Psychology Department


Student & Alumni Highlights

Allison Cerasale ’23
Allison has been a very active member of the psychology department since her freshman year. She has held numerous positions such as the PsychAlliance Secretary, Psi Chi Treasurer, Student Representative, and PsychAlliance Publicity Chair! In Spring 2021, she was also a TA for PSY 205 and an attendee of the Eastern Psychological Association conference in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Allison completed an internship her senior year at the Institute for Holistic Health Studies on campus. Outside of the department, Allison served as the Service Coordinator/Secretary for the Newman Club and a mentor at the Western Connection Program. She has been inducted into the Delta Alpha Phi Honor  Society and the Psi Chi International Honor Society. She won the  Outstanding New Student in Psychology award, Outstanding Junior in Psychology award, and Dan DeRosa Memorial Award from the  Psychology Department. After graduation Alison plans on going to grad school to study school psychology and hopes to work as a school psychologist in an elementary school.


Satil Moni ’22
Satil is a Psychology major, Professional Writing minor in the Kathwari Honors Program. She completed an internship with Dr. Mary Murphy at the Center for Assessment and Psychotherapy and at the Center for Empowerment and Education. She is has also worked on completing a Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse Counseling certification. She is a member of PsychAlliance, Psi Chi Honor Society, and a veteran member of Honors Students of Compassion. She was the President of the Muslim Student Association from 2020-2022 and the Vice President in Fall 2022. She also hosted the first K-pop and Asian music show, “13 Hours Ahead” on WCSU’s radio station, WXCI 91.7 FM. She has previously worked as a Career Peer Leader at the Career Success Center, an Honors Assistant Intern for the Kathwari Honors Program, and an Editor for the Perspective Honors Literary Magazine. Because of her heavy involvement in leadership, both formally and informally at WCSU, the Student Government Association Granted her the Student Award of Merit in May 2022. 

Edwin Medina ’23
Edwin is a member of the WCSU chapter of Psi Chi and Pi Sigma Alpha. He is a student researcher in the area of cognition, where he worked on measuring different types of cognitive abilities. He also is a research assistant in the area of infant/child perception. In previous semesters, he has completed research related to body image, personality, and other types of cognition. Outside of WCSU, he has gained experience in data collection through internship and shadowing experiences. After graduation, he plans to start new research in graduate school.

Li Ting (Ada) Lin ’17

Ph.D. Student at University at Buffalo, SUNY

Ada graduated from WCSU in 2017. While at WCSU, she was awarded Outstanding New Student in psychology, Outstanding Junior in Psychology, Outstanding Senior in Psychology, and the Willerman Memorial Award from the Psychology Department. She has been granted several scholarships, namely the WCSU Alumni Association Scholarship, the W. Jason & Ellen Hancock Scholarship (2015 & 2016), the Veronica Hagman Memorial Scholarship, the Karlson Family Foundation Scholarship, the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship (2013-2017), and the Barden’s Honor Students International and Domestic Travel Scholarship. Ada currently has her Master of Education in Educational Studies and is in the process of obtaining her Ph.D. in Combined School Psychology and Counseling Psychology from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She was awarded the Arthur Alfonso Schomurg Fellowship (2018-2022) and the GSE Schomburg Textbook Award (2021 & 2022). She is a pre-doctoral intern at Ohio University’s CPS where she conducts individual and group counseling with college students, prepared and delivers outreaches, and participates in didactic training na seminars to enhance her clinical skills. Her dissertation focuses on the impact of racial microaggressions among Asian Americans amid COVID-19.


Gabrielle Johnson ’22

Graduate Student at Boston College

Gabrielle graduated Summa Cum Laude from WCSu and the Kathwari Honors Program in May 2022. While on campus at WCSU she worked as the Student Assistant for the Psychology Department, served as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Gee in Brain and Behavior, a Research Assistant for Dr. Kuther, and performed an independent study supervised by Dr. Gustafson. She was awarded the Outstanding Senior in Psychology and the Willerman Memorial Award from the Psychology Department. Gabrielle is currently working toward a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. She is a full-time student working as an intern part-time at Davies Life & Health and with WCSU Professor, Dr. Tara Kuther, as a research assistant for her developmental psychology textbooks. Currently, she is working on developing her skills as a counselor-in-training, and is in the process of preparing for interviews at internship sites in Boston to receive clinical experience.


Kristen Dovgan ’09

Assistant Professor of Psychology at Marist College

Kris graduated from WCSU in 2009. At WCSU, she served as the President of the Psychology Student Association, the Vice President of Psi Chi, a Student Representative for the department, and a Student Ambassador for the International Student Exchange Office. Throughout college, she worked full-time as a paraprofessional for people with developmental disabilities, which influenced her doctoral studies and future scholarship. At Marist, she is training students in research methods and developmental disabilities by collaborating with the Anderson Center for Autism to provide a social skills program for youth with autism spectrum disorders. Kris received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University in 2013. She was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Missouri from 2016 to 2018. In addition, she has published 22 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals and presented 29 research papers and posters at regional, national, and international conferences. Her current scholarship focuses on developmental, progression, and relationship among problem behaviors, internalizing disorders, and co-occuring conditions in this population.


Mixtli Suarez ’22
Mixtli has obtained Dean’s List Status in Fall 2021 and had two internships in her time at WCSU. In Spring 2021, Mixtli had an internship at Danbury Grassroots Academy (DGA), a non-profit organization that is a free, year-round program serving 50 at-risk select students, ages 8-18. Mixtli served as an academic mentor for the students at DGA. Throughout her position, she has been able to improve her administrative and creative skills, and help students satisfy their academic needs. After the completion of her internship, she was offered a position as an academic associate at DGA. Mixtli also had an internship at Head Start. Head Start is an early learning program offering childcare and preschool options. Students at Head Start learn social-emotional skills to prepare for entry into kindergarten. her overall goal is to apply and be accepted into WCSU’s School Counseling Master’s Program. She aspires to become a school counselor, and one day, a school principal. 

Jade Carriero ’24
Jade transferred to WCSU the second semester of her first year and has become greatly involved on campus ever since. She held the position of Vice President of the Psychology Student Association for two years, as well as Treasurer for WCSU’s Chapter of Psi Chi. She is currently the President of WCSU’s Chapter of Psi Chi and is the Student Representative for the Psychology Department. She also currently works as the Student Assistant for the Psychology Department. She has been a student researcher with Dr. Gee for two years, primarily researching undergraduate students’ perspectives on teaching assistants. She has presented this research at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference in 2023 and numerous times at WCSU’s Western Research Day. She has also been a TA for Dr. Gee’s Brain and Behavior course (PSY 230). Outside of the department, she has held a 2-year position of Vice President for the Program Activities Council where they plan all major programs and events for WCSU. After graduation, she plans on continuing her education in a doctoral program for counseling psychology.

Colleen O’Connor ’23
Colleen is highly involved on campus both within and outside the psychology department. Within the psychology department, she works as a supplemental instructor of PSY 204. In this position, Colleen tutors students in psychological statistics and creates worksheets and review activities to supplement their learning/study. Outside of the department, she is the President of Alpha Delta Pi. As President, she is the Chief Executive Officer of the Eta Omnicron chapter of ADPi and is responsible for managing the direction of the chapter and the executive committee. Additionally, Colleen works for a local fiduciary office where she is responsible for performing client-based tasks such as care plan meetings, communication with social workers and doctors, and much more. After graduation, she plans on continuing her psychology education, and one day receiving her Ph.D.