Graduate Profiles | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Graduate Student Profiles

Chatham University Master of Arts in Psychology

Aliya Khan '12

Aliya Khan

I chose to attend the Master of Arts in Psychology (MAP) program at Chatham for many reasons. I wanted to get into a PhD program, and the Psychology of Gender Research Team matched my research interests. I could not have predicted how good of a match the entire program would be, though.

From the very start, the faculty members were helpful and available. The summer before I started, I was in contact with faculty members about starting research. I worked fulltime, and oftentimes I had scheduling conflicts. My adviser always worked with me and was good natured about any last minute changes I needed to make. I could really tailor the program to meet my individual needs, focusing on the courses I needed to make me more competitive for a PhD program.

What sets Chatham apart from other programs is the faculty. The classes that I took were very interactive and hands-on. They focus on experiential learning, having their students practice and try skills out in addition to gaining the needed background and education. They make themselves available for input and guidance, so that I never felt without a support network. Also, anytime I asked for an opportunity, faculty members were helpful in leading me in the right direction. Because of this, I have been able to work on a multitude of research projects, attend and present at conferences, and work as a graduate associate and teaching assistant. I really felt part of the program, not just someone attending classes.

I grew up in the Midwest, and received my B.A. in Psychology with a focus in Civic Leadership from Indiana State University in 2011. I moved to Pittsburgh to attend Chatham that August, and I just love the city. It has so many different neighborhoods, all with unique characteristics. It's such a supportive community, and it's great to live somewhere with so much history and so many things to do, while simultaneously being able to be a part of its growth and expansion.

I graduated from the MAP program in December of 2012. I continue to do research through the Psychology of Gender Research Team. In the fall, I will be continuing my education at the University of Oregon, working towards my PhD in Counseling Psychology. It is an accomplishment that I would not have been able to achieve without the support and preparation that Chatham provided me.

Ethan Sahker '12

Ethan Sahker

Chatham's Counseling Psychology program has been a fantastic experience for me and has exceeded all of my expectations. My goal in entering the program was to gain research and practical experience that would serve as a strong background suitable to enter into PhD training. When I first arrived I was met with clear direction and mentorship from a welcoming faculty. I was paired with an advisor, Dr. Anthony Isacco, whom shared my interests in research and worked incredibly hard to help me fulfill my goals once he saw my willingness to work hard. I went straight to work as a research assistant and developed a broad set of skills conducting professional research that gave me confidence and served as a base for my future applications to top PhD programs across the country. After my initial introduction into the Psychology of Gender Research Team, I was continually challenged to grow, and given multiple opportunities to further develop. I soon found myself publishing papers, presenting at national conferences, serving the psychological community as a manuscript reviewer, volunteering for the American Psychological Association, representing the department in the Graduate Student Assembly, developing my own programs in cooperation with Student Affairs, and earned a paid position as an Adjunct Lecturer within the department. My entire time spent at Chatham was supported by outstanding mentorship from multiple faculty members including Drs. Anthony Isacco, Brittney Brinkman, Mary Beth Mannarino, and Deanna Hamilton, just to name a few who were significantly involved in my development.

As a result of my hard work and support from the faculty, I was rewarded with three academic and leadership awards and a research grant! All of this led to reaching the goal I had initially set out to achieve. In the end, I had three research-one universities to choose from, and accepted an offer from the University of Iowa Counseling Psychology PhD program. Iowa's program is consistently rated in the top three Counseling Psychology PhD programs in the nation and my admittance is a testament to the training, opportunities, and mentorship I received in the Counseling Psychology program at Chatham University.

Nicole Beyer '13

Nicole Beyer

After graduating from Carlow University with a BA in Psychology, I was focused on pursuing graduate studies and eventually obtaining a PhD, but I had not yet developed solid research interests. When I found Chatham’s MAP program, I was excited because it seemed like a great stepping stone between my Bachelor’s degree and future doctoral studies. The MAP program appealed to me because I could continue studying and going to school (two things I love doing; I would be a professional student if I could!) to better develop my interests while getting a Master’s degree in less than two years.

During my time at Chatham, I found many opportunities to grow academically and professionally. The summer before I began at Chatham, I was hired as a Graduate Assistant in the psychology department. The faculty members in charge of my work assignments were so supportive of my interests and always worked to make my position more than just a part time job. I worked in the undergraduate psychology department as a tutor for students and a teaching assistant for the faculty members. I truly enjoyed helping the students, and the faculty members served as great mentors!

With the help of my Graduate Assistant position, I began to develop an interest in Educational Psychology and academic counseling. In my classes, I had many opportunities to tailor my assignments and readings to suit this interest, and the faculty members were always supportive of my unique interests. During my final semester in the program, I completed a research project with the help of my advisor on the topic of personality and academic self-regulation behaviors.

During my second year in the program, I interned in a health equity research office at the Pittsburgh veteran’s hospital. Throughout this year long experience, I found that many of the skills I was learning in my counseling classes were actually highly transferable to a research setting. I was better able to communicate with study participants, problem solve, and collaborate with my coworkers. Towards the end of the spring semester, I found out that my hard work had really paid off: I was offered a full time position after graduation!

The two years that I spent in the MAP program seemed to fly by, but I know that I accomplished all I set out to (plus more!). If I had to choose one thing which truly made my time at Chatham worth it, I would definitely say it was the faculty members who supported me at every step and never discouraged my interests no matter how far outside of the "counseling box" they were! Now that I am a soon-to-be Chatham graduate, I am ready to enjoy the working world and a steady paycheck for a while with a Master's degree in hand!