Master’s in Psychology Graduate Program Current Students
John Abbamonte graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy from Fordham University in 2011. At Fordham he spent time on the early childhood psychiatric unit at the Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center. His senior year he did research on the relationship between depressive symptomatology and reward valuation. After college he spent time volunteering at Prevention First, a nonprofit organization that teaches life skills to at risk school children. In the Rutgers-Camden masters program he is under the tutelage of Dr. Kristin August, studying how social interactions are related to mental health outcomes. His research interests are geared towards mental health with a focus on quantitative methods. For fun, he enjoys cooking and is an avid practitioner of martial arts.
Gianna Bowler received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Rutgers-Camden in May of 2012. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with an undergraduate research award, the Psychology department award and the Women and Gender Studies’ department award. She is now a first-year graduate student working under the supervision of Dr. Charlotte Markey in the Healthy Development Lab. She has presented at several conferences on behalf of the lab and will be gave a talk regarding romantic relationships and health behaviors in New Orleans in January. Her research interests include the development and socialization of gender, women’s health, and and romantic relationships. Gianna values the close-knit faculty and student environment and the opportunities for close collaboration among graduate students.
Avery Ducey received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Massachusetts in fall 2012. During his undergraduate career he was involved in research exploring whether video game play has any transferable skills to real world tasks involving rapid decision making. He has worked in a variety of other positions such as a teaching assistant in an abnormal psychology class, a decisional trainer in a prison, and a paraprofessional in a special education classroom. He looks forward to earning his master’s at Rutgers Camden.
Evelina Eyzerovich graduated with her bachelor’s in Psychology from Muhlenberg College in January 2012. She received honors for her research on Thought-Action Fusion and Stigma of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which she also presented at the annual Association for Psychological Science conference (Chicago, IL – 2012). She is also one of the recipients of The Carol E. Hutchinson Memorial Prize for Research in Psychology (awarded at Muhlenberg in April 2012). In addition to being a first-year student in the Master’s in Psychology program at Rutgers-Camden, Evelina is currently working as a Care Manager in Philadelphia, primarily providing supportive counseling and helping clients at area food pantries access public benefits such as food stamps (SNAP), medical, and utility assistance grants. While Evelina’s previous research has focused largely on understanding the formation of stigma, her future research will eventually branch into the clinical realm, specifically addressing trauma resulting from an attack to one’s self-concept.
Melissa Finnegan graduated from Rutgers Camden in 2013 with a BA in Psychology. She writes, “Prior to pursuing my degree, my main focus was raising my son. After my son started pre-k, my educational journey began. My son was (and is) my inspiration to better myself. Education is the key to one’s future. I hope for a satisfying career where I can help people. I am interested in many sub-fields of psychology but would love to focus on social and industrial psychology. I am extremely excited about obtaining my master’s at Rutgers. My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD in Psychology.”
Gabriel Johnston is a second year masters student studying the effects of anger and contempt on voters’ perceptions of presidential candidates. He completed his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in the spring of 2012 and immediately entered the Rutgers-Camden masters program that same fall. He has been active in pursuing research opportunities. These opportunities have included an internship at a lab studying social and emotional neuroscience in Helsinki, Finland, and a research assistant position with a business school faculty member studying the influence of workplace diversity on productivity and employee wellbeing. Gabe also presented a poster on the mediating role of emotions in perceptions of presidential candidates at the Easter Psychological Association in spring of 2013, and is presenting a follow up study this spring as well.
Caitlin Kelly graduated summa cum laude from Rowan University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy in May 2008. A desire to work with underserved mentally ill individuals led her to accept a unique opportunity to attend law school in August 2008, where she studied for two semesters. During this time, Caitlin realized her passion was not in law, and she withdrew to once again work with mentally ill adults. After working as a behavioral health associate, she was accepted into UMDNJ’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She graduated with her BSN in May 2011 and, soon after, accepted a position as a registered nurse at the psychiatric hospital where she had previously worked. Though she had wonderful experiences as a nurse, Caitlin realized her true passion was in psychological research. She applied, and was accepted, to the master’s program in Psychology at Rutgers-Camden in Fall 2012. She has since been able to merge all of her interests by working in Dr. Kristin August’s lab, studying relationships, health, and aging, with a focus on type 2 diabetes. Though her path was untraditional, she believes her experiences were, and continue to be, valuable. She will soon apply to doctoral programs with an emphasis in health psychology. She hopes to enroll in a program in Fall 2014 to study how individuals, couples, and families cope with chronic illness and loss.
Patrice McCarthy graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rutgers Camden School of Psychology in May 2013. While an undergraduate she took part in the International Honor Society in Psychology “Psi Chi” and the National Honor Society “Phi Theta Kappa”. Patrice worked as an undergrad in the research lab of Dr. Sarah Allred studying color vision, perception and memory. Patrice is excited about expanding her knowledge about Psychological research and working closely with a very talented group of both students and faculty. She hopes one day to be involved with research studying the different contributory factors affecting the education trajectories of children and adolescents.
Autumn Nanassy transferred from Camden County College to Rutgers Camden as a part of the STARS II scholarship program in fall 2012. She is a member of the honors college, the International Psychology Honors Society Psi Chi, and the National Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa. She is currently completing her bachelor’s and has already started on her master’s studies as a part of the dual degree program. Her main interests include personality psychology and how personality predicts behavior and life outcomes. Autumn works with Dr. Nave in his Personality, Behavior, and Health Psychology Laboratory and plans to continue doing so throughout the remainder of her time at Rutgers Camden. She is currently working on a study concentrating on Self-Presentation and Personality Judgment. Autumn looks forward to continuing her studies with the brilliant, enthusiastic faculty and students at Rutgers Camden.
Alexandra O’Donnell will be graduating as a dual-degree student from Rutgers-Camden with a bachelor’s in Psychology and minor in Sociology in May 2014. As an undergraduate, she was in Phi Theta Kappa National Honor’s Society and Psi Chi, the International Honors Society for Psychology. She has been working alongside Dr. Duffy in his lab since spring 2013, and began working with Dr. August in spring 2014. She is currently involved in Dr. August’s Diabetes Experiences Study along with numerous humor preference projects with Dr. Duffy. She is happy to have the pleasure of continuing to work directly under Dr. August for the duration of the master’s program and wants to continue focusing her research in health psychology, with main interests being how stress and social relationships effect an individual’s health behaviors. Allie is extremely excited to begin the master’s program here at Rutgers.
Vianca Vargas graduated Magna Cum Laude from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in December 2012. During her undergraduate studies,Vianca was a member of the International Honor Society in Psychology “Psi Chi” and volunteered with underprivileged and special needs children in South Africa and Ecuador. She also assisted Dr. Connie Tang in studying children’s recognition of when learning ocurred. Vianca is excited to work alongside the remarkable group of faculty and students in the program and begin the joumey into the world of academia.
Doug Zacher graduated cum laude with a B.S. in psychology from Rutgers-Camden in the summer of 2012. During his time as an undergraduate student at Rutgers he worked in the Causal Reasoning Lab with a focus on patterning discrimination and working memory. He was nominated for the Rutgers Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity event and presented the research he assisted with at a conference. His research interests are geared towards cognitive psychology, including human learning, working memory, and cognitive processes but he also has an interest in mental health. He looks forward to working under the supervision of Dr. Bill Whitlow and is excited to learn as much as he can at Rutgers-Camden.