I am blessed to be working my dream jobs. It started as a Psychology major at Monmouth University. While at Monmouth, I took an Experimental Psychology course (one of my absolute favorites) and had to conduct a research study. I was interested in forensic psychology so I conducted my study on hostility level on inmates in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. The study process went so well that it led to three semesters of internship and a full time position upon college graduation. At the jail, I worked in the Social Services department where I facilitated Pre-release Skills and Behavior Modification groups, held individual counseling sessions (under the supervision of a MSW), and served on classification and judiciary board committees. I felt proud when my program participants got released and never came back. In jail, I realized I was fascinated with group dynamics, because through my work, I continually saw the magnetic power of the various group experiences among the inmates. This fascination motivated me to start to take graduate courses in the Adult and Organization Development program at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Shortly after I started grad school, I knew I was ready for a career move. I wanted to get out of jail and work in a corporate environment. Ikon Office Solutions was a the ideal transition, where I was a human resource generalist. I was responsible for employee training, recruitment, and compensation. I loved my new role in human resources and eagerly embraced the cultural transition from corrections to corporate-land. I particularly loved teaching company training classes. I continued to take courses at Temple while I worked at Ikon. I eventually resigned from Ikon so I could finish my Master’s Degree full time.
My Master’s degree continued through to the Ph.D. program in Education Psychology. I chose Ed Psych because of the emphasis in research design, as well as my evolution from a trainer to an educator. While in my doctoral program, I was appointed Associate Director of the Temple Training and Development Center. We provided training and organizational consultation to non and for-profit organizations. At Temple, I also had the privilege of studying under some prominent psychologists and professors, whose mentorship will forever influence and inspire me. During this time, I refined my teaching skills while I taught personal and professional development skills to mostly welfare-to-work students. These classes lead to teaching opportunities at Temple University, St. Joseph’s University, Delaware County Community College, and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, where I developed my teaching style.
I earned my doctorate in January 2004. My dissertation study, An Investigation in the Relationship Between Personality Traits, Motivation, Learning Strategies, and the SAT on Academic Achievement had such interesting results that I was able to publish in a peer-reviewed journal, Academic Exchange Quarterly, and present at the SELF International Research Conference. The dissertation experience was the foundation for my research values.
My next position was in the Office of Research and Evaluation at the School District of Philadelphia. I loved my job of conducting research design and delivery, instrument development and validation, as well as program evaluation. I also had the opportunity to work with some amazing professionals on important and exciting projects. I particularly valued my role as the Chair of the District’s Research Review Committee (i.e., the District’s version of an Institutional Review Board), which was responsible for reviewing and approving all research conducted within the District.
While working full time, I moonlighted as a part time professor and continued to acquire consulting clients. As much as I enjoyed my position in the Research Office, I came to realize that my “dream job” would be to work for myself doing what I love to do: conduct research as well as help people conduct and learn from research.
In addition to my consulting practice, I am the author of Finish Your Dissertation, Don’t Let It Finish You! published by Wiley in 2013, a co-founding editor of Psychology of Popular Media Culture, established by the American Psychological Association in 2012, an affiliate professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia since 2003, and am the current President of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology.
I am located in Moorestown, New Jersey, outside of Philadelphia. For fun, I practice yoga, scuba dive, play fantasy football, walk my dog, and people watch.