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SEU News

SEU Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student Brendan SullivanNavigating Dysmorphia as a Female Bodybuilder

“I started seeing my body the way a judge would whenever I looked in the mirror,” says Yessine Griffin, ‘21. “I imagined them noticing that my shoulders were too wide and that my waist wasn’t small enough.”

As a competitive bodybuilder on a national level, Yessine was used to judges being critical of her physique. Each competition, she would walk on stage, conduct her poses in the most flattering manner and prepare for the judgments about her presentation. Everything from the symmetry of her figure and the fit of her swimsuit to the muscular nature of her frame and the health of her body was analyzed. While Yessine expected to be judged on her body in those moments, she never anticipated the lasting effects it would have on her mental health.

Read Yessine's Story

SEU Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student Brendan SullivanTeaching Mental Health Tips to Athletes

While earning his doctorate in counseling psychology, Brendan Sullivan, '24, manages to also work as an Academic-Athletic Coach for Irvington High School. Having already completed a master's in sport and exercise psychology, Brendan holds study halls for student-athletes to ensure they all reach their fullest academic potential.

"It's rewarding for me to teach young athletes the mental skills that will help them both now and throughout their life," explains Brendan. "I'm inspired by the students because many are examples of excelling in the face of adversity."

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SEU Psychology Student Anthony FerrerWellness Through Magic

Anthony Ferrer has been running his own business since he was nine years old. However, the inspiration for Magic by Anthony Events initially came from his grandparents.

"When I was four years old, my grandmother would bring me to the 'magic corner' in our house," explains Ferrer, a first-year doctoral student in SEU's psychology program. "I'd stand with my face toward the wall, say a specific phrase and candy would pop out of the corner!"

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SEU Psychology Alumna Simone RobinsonStudent Profile: Simone Robinson, '19

Simone Robinson, '19, moved 1,575 miles away from home after recognizing the value of an education from Saint Elizabeth University. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Simone was enamored by SEU's reputation for academic success and commitment to inclusivity.

"I always speak about my love for the diversity at SEU," remarks Simone, who is an ambassador for SEU and frequently gives tours to prospective students and their parents. "I make sure everyone knows that if they attend SEU, then they will be accepted regardless of class, color or creed."

Read Simone's Story

SEU Psychology Alumna Danielle CrossonVoices of SEU: Danielle Crosson, '20

Human trafficking, corruption, and fraud – these topics are typically reserved for the subject of evocative headlines. However, Danielle Crosson, '20, spent eight weeks fighting these serious crimes with the Newark division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As part of the FBI's prestigious Honors Internship Program, Crosson was able to work on real, time-sensitive cases.

"In most internships, students spend a lot of time shadowing someone else without too much hands-on experience," explains Crosson, a double major in both psychology and criminal justice. "However, just a day after orientation I was analyzing bank records, watching surveillance videos and conducting data analysis."

Read Danielle's Story

SEU Psychology Alumnus Lotan LunskiStudent Profile: Lotan Lunski, '21, Psy.D.

Ever since he was eight years old, Lotan Lunski, '21, knew he wanted to become a psychologist. A native of Kiyrat, Israel, Lotan's passion for mental health care was solidified after witnessing the benefits of counseling firsthand. He chose to pursue his doctorate in counseling psychology at SEU because of SEU's small class sizes and highly credentialed faculty members.

"I love the environment of SEU," says Lotan, who plans on dedicating his life to making mental health care both accessible and affordable. "The positive energy and individualized commitment from the psychology department has been extremely beneficial."

Read Lotan's Story

SEU Psychology Alumna Ashley AppletonPsy.D. Candidate Attends Hominis 2018 in Havana, Cuba

"People tend to treat others how they would like to be treated, which sounds like a positive concept, but it doesn't consider what another person may actually want," explains Ashley Appleton, '21, a student in SEU's counseling psychology doctoral program. "Multicultural psychology encourages others to be more mindful of how race, culture and identity impact a person's needs."

Appleton recently deepened her understanding of this concept by attending Hominis 2018, a prestigious, international conference in Havana, Cuba.

Read Ashley's Story

SEU Psychology Alumna Deja IngramVoices of SEU: Deja Ingram

After graduating, Ingram plans on enrolling in SEU's master of arts in counseling psychology program. She's particularly interested in becoming a school counselor and helping high schoolers uncover their passions.

"I had great counselors at SEU and they helped me figure out exactly what I want to do with my life," says Ingram. "So, I'd like to return the favor."

Read Deja's Story

SEU Psychology Alumna Ashley FriedmanAlumni Profile: Ashley Friedman, '17

Recent psychology graduate, Ashley Friedman of West Paterson, N.J., is using the skills she learned at SEU to help those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Just two weeks after receiving her diploma from SEU, Friedman started her position as a direct support specialist at Capitol Care in Mount Arlington, N.J. She's now working with people who struggle with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, bipolar disorders, depression and anxiety.

Read Ashley's Story

Social Media Mentions

SEU's 8th Psy.D. Cohort8th Psy.D. Cohort

Did you know SEU's eighth cohort was the first to start after our Psy.D. program received accreditation? It hasn't been easy starting a doctoral program in the middle of a pandemic, but we can't wait to see where their education takes them! Take a moment to wish them continued success.

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Sister Prudencia AhanonuSister Prudencia Ahanonu, '19

A member of the Holy Sisters of the Needy in Africa, Sister Prudencia Ahanonu has dedicated her entire life to service. Prior to attending SEU, she spent six years volunteering at an orphanage that doubled as a care facility for physically disabled children.

In order to better assist the unique needs of these children, Sister Prudencia decided to study both health administration and psychology at SEU.

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Students in the Psy.D. Program Starts New CohortPsy.D. Program Starts New Cohort

SEU's Psy.D. program specializes in training mental health professionals who are committed to working with disadvantaged populations. This emphasis is reflective of SEU's mission to promote social justice and inspire positive community change.

This year, six students began their journey toward earning a doctorate in counseling psychology at SEU. Wish them luck!

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SEU Psychology Alumna Kate BalboniYoung Alum of the Month: Kate Balboni, '07

Meet Kate Balboni, our young alum for April! Kate graduated in 2007 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Currently, she is an entrepreneur who owns Balboni College Advising, a college and career counseling practice.

Kate works with high school students and others as they navigate the college search process and explore their career options. When asked what she loved the most about SEU she said, "I was a transfer student and after a less-than-wonderful experience elsewhere, I felt like I was finally home. SEU has such a warm, nurturing atmosphere that helped pick me up from a tough place and empowered me to succeed."

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Dissertation Defenses

SEU Psychology Alumna Denyse WoodsDenyse Woods

Denyse Woods has successfully defended her dissertation at Saint Elizabeth University to earn a Psy.D. degree in Counseling Psychology.

For her dissertation, An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Public Attitudes Toward the Forensic Population and the U.S. Criminal Justice System, Dr. Woods examined attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions to generate knowledge that can be disseminated and used to influence laws and policies that affect the justice system and forensic population to encourage better outcomes. This will help provide her with a strong voice and platform to advocate for vulnerable individuals.

Read More About Denyse's Dissertation

SEU Psychology Alumna Meredith GondoMeredith Gondo

Dr. Meredith Gondo has successfully defended her dissertation at Saint Elizabeth University to earn a Psy.D. degree in Counseling Psychology.

For her dissertation, "A Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model of Chronic Pain in Adults", Gondo focused on chronic pain and the factors in life and spirituality that influence how pain is experienced. Using the biopsychosocial model, she was able to conceptualize pain and find evidence that spirituality did influence pain experience for some individuals. Gondo has suggested a biopsychosocial-spiritual model would be useful for clients to navigate through their chronic pain conditions.

Read More About Meredith's Dissertation