Maria Rocha

Major: Psychology

Concentration: Lifespan Development

Class of 2023

Why did you choose Scranton? 

Attending a small university with welcoming, close-knit relationships was a necessity for me. In addition, I found it essential to know my professors. Scranton was the perfect fit with its supportive and welcoming community.

What did you like about the psychology major? 

The psychology major was perfectly designed to understand the different areas of psychology while preparing us for graduate school and the real world. There was also an abundance of electives to explore our interests.

What research did you do at Scranton?

Lots! I was involved in Dr. Christie Karpiak's research on the effectiveness of parent-child interaction therapy. I also did research with Dr. Joshua Reynolds on forensic and legal psychology, specifically, the fourth amendment and serial killers. Lastly, I was Dr. John Norcross's half-time, paid Research Assistant. Our  most recent research project was a national study of psychologists conducting psychotherapy.

Tell us about your internships.

I interned at Scranton Counseling Center, where I observed and co-facilitated group therapy with adult patients suffering from  severe mental illnesses. I also interned at Outreach with children, where I prepared and observed Incredible Years class, observed Play & Learn Group, and participated in Skyview Youth Mentoring.

What were your Teaching Assistantships like?

I was a TA for two psychology courses: with Dr. Gadaire for Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology and with Dr. Karpiak for Fundamentals of Psychology. I was responsible for grading quizzes and exams, commenting on discussion boards, developing discussion questions, and lecturing. These experiences taught me a lot about our professors’ behind-the-scenes work, improved my public speaking skills, and sparked my interest in teaching.

What were your extracurricular activities?

I was president of the Psychology Club and vice-president of Psi Chi (the International Honor Society in Psychology). I was also a member of multiple clubs, such as Beading Hope, Neurodiversity Inclusion Association, and Random Acts of Kindness.

How did the psychology program prepare you for the real world?

This program provided many skills to prepare us for the real world. I learned not only psychological knowledge but also research and interpersonal skills. When I applied for graduate school, I knew that I was prepared for the process and excited for my future.

What are you up to now?

I am attending the Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program at the University of Indianapolis.

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