as the student tech. I am assisting with various tasks, and currently helping out to create a series of activities to further engage our freshman Psychology students.

Semira Nock

Tamera Stanley (’22 Psychology), Dr. Elliott, and Semira Nock (22’ Psychology). Photo credit: Nya Medley (’22 Psychology)

I feel really special to be part of the Psychology family. I think everyone here genuinely wants me to succeed. The professors will not hesitate to go out of their way to support me. I look forward to the next few years as I continue to grow and thrive in this department.

By: Semira Nock

Dr. D. Ryan Schurtz is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Stevenson University. Trained in Social Psychology, Dr. Schurtz is interested in understanding the social interactions among individuals and how the real or imagined presence of others may impact our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

Since the beginning of this semester, I have been working in Dr. Schurtz’s research lab. Together with him and fellow Psychology students Elijah Nieto, Elise Stickley, and Julia Wingard, we are investigating the many factors that may influence individuals’ trust in social institutions such as large corporations and government.

Dr. Schurtz and Sophie Spartana

Dr. Schurtz and Sophie Spartana

For the past weeks, we have spent time selecting and reading empirical articles to develop a greater understanding of trust and trustworthiness and learned a great deal from our readings! For example, Mayer and Davis (1999) posited that trustworthiness is comprised of three factors: ability, benevolence, and integrity. Ability is comprised of several characteristics and skills that allow a group to have influence. Benevolence is the extent to which an individual wants to do good to one another without a self-interested motive and integrity refers an individual’s perception that another person will adhere to a set of principles. Turning to Ben-Ner and Halldorsson (2010), we have learned that trust involves believing another person will remain fair and cooperative even when there are opportunities to act otherwise, and that trustworthiness involves an individual’s willingness to be cooperative in response to someone’s demand.

After my fellow students and I have reviewed the definitions of the major constructs for this research project, we are identifying and developing good measures. We’ve created a survey that asks multiple different trust-related questions. This allows us to measure several different factors that could potentially be an influence. Though our data collection just got started, we are all excited to see the results of this study.

By: Sophie Spartana (’21 Psychology)

Within the United States, one in two adults will experience at least one mental illness during their lifetime. However, less than half of these individuals have received professional/mental health services to address their issues.

Did you know that October 6 to 12, 2019 is Mental Health Awareness Week? Although mental health is important all year long, we especially reaffirm our commitment to providing support and advocacy for our community during this special week.

Partnering with the Wellness Center, Student Activities, and the Psychology Department, Stevenson|Cares offers a series of health and mental health education events. These events are creating great opportunities for us to be educated about various mental health topics, break the stigma of mental illnesses, and empower members of our community to get help.


By: Tamera Stanley (’22 Psychology)

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