Skip Navigation

Have a Question?

Contact Admissions
Undergraduate Admissions
Owings Mills Campus
Garrison Hall North, Second Floor
1-877-468-6852

Email Admissions

  

Psychology News

Date: Apr 2019

For most students, the history of how the Psychology department came to be may be a mystery. To find out more, I interviewed Dr. Dyer Bilgrave to gather some details about what our department was like as it transitioned from Villa Jullie College (VJC) to Stevenson University in 2008. Among all the current faculty members, Dr. Bilgrave is the most knowledgeable about this piece of history since he has been teaching here for more than 30 years!

Dr. Bilgrave and Makaylah Morton 1

Dr. Bilgrave and Makaylah Morton

To my surprise, Psychology was not available as a major early on. According to Dr. Bilgrave, prior to 1995, VJC only offered about 8 psychology courses as a part of its general education curriculum. The college was unable to offer a Psychology major because the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) was concerned that it would merely be a replication of the programs offered at other colleges. Interestingly, MHEC later approved the Psychology program and the major “Liberal Arts and Technology-Computer Option- Psychology Focus” was created. The last student from this track graduated in 2002.

In 1997, MHEC finally gave VJC permission to develop a full fledge Psychology major! Dr. Bilgrave and Dr. Nancy Sherman designed a curriculum and Psychology became one of the majors being offered. In 2002, Dr. Bilgrave was appointed as the department chair for Psychology. He guided the department to create a curriculum with clear and well-articulated goals and objectives that aligned with the undergraduate Psychology standards created by the American Psychological Association (APA). The Psychology department leadership has also changed a few times over the years. It went from Dr. Bilgrave (2002-2005) to Dr. Michele Lewis (2005-2006), to Dr. Barbra Smith (2006-2010), and to Dr. Jeffrey Elliott (2010-present).

Fast forward to the present day, our department chair Dr. Elliott has worked extensively to update the curriculum to align with the APA guidelines. The department has flourished over the years and now consists of 6 full-time faculty members (each with a Ph.D.), 22 adjunct faculty, 187 majors, and 42 minors.

Although it has taken the Psychology department some time to make its debut, it offers not only a strong flexible curriculum, but many opportunities (e.g., research, field placement, internships) to help students achieve their goals and dreams. I am proud to be part of it.

SU Psychology

Students working in the Psychology Department area on a Monday morning. We have created a close-knit community!

By Makaylah Morton

Psychology professors regularly select students to serve as a Peer Teaching Assistant (PTA) in some of the courses that they teach, including PSY 136- Statistics for Behavioral and Social Science, PSY 201- Writing for Psychology, PSY 262- Social Psychology, PSY 261- Biological Psychology, and PSY 343- Research Methods-Data Analysis II.

What exactly does a PTA do? Although the duties of PTAs differ slightly for each course, it is relatively common for PTAs to attend every class, take attendance, hold office hours, lecture or lead discussion, and perform office duties such as print, copy, and send emails. In addition, PTAs may also be available to serve as tutors to ensure students are staying up to date with their assignments and preparing well for exams.

What can students gain by serving as a PTA? Being a PTA allows students to build working relationships with their Psychology professors, which is especially important if students are planning to attend graduate school. For a lot of graduate programs, having teaching experiences will enhance your chance of getting in.

Alicia Hughart, Senior Psychology Major and Active Minds president, took part in being a PTA for PSY 262- Social Psychology where she worked inside and outside of the classroom. Alicia utilized being a PTA for field placement credit, in which she worked alongside Dr. Schurtz to create conceptual exams, review students’ papers, and even conduct lectures. Due to her completing this assistantship for field placement credit, she is required to create a poster presentation that she will present in May. Completing this poster and presenting it provides students with professional presentation experiences that they can add to their CVs!

Alicia and Dr Schurtz

Alicia Hughart and Dr. Schurtz

For me as a Junior Psychology major, I am currently completing a teaching assistantship alongside with Dr. Wong for PSY 201- Writing in Psychology. My duties consist of facilitating class discussions, reading student’s papers, working with students inside and outside of the classroom to ensure they are understanding empirical articles, and completing various office tasks. During my time as a PTA through field placement credit, my relationship with Dr. Wong has strengthened, I was able to achieve my personal goals, and I truly believe I gained essential interpersonal skills I can utilize as I continue my undergraduate degree.

Makaylah and Dr Wong

Makaylah Morton and Dr. Wong

In sum, if you are completing a course that currently has a PTA and you are interested in becoming one, talk to your professor and inquire about the duties expected. Ensuring you are working hard in your course, receiving a good grade, and participating in class discussion is a great way to set yourself apart to be offered such position!

By: Makaylah Morton

Active Minds is one of our nation’s premier nonprofit organizations that supports mental health awareness and education for students. Here at our Stevenson chapter, we are dedicated to changing the conversation and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. This includes, but is not limited to, types of mental illnesses, histories of an individual that can lead to a change in mental health, and treatments. We as a club are devoted to saving lives and building a strong and impactful community to create a lasting change in how mental health is viewed. We believe that this can be done through education, research, and advocacy for those who need that support. We host a wide range of events throughout the semester to promote these concepts. Events include mental health tables and stress-less weeks, which are dedicated to decreasing stress and anxiety around midterms and finals week.

Active minds 1

2018-2019 Active Minds Officers and Members

As described on the Active Minds website: “We believe no one should have to struggle alone. By empowering students to speak openly about mental health, we can reduce stigma, encourage help seeking, and prevent suicides”. Through Active Minds, we hope to open people’s minds and hearts to issues related to mental health.

Active minds 2

Nya Medley (left) and Active Minds President Alicia Hughart (right)

By: Alicia Hughart

I have always enjoyed presenting posters. I first presented a poster project when I was eight and poster projects have always been my favorite part of school. Being able to research a specific topic and add my own creative influence to a plain white board has always made we feel so accomplished. I never knew that attending poster presentations would be so rewarding as well... On March 29 2019, I attended the wonderful Paul D. Lack Scholars’ Day poster presentation at the Manning Academic Center.

PDL1

Psychology Student Jenny Tran

PDL2

Psychology Student Danielle Gershman

When I first heard about this event, I knew that this showcase would highlight many research topics from varying students and faculty, but I was not sure the exact topics that would be presented. When I started to walk around the posters, I was flabbergasted by how the presenters were speaking so fluently, energetically, and cheerfully about their work. I discussed with many presenters about their different research topics and have learned so many new things. For example, I now know how music can affect alcohol consumption, why people cannot recognize celebrities with tinted glasses on, and even how we should monitor what we say on social media when a celebrity dies due to suicide.

PDL3

Counseling and Human Services faculty Dr. Finkenberg and Psychology faculty Dr. Schurtz

As I toured around the different posters, one that has caught my attention was presented by Dr. Shirna Gullo. Dr. Gullo is a nursing professor here at Stevenson University, and she conducted her own study about the effects of online testing for nursing students in college. She expressed to me that in the past, nursing students were required to take exams on paper tests, however this seemed to be a severe disadvantage for the students. What teachers were seeing was that despite having passed the written exam, many students were underperforming in the actual workforce. As such, she conducted a study to see if computerized testing was more beneficial for nursing students. To see Dr. Gullo to be passionate about her research was very inspiring.

PDL4

Dr. Gullo from Nursing

Overall, I was so happy to attend to the showcase. Poster presentations are not only color or glitter on a board, but they represent a significant way to positively impact a person’s career or even their future.

By: Nya Medley

Stevenson University offers a unique Bachelor’s to Masters option that allows students to save tuition and complete their education in a shorter period of time. The GPA requirement is a 3.0 and a minimum of 60 credits must be completed prior to applying. Students must apply during the first semester of their junior year and are eligible to take graduate level classes once 75 credits have been completed. This program is online which allows it to be flexible with outside obligations such as other classes or work. Psychology students working towards their Bachelor’s degree can utilize this shorter time frame education experience depending on their area of personal and professional interest.

SUO

Options for Psychology majors include:

Communications Studies is essentially mastering the science of communication. Many professionals want to enhance their communication skills. By completing a Master’s in Communications Studies, many new opportunities can be unlocked. This program may appeal to those interested in Industrial and Organization Psychology because students will be able to gain skills in evaluating and creating solutions to conflicts that occur in organizations. In addition, students who attain their Master of Science in Communication Studies will be equipped in strategies to create cohesive communications across differing cultural, social, and business settings.

Community-Based Education & Leadership is designed to create highly-qualified professionals to teach, lead, and manage informal education settings. A Master’s in Community-Based Education & Leadership (CBEL) can appeal to Psychology majors interested in working with children and teaching in a non-formal setting. This program produces leaders for nonprofit organizations, athletic coaching, youth development, and leadership in the greater community. Students interested in completing a Master’s in CBEL will have the ability to hone in on skills related to STEM, cognitive and emotional development, and research driven decision making. A 15-credit certificate is also offered.

Crime Scene Investigation is a great option for students who wish to learn about the integration of science and law. The media and popular culture have increased the awareness of forensic evidence among potential jurors to such an extreme that there is now an expectation that forensic evidence must contribute to all trials. Due to this culture shift, more forensic science technicians are needed to provide timely forensic information to law enforcement agencies and courts. The Crime Scene Investigation program provides students with the skills to evaluate crime scenes and select the appropriate steps to be followed in documenting, collecting, preserving, and processing evidence. The program trains professionals to process forensic evidence and report their findings in an ethical manner for the purpose of effectively communicating those findings in a courtroom setting. An 18-credit certificate is also available.

Forensic Investigation could be a great fit for Psychology majors interested in the social aspects of forensics or criminal justice. A Master of Science in Forensic Investigation prepares students to collect physical data and conduct interviews for the purpose of synthesizing the results for court testimony. In addition, students are prepared for careers that provide them with the ability to communicate findings, analysis, and conclusions. Potential positions for graduates range from Police Detective, to Federal Bureau of Investigation, to Special Agent. At the state and local level, Forensic Investigators usually specialize in one type of crime. An 18-credit certificate is also offered.

Forensic Studies is a similar program to Forensic Investigation but contains a broader range of experience. Students will learn the skills necessary to conduct investigations and examine evidence for the purpose of presenting their findings in legal proceedings. A Master of Science in Forensic Studies is ideal for students interested in more than one area within forensics and who wish to develop more general knowledge in forensics. Potential career opportunities include forensic accounting, digital investigation, and many other areas requiring forensic expertise such as FBI analyst or profiler.

Healthcare Management equips students with the leadership and management competencies that are critical in the healthcare industry. Students can select from two concentrations based on their personal interests and career aspirations: Quality Management and Patient Safety or Project Management. Students and graduates of Stevenson University Online’s Healthcare Management master’s programs have advanced their careers within the industry at hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician practices, insurance companies, medical technology and device companies, and nonprofit healthcare-related organizations.

If you are currently a Psychology Major with less than 60 credits and want to further look into these programs, the tuition, or the specific courses offered, visit the Academics section on Stevenson University’s website or contact Stevenson University Online’s Director of Admissions, Amanda Millar at 443-334-3334.

By: Makaylah Morton

 
 
Request Info