What it's like to study Psychology at Centenary


Gabriella Mullady ’11

Psychology major
Centenary Substance Abuse Research Team

Centenary College Psychology major »

When Gabriella Mullady ’11 began the Psychology program at Centenary College she never imagined she would contribute to a major research project on substance abuse, present the team’s findings at an academic conference, or work with a professor to publish a journal article on the topic. Yet this Psychology major and member of Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society, has done all this and more.

Gabriella is one of six Centenary psychology students that completed a research project on substance abuse treatment with the guidance of Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Keith Morgen, a substance abuse expert. The team not only presented their findings at the Eastern Psychology Association [EPA] Conference but wowed colleagues with the scale and scope of the project. “People were amazed to find out that we were juniors doing this kind of work,” recalls Gabriella. “I expected it to be more difficult than it actually was. I learned that Centenary College professors have provided me with a strong foundation in psychology.”

Gabriella says the experience strengthened her confidence and exposed her to limitless opportunities.  She is beginning another research project with Dr. Morgen. Another faculty member expressed interest in a research topic Gabriella proposed concerning class size and learning outcomes. And the undergraduate’s plan is to work in a classroom setting with special needs children and then to go to graduate school for Applied Behavioral Therapy. Gabriella’s ultimate goal is to become an Applied Behaviorist for children with autism.
Says Gabriella: "Centenary students flourish when our professors bring their professional experience into the classroom setting. Through this experience you are able to burst through the normal college bubble and expose students to the vast world around them. That’s the best thing about Centenary. You’re not in a bubble. The education here, gets you out into the real world.”


Brian Esposito ’09

Candidate, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D)
Immaculata University

Centenary College Psychology major »

As an undergraduate at Centenary College Brian Esposito ’09 considered applying to master’s and doctoral programs in clinical psychology and ultimately chose a five year Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D) at Immaculata University. “I knew whatever I wanted to do involved teaching or administrative work,” explains Brian. “I wanted to go on for more proficiency and greater capability.”

Reflecting on his undergraduate experience, Brian says “Centenary worked out really well for me. I was able to stay local, play sports and really establish myself.  It definitely gave me a good foundation for where I am now and I’m very appreciative of the school.”
He also appreciated the one-on-one with professor and faculty members like Dr. Christine Floether, who taught classes such as developmental psychology using the latest in published research material.

 “This was always refreshing to me,” Brian says. “I wasn’t getting text book material but was learning about the latest research from a professional in the field. And the faculty is very open to your questions — they want to help. At other schools it’s darn near impossible to track down a professor, let alone talk to them. We really do get an advantage.”

A student-athlete who played soccer for four years and student tutor at the Writing Center Brian offers this piece of advise to prospective students considering the Psychology program at Centenary: “Ask questions. Get involved. Make your experience more than getting a diploma. There are so many opportunities through Centenary. See what’s out there — you can learn more than what’s in the classroom.”

Amanda Ziemba ’10

Clinical Project Associate, Canfield Scientific, Inc.
Centenary Substance Abuse Research Team

Centenary College Psychology major »

Amanda Ziemba will graduate from Centenary College in December 2010 and already she has a full-time position in her field. A transfer student from Morris County College, Amanda, who also serves as president of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology, describes her experiences at Centenary as overwhelmingly positive. “I saw so many opportunities once at Centenary,” says Amanda, who organized community service initiatives through the honor society and became a member of the Centenary Substance Abuse Research Team.

“I learned so much from being a part of the research team,” says Amanda. “It definitely helped me in all of my courses. But it also opened my eyes to the fact that there are still so many questions that have not been researched and need to be answered. And there will always be jobs in the field of research.”

Armed with this new awareness, Amanda, who always balanced full-time work and a full-time course load during her undergraduate career, began searching for entry-level research positions. She is now clinical project associate on a research team at Canfield Scientific, Inc., a supplier of medical imaging software, photographic equipment and computer systems for health care imaging. As she settles into her new position, Amanda is also working on phase II of the substance abuse research project during her last semester at Centenary.

“What’s great about Centenary are the professors who bring so many real world experiences to class,” says Amanda. “I never would have known this kind of position existed if not for being a part of the substance abuse research team at Centenary.”

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