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Psychology News

Keyword: exceptional experience

Did you know that one of the top reasons why young adults seek mental health services is because of the high level of stress that they experience? This semester, I have enrolled in Dr. Colleen Spada’s special topics course “Anxiety, Stress, and Relaxation.” In this course, we explore not only the different types and possible causes of stress, but also constructive coping methods in response to the experience of stress.

Dr. Spada

Dr. Spada

A highlight of this course is the opportunity to hear from different guest speakers that Dr. Spada has invited. For example, this semester we have heard from an art therapist, a yoga instructor, as well as a massage therapist! Importantly, these guest speakers did not just lecture to us, but they had incorporated various hands-on activities for us to learn more about each of these topics. Let’s take a look!


Massage therapist Jes Raschella engaging the class in massage techniques. After practicing a few massage techniques, multiple students noted how relaxed their body felt. It seemed that our stress had melted away!


Acupuncturist Dr. Rhonda Sapp provided a brief history of acupuncture. Psychology major Sophie Spartana volunteered to try out acupuncture on her ears. One student reported better sleep after the mini-acupuncture session from Dr. Sapp!

Taken together, I have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Spada’s course. This course is not only highly interactive, but has also provided us with tools to manage our own stress. I would highly recommend this course!

By: Semira Nock

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. Angela Setzer and her research assistants of the Crayfish Lab have been quite busy lately!

First, they went on an adventure exploring the SU campus stream (located beneath the walking bridge connecting the OM and OMN campuses) and brought back a few crayfish. Since then, the research assistants have been trying to breed them, hoping that they will spawn eggs.


"Gotta catch 'em all!"


Lots of hard work, but it was fun and we were learning a lot!


Spotlight of the day: Crayfish!

Secondly, under the guidance of Dr. Setzer, the research assistants have been learning about the neuroanatomy of the crayfish via dissection. They have also been designing the methodology of a new study that aims to examine the effects of alcohol on the crayfish’s spatial memory.


From left to right: Isadora Fink, Maleah Smith, Ximena Diaz Juarez, Dr. Setzer, and Maggie Nichols-Reames

Last but not least, when they are not in the lab or stream, Dr. Setzer and her research assistants are busy preparing for the Psychology Department’s upcoming STEM Fest, which will take place on November 1, 2019. Specifically, they will be hosting a series of activities in the main lobby of MAC on our OMN campus. Please stay tuned for more updates!

By: Dr. Angela Setzer and her students (Isadora Fink, Esha Kashmiri, Maleah Smith, Maggie Nichols-Reames, and Ximena Diaz Juarez)

In this blog post, Psychology major Nya Medley described what she has learned at a recent job/career fair and reflected on her experience in planning her future internship experience.

As a freshman, I first did not know anything about internships. However, I quickly learned that not only is it important to obtain an internship, but also a requirement for Psychology majors. I confess, when I first came across the word “internship”, I found it to be a little intimidating.

Nya Medley

Nya Medley ('22 Psychology)

All my concerns dissipated when I attended last semester's Psychology and Human Services Career Fair. I was impressed how approachable and courteous all the employer representatives were. This fair has really created an excellent opportunity for me to engage in lively conversations with the professionals in my field. In the end, I had conversations with representatives from organizations such as: Kennedy Krieger, Trellis, Sheppard Pratt, TranZed, Target Community & Educational Services Inc., and Itineris.

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Part-time Job Fair held at Stevenson University in Fall 2019

One specific conversation that stuck out to me was learning about The Maryland School of the Blind (MSB). I had a great conversation with one of the administrators from MSB and it was both informative and educational. She explained to me that at MSB, they educate and cultivate young blind students. Similar to any of the nearby public schools, MBS has education, clubs, graduation, honor ceremonies, and even sport events! Recently, MBS’s Goalball team won a Guinness World Record for playing the world’s longest game of goalball ever! At that moment, I realized the importance of schools that are dedicated to serving children with disabilities. For my future internship, I would love to work at a place like this!

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"Verbal Beginnings," one of the organizations participating in the job fair this semester

Internships are not really about checking yet another box or putting another line of experience on your resume. Instead, internships are great opportunities for us to learn and make an impact that can change someone's life forever. In a way, internships are like a box of assorted chocolates. You never know the joy that each one could bring, until you try each of them for yourself.

By: Nya Medley (’22, Psychology)

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