Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

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Graduate School Bound

Olivia ButlerOlivia Butler (Child Development, ‘19) will attend a master’s program in Boulder, CO called Boulder Journey School. "At the end of this one-year integrated program, I will receive an M.A. in learning, developmental and family sciences with an emphasis in early childhood education from the University of Colorado Denver (UCD), and an Early Childhood Education (0-8) Teaching License through the Colorado Department of Education." Boulder Journey School began as a child care center and preschool, which then partnered with UCD and the Colorado Department of Education. The program includes a trip to Italy to further study the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.

“I am beyond excited to expand my knowledge of child development through this program, particularly with its hands-on learning approach that is like Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy. At the program site, I will be co-teaching alongside a mentor teacher in either an infant, toddler or preschool classroom. In the future, I am hoping to work in the field of early childhood education as a teacher or director, while remaining a constant advocate for children! The education I’ve received from Cal Poly has allowed me to enhance my overall knowledge of the subject of child development and my interactions with children. My confidence in working with children has improved significantly over the past four years, as I have learned how to integrate developmentally appropriate practices into my interactions with children. Specifically, during my time in the Preschool Learning Lab and in PSY 323 The Helping Relationship, I was able to increase my interpersonal skills. I am beyond thankful for the Psychology and Child Development Department as it has prepared me to begin the next phase of my education. I would like to thank Dr. Amber Williams for supporting my development of new knowledge and skills, and for always being an available resource. I would also like to thank Dr. Clarkson and Kari Applegate for the opportunity to intern at the Preschool Learning Lab and for challenging my interactions skills with children while providing me with great insight of the professional field I wish to enter into.“

Emma CohenEmma Cohen (Psychology, ‘19) will attend Claremont Graduate University for a dual master's program, a Master of Applied Psychology, concentrating in social psychology, and a Master of Public Health, concentrating in health promotion, education and evaluation. "I am looking forward to build upon my Bachelor of Psychology degree by studying applied techniques to help individual people, while also gaining the framework to evaluate and reform broader systems of public health services. This combination of degrees is exciting, because I don’t have to choose between focusing on helping one person at a time or targeting whole populations; I get to combine my passion for bettering the lives of others with the skill set to improve global systems for change. The Cal Poly psychology program was an amazing support system and an awesome champion in preparing me for graduate school. I was taught with a real sense of purpose, found incredible role models, and was given countless opportunities to put my skills to work in meaningful ways within our community. Dr. Bennion inspired me with her passion for research and helped me cultivate educational experiences far beyond the classroom. Dr. Teramoto-Pedrotti taught me countless lessons of humility, patience and determination, and because of her I always strive to be an ally for change. I would like to thank all of the faculty, staff and my peers for pushing me to be a better student and helping me to become a better person along the way!"

Hannah DavisHannah Davis (Psychology, '19) will attend the Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) program at University of California, Davis. The MEPN is an expedited MSN program that lasts 18 months. She will become a registered nurse and wants to work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to specifically help vulnerable populations who may not have access to quality health care.

“My time at Cal Poly as a psychology major and child development minor prepared me to attend nursing school. The emphasis on working with diverse populations, the helping relationship, and the importance of social, emotional and mental health across the lifespan gave me a unique perspective on health care that I am passionate about. I am very thankful for the research opportunities I had with Dr. Freberg which allowed me to travel and present at UCLA as well as in Washington D.C. I'd like to thank all my professors; they were incredibly engaging and supportive throughout my four years. Dr. Bennion was especially encouraging and always went out of her way to help me reach my goals; she is truly an inspiration to me. I would not be where I am without the support of the department, and I will always be so grateful for these experiences.”

Lindsay Greenblatt

Lindsay Greenblatt (Psychology, ’19) will be attending UCLA Law School in the fall. She looks forward to attending UCLA especially because of the opportunity to specialize in their critical race studies program, which is the only program of its kind in the nation. After law school, Greenblatt plans to pursue a career in criminal or civil rights law.

“I am so thankful for Cal Poly’s psychology program because of how well it prepared me for law school. The emphasis on writing, research and critical thinking are skills that I will use not only in the three years I will spend in law school but well beyond that during my career. I especially want to thank Dr. Amber Williams for being such a great professor and mentor during my time at Cal Poly. I had the opportunity to not only take her Multicultural Psychology class, but also work as a research assistant in her lab and work with her on my senior project, which is an empirical research study examining racial bias in juror decisions. Dr. Amber Williams along with so many other psychology professors helped to not only give me the skills to succeed, but also broaden my worldview and help to direct my passion for understanding the intersection between race and the justice system.”

Nic Herring

Nicholas (Nic) Herring (Psychology, ‘19) will attend the University of South Alabama (USA). At USA, he will earn a doctorate in clinical and counseling psychology. His primary area of research will be the efficacy of parent child interaction therapy with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He will be working in the Healthy Families Lab under Dr. Zlomke. Upon completing his Ph.D., he plans to pursue a postdoctoral internship and ultimately become a research professor with a private practice, serving primarily marginalized populations. Herring currently volunteers and conducts research at the SLO Syringe Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program. He plans to bring some of his experience with harm reduction practices to Alabama.

“Cal Poly’s undergraduate program set me on my path to a Ph.D. in clinical and counseling psychology. I transferred from Cuesta College seeking out any and every academic opportunity I could find. Cal Poly never failed to provide me with incredibly beneficial opportunities that set me up for successful admission into graduate school. The entire faculty does an amazing job of teaching classes, and they are incomparable in their approachableness and willingness to help. Dr. Rodgers hired me as her lab manager last year, and my experience in that position was a crucial factor in my admission to graduate school. Because of Dr. Rodgers’ belief in me, I gained an incredibly wide variety of skills relating to psychological research. Dr. Bennion has been an amazing mentor in terms of class material, research, and graduate school admission. Her expertise and enthusiasm have enabled me to follow the path I most desire. My peers in the department have also been very supportive. In particular, my good friend and research partner, Hannah Davis, has been an incredible academic partner and supporter during my time at Cal Poly. Finally, psychology staff Kelsey Davis and Robyn Hastin have been invaluable in helping me navigate through my undergraduate degree, I could not have done it without them.”

Pollard Nikisha LadNikisha Lad (Child Development, ‘19) will attend a two-year direct practice/clinical master's degree in social work program with a concentration in mental health and children/youth/families at San Diego State University (SDSU). The program focuses on interpersonal conflict and social functioning, with an emphasis on evidence-based intervention methods that are used with individuals, families and groups. After the program, she hopes to become an LSW and work with young children experiencing mental health difficulties.

“Being a part of Cal Poly’s child development program was an amazing experience that exposed me to so many courses and experiences I would not have been able to find anywhere else. The Psychology and Child Development Department truly cares about its students and makes sure that we all receive the support we need. The courses were taught by professors who made themselves available to their students and made classes fun, informative, and hands-on. The most valuable part of my experience at Cal Poly was my internship. My internships gave me valuable exposure to the population, underprivileged youth, that I would like to work with in the future.”


Read more from the 2019 Newsletter

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