Hear from our students!

School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) takes place from November 14 through 18, 2016. In recognition of SPAW, a few members of our School Psychology graduate program have shared stories about their path to School Psychology. In honor of this year's theme, Small Steps Change Lives, we asked our graduate students to describe how they discovered the field of School Psychology, what they have enjoyed so far in their graduate coursework, and what they are most excited about contributing to the field. Every person's small steps are unique, but all lead to a great career. We hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about our program.

Jenny Bole

My name is Jenny Bole, and I am in my first year in the School Psychology program at the University of Dayton. After working in the education world for two years, I was drawn to the field of school psychology based on the need, and the appeal of such a unique and rewarding career. So far in the program, I have really enjoyed the practicum experience.  I think it is so helpful to be out shadowing professionals in the field so early on in the graduate school experience. It provides such great insight into what a school psychologist does, and aids the process of finding what type of environment you may want to work in one day! As much as I am loving graduate school, I cannot wait to get out into the field and put forth the best practices learned here at UD to make a positive impact on students, staff and families in the school community.

Julie Finan

My name is Julie Finan and I am just beginning my first year in the School Psychology program at the University of Dayton. Junior year of my undergraduate career, I transferred to the University of Dayton where I went on to receive my B.A. in Psychology. I first learned of School Psychology through one of my undergraduate professors during a casual conversation after class. After meeting with faculty and current graduate students in the School Psychology program, it was clear that I had found my path for my graduate career. So far, I have really enjoyed bonding with my cohort and getting to know the second and third year cohort as well. The practicum experience has really opened my eyes to the number of roles and responsibilities that a School Psychologist fulfills. I am most excited to create a positive environment that will allow students to learn and develop in a way that suits their own style. I am also eager to serve as a mentor to future School Psychology graduate students!

Molly Depew

I discovered school psychology by shadowing the school psychologist of my high school.  I knew I wanted to do something in psychology and asked the school to set up a semester-long shadow experience and they set me up with the school psychologist.  I've always loved the school environment and wanted to be a teacher for a long time, so the combination of school and psychology was perfect.  My favorite part about the program has been the connections I've made to local schools, to teachers, school psychologists, and everyone that we interact with.  I am most excited to be in a school everyday and help make a child's school experience the best it can be!

Nicole Guzman

My name is Nicole Guzman, and I’m a second year School Psychology graduate student at University of Dayton. During my undergraduate, I discovered a passion for working with children in schools, but still wanted to utilize the strong research background I gained as a psychology major. After doing my own research on different careers in psychology and education, I found that school psychology was the perfect fit for me! My favorite part of the program so far has been the countless opportunities for hands-on experience in schools beginning my first semester, as well as the amazing faculty I’ve been able to learn from. Almost all of our professors are practicing school psychologists, which makes the real-world application very prominent in our program. As a future school psychologist, I look forward to creating an inclusive learning environment for all students and families, as well as ensuring that all students have an equal chance of success and a bright future!

Emily Fragapane

My name is Emily Fragapane and I am currently in my second year in the School Psychology program at the University of Dayton. In my undergraduate institution, the academic advising office experienced high rates of staff turnover and typically maintained a month-long waiting list for an appointment. I was in my senior year and was feeling the pressure to decide to either apply for graduate school or to look for a job, so I decided to send my resume with a friend to a career advisor at the University of Dayton for advice. The advisor asked if I had considered School Psychology and after doing some research, I decided this was the path I was looking for. My favorite part of my graduate program at UD has been the practicum experience that we start in our first semester. Shadowing local School Psychologists has been so helpful in growing my understanding of this incredible profession and I appreciate the emphasis on building these professional connections early on. I am most excited about being a resource for both students and staff members, and helping to foster positive learning communities for everyone.

Alexa Irwin

My name is Alexa Irwin and I am currently a first year student in the School Psychology program at University of Dayton.  I first learned about school psychology when I was a junior in undergrad.  As a Spanish major, my professor thought it was important for us to know about career paths where Spanish proficiency was beneficial.  A school psychology student came in and talked to our class about the career and I remembered thinking it sounded like the perfect fit for me.  After working for a few years after college, I revisited the idea of school psychology and began to research the field.  Eventually, I came to the decision that I was going to go to graduate school to pursue school psychology.  My favorite part of the program so far has been the practicum component where we spend time shadowing school psychologists at local schools.  The hands on experience is invaluable and helps me to grasp an understanding of what my career will look like someday.  I am very excited to work in a school amongst children and other professionals and act as an advocate for students in need.

Asia Ameigh

My name is Asia Ameigh and I am currently in my second year of the School Psychology graduate program at the University of Dayton. When I was in undergrad, I was introduced to the school psychology field through the Butler County Success Program (BCSP), a program that serves a number of school districts by providing health and human services to students and their families. Through BCSP, I worked directly with students and families to help identify strategies that would address their individual needs so that they could have positive school experiences. It was inspiring discovering the ways that schools could partner with families, and seeing how those partnerships supported each student’s experience. It was at that point that I knew school psychology was the path I wanted to take. What I have enjoyed the most about the School Psychology graduate program at the University of Dayton is the practicum experience. From shadowing practicing school psychologists to working with students, I am gaining more knowledge about the field and am learning the skills that are necessary for me to become a successful school psychologist. I look forward to building more partnerships between families and schools, and learning more about what I can do as a resource for students.

Kelly Berlin

My name is Kelly Berlin and I am currently a first year graduate student in the University of Dayton’s School Psychology program.  From the time I started elementary school until I graduated high school I thought I wanted to become a teacher.  However, just before I started my undergraduate career at The Ohio State University I decided this was no longer the path I wanted to take.  I researched several different majors at OSU and ultimately decided on psychology.  It was not until my junior year that I learned about the profession of school psychology.  As soon as I realized there was a career that blended my interests of education and psychology I knew what I wanted to do.  My favorite part of the School Psychology program at the University of Dayton has been the emphasis on hands-on experiences.  Beginning in the first semester I had the opportunity to observe several school psychologists in various school districts, and even got to administer an early literacy test to a class of elementary students.  As a future school psychologist I am most excited to collaborate with parents, teachers, students, and administrators to determine what programs I can implement in my school to best serve the diverse needs of the students.

Rachel Boyd

My name is Rachel Boyd, and I am in my first year in University of Dayton’s School Psychology Program. As a psychology major at Indiana University, I was exposed to the variety of careers one could pursue within the field. Through service learning courses, I became interested in School Psychology due to its collaboration between psychology and education. I knew I wanted to work with students, so this was an excellent fit. Although this is my first semester in the program, I have enjoyed shadowing school psychologists in the community to develop a sense of what to expect from my future career. After coming from such a large undergraduate setting, I also enjoy the tight-knit feeling of a small cohort; I have learned from their experiences as well. When I consider my future career, I am most excited about working in collaboration with other school employees to improve the outcomes of our students.

Amanda Prater

My name is Amanda Prater and I am currently a second year graduate student in the School Psychology program at the University of Dayton. I first became interested in the field of School Psychology by observing my aunt, who has been a School Psychologist for the last thirty years. I was impressed by her ability to handle complex interpersonal situations for students on a daily basis and effectuate change in the lives of children. When I shadowed my aunt, I was able to observe some of the students that she worked with; these students struggled with academic and behavioral concerns, special needs, grief, crisis issues, and bullying. These experiences fueled my interest for School Psychology. During my undergraduate career, I majored in Psychology and began researching School Psychology Programs. Now, being in a program, I could not be more thrilled to be at the University of Dayton! My favorite part of the program so far has been our practicum experiences. These experiences have allowed us to develop relationships with current practitioners and begin working with students, teachers, and parents. As a future School Psychologist, I look forward to working on a school team that is focused on achieving the best outcomes for each individual student. I believe this process will be both challenging and extremely rewarding on a personal and professional level. 

Laura Kuebel

As I look back on my three years of graduate training, I can't help but think of all the small steps that led me to becoming a school psychologist. At the time they seemed coincidental, but as I reflect on my three years at the University of Dayton, I have quickly realized how those small steps have made such a profound impact in my life. As a junior psychology major, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or my degree. I knew graduate school was a must, but I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go in. Do I become a counselor? Clinical psychologist? I didn't have much direction. I met with my advisor, who had been a school psychologist prior to becoming a professor, and she introduced me to the field of school psychology. It sounded interesting, so I enrolled in an intro to school psychology class, which led to a school psychology internship in undergrad, which led to me pursuing a graduate degree in school psychology! I'm currently in my last year of the program. I'm interning in a wonderful school district and working with phenomenal children and staff. I love that not every day is the same: some days I have all meetings, other days I'm working with students Some days I'm in a preschool and others I'm in the elementary. My job requires critical thinking while working with a team: two things that I love. As my time as a graduate student comes to a close, I am so thankful for the many small steps that led me to finding a career that I truly love!

Megan Stasiak

My name is Megan Stasiak and I am currently a second year graduate student in the University of Dayton’s School Psychology program. When I started my undergraduate career at Anderson University I thought that I wanted to be a pediatric physician assistant, however after shadowing a PA I didn’t feel that it was the right fit for me. I realized that I loved my psychology classes much more than my biology ones, and enjoyed learning about the different ways people thought and what led a person to behave the way that they did. Going into my senior year I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school for psychology but wasn’t sure what to study. My mother was a school teacher and told me about School Psychology and I began to do research and talk to school psychologists to learn more about the field. I found out that the field combined my interests of working with children and learning about the roots of behaviors. My favorite part of my graduate program at UD has been how hands on the learning is. Starting the first semester and then each semester following, we are working in the actual school system whether it be shadowing or doing practicum. We are also encouraged to develop professional connections by working with local School Psychologists and by attending conferences to learn from other professionals in our field. In the future I am most excited about beginning my internship next year and being a positive resource for students, parents, teachers, and administrators to meet the needs of our students