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Psychology News

Keyword: alum

In honor of African American History Month, we wanted to highlight our very own Psychology alumna, T’Niya Lawson (’20 Psychology)! 

TNiya Lawson

During her senior year, T’Niya completed her PSY 470 Senior Research Thesis under the supervision of our Department Chair Dr. Elliott. In her thesis, T’Niya examined how the race and attitude of a law enforcement officer (threatening vs. non-threatening) and the participants’ race influenced compliance with officer requests. Her results indicated that officer race, threatening attitude, and participant race did in fact influence compliance level. Her and research team found that compliance was highest in the non-threatening, same race as law enforcement officers conditions. Although the Psychology Student Research Showcase was cancelled due to COVID, T’Niya had the opportunity to present her work at the virtual Eastern Psychological Association Conference in March, 2020.

Looking back at her four years at Stevenson, T’Niya was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. To this end, she had held various leadership positions for many student clubs and organizations. For example, she had served as the Chair for Women of Resilience Tenacity, and Humility (W.O.R.T.H.) (a club focused on building sisterhood and creating a social environment for all women). She was also the Treasurer of Active Minds (whose goal is to empower students to speak openly about mental health and encourage help-seeking) and Treasurer of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Notably, T’Niya was an honorary member of the Psychology Program’s Honor Society Psi-Chi.

In Fall 2020, T’Niya started graduate school to pursue her Master’s in Clinical Psychology degree at Virginia State University. Although many students find the transition to graduate school overwhelming, T’Niya was taking everything in stride—all because of the excellent education she received at Stevenson University! For example, her professors took notice of her rich statistical knowledge and research experiences right at the beginning. After all, T’Niya had taken three research methods and statistics course and was involved in various research projects at Stevenson, and these experiences really made her stand out from her peers. Indeed, T’Niya’s first semester went so well that she earned a perfect GPA of 4.0! Moving forward, T’Niya will be taking clinical courses in her program and she is very confident that she is just as well-prepared.

We are so proud of T’Niya and look forward to hearing more about her future achievements! Please keep us posted!

Written by: Semira Nock

Growing up, I was not really interested in coloring or creating artwork. Even to this day, I still find art to be a little intimidating. I would never consider myself to be artistic.

Last Tuesday, I attended the “Art and Mental Health” event hosted by Dr. Iannone and Ms. Sharelle Langaigne. Dr. I is a Professor in Psychology and Ms. Langaigne is an SU alum (’15 Psychology). She recently completed her Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Creative Development from the Pratt Institute and will be taking the licensing exam to become a Board Certified Art Therapist.


This “Art and Mental Health” event focuses on art therapy: how people from different backgrounds can use art to express themselves. First, we were all given a blank mask. Next, we were asked to decorate our mask using the different materials provided, including paint, pipe cleaners, beads, glitter, feathers, and so on. Ms. Langaigne explained that our task was to decorate the mask based on how we were feeling at the moment. Importantly, we should not be comparing our work with others. Ms. Langaigne emphasized that while we were free to give compliments, criticisms (including self-criticisms) were not allowed. I felt a lot more relaxed knowing that none of us were being judged.


As I worked on this mask, I realized how art can actually be used in therapy settings. In other words, art is such an awesome creative outlet for people to express themselves and decompress. It finally became apparent to me why art is taking such a special place in the therapy setting. Art can really save lives!

By: Nya Medley

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 graduated from Stevenson University in December of 2017. Currently, I am in my second year of the M.A./Ed.S. program in School Psychology at the University of Delaware. Along with my graduate study, I am working as the Program Assistant in which I am collaborating with Nemours BrightStart on research projects. As a result of my experiences at SU, I was selected to receive the Graduate Scholar Award at UD, which has made my dream of attending graduate school a reality! 

Melissa Catalano

Stevenson’s Psychology department has prepared me in more ways than I can explain! This program has not only helped me discover a path that aligned with my future goals, it has also provided me with the knowledge and skills to feel confident in my abilities to succeed. I would never forget the help and support from numerous Psychology professors, including Dr. Metzger, Dr. Iannone, Dr. Schurtz, and Dr. Bilgrave.  

Dr. Metzger spent countless hours offering invaluable advice and helping me plan for the future. I always felt comfortable sharing my challenges and successes with him. I would definitely say that working as a Peer Teaching Assistant for Dr. Metzger and being involved in countless conversations with him and my peers have made a huge impact on my development.

Dr. Iannone has played an significant role in preparing me for my graduate school application through her Professional Development Sequence. Importantly, she has shown me the importance of finding a program that is of a great fit. As a result, I selected the School Psychology graduate program at UD and am enjoying working in a close knit, enthusiastic, and supportive environment.  

My time in Dr. Schurtz’s “Love Lab” has helped me gain the skills necessary to embark on new research opportunities, including submitting proposals to a School Psychology conference this upcoming spring. Last but not least, Dr. Bilgrave’s passion and enthusiasm for counseling has helped me build confidence in my communication skills, which I find myself consistently using.

I strongly believe that Stevenson has thoroughly prepared me for the level of work and dedication necessary to succeed in graduate school. This past May, I graduated with my M.A. in School Psychology at UD. I am now completing a practicum in preparation for an internship. My ultimate goal is to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. I know that choosing to transfer to Stevenson was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I am beyond grateful for all the experiences I have had at Stevenson and will always cherish my time being a part of the SU Psychology community!  

By: Melissa Catalano (’17 Psychology)

My name is Lauren Cancila and I graduated from Stevenson University in May of 2019. I am now studying Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Stevenson’s Psychology program has definitely prepared me well for graduate school in a couple of significant ways.

Lauren Cancila

1. The knowledge and skills that I have acquired are highly applicable to my current position. Specifically, I am confident about my new graduate-level social work research courses because of my extensive experience with research (e.g., individual and group research projects) when I was at Stevenson. In addition, the many clinical courses that I had taken proved to be very helpful as I began working with clients from different walks of life.

2. The Psychology professors at SU are simply amazing. Among them, Dr. Metzger has made the biggest impact on me. He was always the first person I went to with good or bad news, and somehow he always had answers to my questions! He believed in me in times when I didn’t believe in myself and had pushed me to be the best student I could ever be. In addition, I had learned so much from Dr. Iannone. Her professional development sequence was so helpful and she had definitely helped shape me into who I am today. Last but not least, Dr. Tulloch and her course “Drugs and Behavior” literally changed my life. I remember that it was a service-learning course where students were required to volunteer at a non-profit organization that dealt with drug and alcohol treatment or prevention. Through her class, I started volunteering at a halfway house which I am still involved with today. Her class and the way she taught the material had opened my eyes to something that I am extremely passionate about: to work with people who are in the process of recovery from various addictions.

The Social Work graduate program at UMB requires students to work as interns. For me, I was assigned to intern at a community outreach center in Baltimore City where I will be doing case management to clients aged 55 and older. In the long run, my goal is to become a case manager at a drug and alcohol treatment center and maybe even establish my own halfway house! Thanks to the outstanding experiences that I had gathered at Stevenson, I received the Substance Use Disorder Intervention Fellowship. Because of this fellowship, I will have a more focused education in substance abuse as well as a secured second year internship at a treatment center of my choice.

Taken together, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Psychology program at Stevenson University. The students and faculty who I had met during my time there had blessed me with the skills, motivation, and knowledge I need to achieve my highest potential. The SU Psychology department will always be part of my family.

By: Lauren Cancila ('19 Psychology)

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