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Psychology News

Keyword: exceptional experiences

Together with our two fellow psychology students Elijah Nieto and Chris Roberts, the four of us spent a day in November working with high school students in Morgan State University’s Upward Bound Program as a part of the service-learning component of PSY 350: Psychology of the Black Experience. Taught by Dr. Leary, this course focuses on understanding the experiences of Black individuals in the U.S and globally through the lens of psychology. The students are required to draw upon the topics discussed in class and conduct an intervention to assist the students in the Upward Bound (UB) program.


Gloria Collier (in yellow shirt) and some of the UB students

UB is a program dedicated to motivating low-income, potential first-generation college students to seek higher education while simultaneously assisting them with core academics and their college application process. Mrs. McDonald, the program director, along with Dr. Elliott (who serves as a UB’s counselor), Inga Williams, and Darrin Coley, all welcomed us with open arms.

We started off with an icebreaker before implementing our intervention. The icebreaker helped us get to know the UB students a little better. After the icebreaker, we shared with the students a poster with the stages of the Nigrescence model written on it.


The poster that we shared with the UB students with the Nigrescence model

The Nigrescence model, developed by William Cross, Jr. in 1971, explains the Black identity in four stages—pre-encounter, dissonance, immersion/emersion, and internalization/internalization-commitment. The pre-encounter stage describes when a Black individual has an affinity towards all things White and a dislike toward all things associated with being Black. The dissonance stage describes the experience of the Black individual encountering an event that opens his/her eyes up to the harsh reality that Black people go through. The immersion/emersion stage refers to a Black individual who is completely emerged in Black culture and not interested in paying attention to the other cultures around him/her. The final stage internalization/internalization-commitment is one in which the Black individual is secure in the understanding of his/her Blackness and focuses on issues not only inclusive to Black people but other races and ethnicities as well.

After explaining the Nigrescence model to the UB students, each student placed their name near the stage that they felt was appropriate. Many of the students found themselves in between the stages of dissonance and immersion/emersion or immersion/emersion and internalization/internalization-commitment. Surprisingly, the stage that harbored the most students was the internalization/internalization commitment stage. Many of the students discussed how they felt this would affect them once they were in college. After listening to their stories about why they were in each stage and how their current placement in the model would affect their experience at either a historically black college or university (HBCU) or predominantly white institution (PWI), we shared with them where we saw ourselves on the model. We also explained how college has been for us as Black students at a PWI, how we have grown through stages in the Nigresence model, and how successful we have been on our journey thus far.

Overall, spending a day with the UB students was a very fulfilling experience. We found these students to be extremely thoughtful, mature, and knowledgeable. We hope that this experience impacted them as much as it has impacted us.

By: Gloria Collier and Alzariyat Abdalla

Psychology family

  • You are not a number. We know all our students by their names.
  • Class size is small and allows active learning and participation.
  • We love our students and provide quality mentoring.
  • We are a close-knit department/family.
  • We are student-focused and believe in helping students grow.
  • We listen to our students and help them achieve their dreams.
  • We are fun and positive.
  • We have a well-designed curriculum that is flexible enough for students to create their own unique experiences at Stevenson (e.g., Psychology + Professional Minor).
  • There are field placement and internship opportunities for students.
  • Students are getting an excellent education from us.

Did you know? (Data from the 2017-2018 academic year)

  • 100% of our students who applied to graduate programs were accepted into at least one program.
  • 55% of our students went directly into graduate programs. That’s more than twice the national average!
  • 95% of our graduates who were seeking employment secured jobs within 2 months.
  • 38% of university-wide graduation awards were won by Psychology majors.
  • 100% of our students presented their scholarly work in a professional setting.
  • 100% of our students complete a professional internship before graduating.

#SuccessYouCanMeasure #WeAreTheBest

Students who had Dr. Wong before in their classes often comment on her enthusiasm and bubbly personality as an instructor. Did you know that Dr. Wong is also an active researcher who has published with her students?

For Dr. Wong, being a research mentor brings her tremendous joy and satisfaction. Her most recent work “The influence of cultural and generational differences on the ministry experience of Chinese American church leaders” is now in press in Pastoral Psychology (a peer-reviewed journal). Importantly, Sarah Goranson (’19 Psychology) serves as the first author on this work.

Dr Wong and Goranson

Dr. Wong and Sarah Goranson ('19 Psychology)

“Sarah has been working on this research project since her freshmen year,” recalled Dr. Wong. “I remember Sarah coming to me one day after our PSY 108 Human Growth and Development class. She said she wanted to be involved in research. Since then, she has played a key role in our research group. She has assisted with many research tasks, from data coding to the write-up of the manuscript. It has taken us a long time to see this finished product, but we are so proud of it.”

Sarah was thrilled when she was notified that the paper was accepted. “I am so excited,” said Sarah. “I really appreciate Dr. Wong’s help for this paper and teaching me so much throughout my college experience. I am very grateful for all the opportunities I have been given at Stevenson through the Psychology department.”

In addition to this work with Sarah Goranson, Dr. Wong’s recent publications also involved other Stevenson students. For example, she and Anakay Alexander (’20 Psychology) have contributed an encyclopedia entry “Adult attachment” for Intimate and Family Relationships. Together with her Ph.D. advisor Dr. Sarah Mangelsdorf and Psychology student Stephanie Charney (’19 Psychology), their work “Independence and dependence” is now in press for the Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development. Back in 2017, Dr. Wong published with Paige Worthy (’17 Psychology) “A qualitative analysis of the experience of female Chinese American church leaders: Associations with gender role, culture, and work-family balance” in Pastoral Psychology.

We congratulate Dr. Wong and her students for these wonderful publications!

At Stevenson University, there are five Professional Minors for students to choose from, in addition to the regular minors from different disciplines. When you choose a minor, think deeply about your goals and interests so that you can decide whether or not the minor is a good match for you.


Management and Organizational Leadership

  • Provides a foundation in business management through the study of management fundamentals, employee relations, and organizational leadership
  • Courses include Employment Law, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Leadership, and Human Resource Management

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development

  • Provides a basic understanding of the skills needed to start or build a small business, write a successful business plan, and set appropriate marketing objectives for small business growth
  • Courses include Principles of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Business Planning, Entrepreneurial Development, and Strategic Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Human Resources

  • Provides a solid foundation for careers in the human resources industry
  • Courses include Human Resources Management, Compensation and Benefits, Employee Training and Development, and International Human Resources

Real Estate

  • Provides a basic understanding of property management, commercial real estates, or sales
  • Courses include Principles of Real Estate, Property and Asset Management, Commercial Transactions, and Real Estate Market Analysis, Valuation, and Finance

Software Design and Coding

  • Provides a foundation in information systems to gain a competitive advantage in the tech world
  • Courses include MS Office Applications, Management Information Systems, Programming Concepts, and C# Object Oriented Programming

Interested in learning more about these Professional Minors? Visit this page and make an appointment with your advisor today to discuss more!

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)

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