Wilkes’ psychology program is a true social science that actively engages students in the study of behavior and its physical manifestations.
As a Wilkes University psychology major, you will become a trained professional by being exposed to the experiences, facilities, and equipment that define the psychological profession today.
Although teaching and private practice are still popular career paths for Psychology majors, many of today’s graduates are electing to work for corporations that value the special skills they possess. The department also has very active student organizations that include a chapter of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society; a Psychology Club; and a student-produced monthly newsletter.
The Psychology Department is housed on the 3rd floor in Breiseth Hall.
Wilkes psychology majors learn by using hands-on facilities:
- Our clinical observation suite is equipped with one-way mirrors and an intercom system.
- Our sensation-perception/biopsychology laboratoryexposes students to brain structure and function, neuroanatomy, and perceptual demonstrations.
- Our computer lab gives students the ability to access software and computer demonstrations specific to the field.
- And in our experimental psychology suite, students utilize a classroom equipped with cubicles for running experiments as part of their capstone research or as independent studies in collaboration with Psychology faculty.
Our faculty are actively engaged in research,
Every year, faculty are involved in conference presentations and have published journal
articles that focus on collaborative faculty/student efforts.
Here's a sample of their work...
- Dr. Robert Bohlander conducts survey research on relationships and psychological well-being.
- Dr. Carl Charnetski investigates the influence of psychological variables on the immune system.
- Dr. Ed Schicatano conducts research in human neuroscience specifically focusing on the Neurocognitive factors involved in pain.
- Dr. Jennifer Thomas conducts research on adolescent peer relationships.
- Dr. Deborah Tindell conducts research on memory and the Psychology of texting by college students.
- Dr. Ellen Newell studies the Social Psychological variables involved in prejudices.
Dr. Jennifer Thomas has continued her research in the field of adolescent friendship quality. This work has included student collaboration for independent research credit. Dr. Thomas has recently presented posters at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference:
- Jennifer J. Thomas and Ashley Pietrowski - An Investigation of Positive Peer Influence and Friendship Quality in Adolescence
- Jennifer J. Thomas and Julia A. Cikota - Factors Associated with Positive and Negative Qualities of Other-Sex Friendships in Adolescence
Dr. Ed Schicatano has continued his research into the neurocognitive factors affecting pain modulation. This work has included student collaboration for independent research credit. Dr. Schicatano has recently presented posters at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference:
- Ed Schicatano and Anna McFadden - Social Learning Modulates Pain Perception
- Ed Schicatano, Jeromy Hrabovecky and Sarah Rollison – Chocolate Decreases Pain Perception
Dr. Carl Charnetski recently presented a poster at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference. This work has included student collaboration for independent research credit:
- Carl Charnetski and Haydn Fry - DRD to Reduce Inappropriate Language in an individual with PDD (NOS)
Students are given many opportunities to be actively involved in research with their faculty. Additionally, a capstone experience, which details a specific area of psychology, is a requirement of all seniors. Students present their research or internship experiences at formal sessions.
Our recently designed two track system of study allows students to pursue an avenue
of academics that best fits their academic and career needs.
A) Applied Track – For students seeking employment immediately after graduation, this track allows students to focus on internships and experiences based on their interests in the field of Psychology. In its one year of existence, graduates have already lined up positions in business and mental health settings.
B) Research Track – For students intending on furthering their education at the graduate school level, this track provides a strong methodological course of study to ensure successful acceptance into graduate school. Over the past 10 years, many students have been accepted into Masters, Ph.D., and Psy.D. programs, as well as prestigious programs in the Health Sciences.
The Department has distinguished itself as one that:
1) Provides an outstanding, self-directed undergraduate experience that will prepare the individual for post-baccalaureate study and employment within psychology and related fields.
2) Strives to produce individuals with a keen understanding of the principles of behavior, and the scientific methods used to study human behavior.
3) Provides an excellent mentoring environment for students from faculty, alumni, and peers that enhance students’ ability to function personally, their facility to engage in relationships with others and their skill to meet within the context of evolving local and global communities.
4) Provides a strong mentoring environment in which faculty work with students towards a common goal, fostering growth and success based on each individual’s unique needs.
5). Powerful Training in the Foundations in the Field of Psychology:
The Psychology Department at Wilkes provides a powerful foundation for the field of Psychology. For example, students have demonstrated success in the major areas of Psychology on their major field test (taken their Senior year at Wilkes). On this major field test, Psychology majors scored at the 89th percentile on the Neuroscience/Biopsychology portion of the exam, at the 83rd percentile on the Clinical portion of the exam, and at the 81st percentile on the Methodology portion of the exam.
Class work is complemented by a wide variety of internships at places such as:
- Mercy Hospital Adolescent Psychiatric Unit
- John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation
- Essex County Juvenile Detention Center
- Step by Step Inc.
- Gabriel Shelter
- Early Head Start
Approximately 40 percent of our graduates go on to graduate programs, mostly M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Our graduates have chosen programs for areas such as psychology, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, physician’s assistant and behavioral neuroscience. Students have attended schools such as:
- Clemson University
- Drexel University
- Columbia University
- Northeastern University
- George Mason University
By integrating behavioral psychology and business, this program can expand career opportunities in management of personnel assessment, selection and training, ergonomics, human factors engineering and employee counseling programs.