Psychology

Improve Lives, Especially Your Own, with a Psychology Degree

The study of psychology will give you an in-depth understanding of the diverse nature of people, how to think scientifically, an idea of how the human mind works, and a strong sense of ethics to guide your research and testing.

As a Psychology major, you can choose one of three concentrations: developmental disabilities, forensic psychology, or mental health. If you’re interested in working with children and families, you can easily double major in Child and Family Studies along with psychology.

Through theory and hands-on experience, you’ll be prepared for further graduate study or a variety of career opportunities that include family services, psychiatry, psychology, child protection services, or school guidance counseling.

Psychologist talking to a young child and looking at her drawing

Get Real Psychology Experience

Real-world, hands-on experience is an important part of your Psychology degree.

The Keuka College Field Period® gives you the chance to have four separate internships in Psychology, starting your freshman year.

Learn More

Program Overview

Psychology Major

The Keuka College psychology program offers unique concentrations you won’t find anywhere else to customize your psychology degree in the areas of mental health psychology, developmental disabilities and forensic psychology.

These areas of focus are uniquely suited to build upon your knowledge of human development and behavioral concepts to help you hone in on a specific career path that can lead to diverse opportunities within each specialty.

When combined with the experiential learning we offer within the classroom and our hands-on Field Period® program, you will graduate with a solid toolkit of skills ready to apply across the field of human services.

Psychology Concentrations

If you desire to work in a counseling setting with individuals or families, consider our mental health psychology concentration. The range of courses within this concentration include the assessment of dysfunctional and maladaptive behavior; the primary approach to psychological intervention; and theories of psychopathology, treatment planning, implementation, and evaluation.

You will complete a practicum (lab) experience in a mental health or health care setting, and both a junior and senior research seminar where you’ll focus on more advanced topics in research methods and associated statistical analysis.

If you have a desire to work with people disabilities in non-educational settings, our developmental disabilities concentration may be right for you.

Thanks to a range of courses in education for youth and those with special needs, as well as courses in behavior analysis and modification, you will gain a foundation in meeting the unique needs of this at-risk population. Further, hands-on experience can be added to your knowledge through direct work with our D.R.I.V.E. students, a group of young adults ages 18 - 25 with developmental disabilities who are mainstreamed into select campus courses.

D.RI.V.E students may attend a range of courses from our psychology, social work, education and occupational therapy programs, and they can earn an educational certificate for completing life-learning skills in those classes, assisted by OT, social work, education and psychology majors. D.R.I.V.E. is a collaboration between the Penn Yan Central School District, ARC of Yates County and Keuka College.  

Forensic psychology is where the criminal justice system and the study of psychology intersect, and if you become a specialist within this field, you are likely to provide mental health services to those within prisons or on probation.

Courses involving psychological tests and measures, deviance and social control, abnormal psychology, constitutional law, and ethnic diversity will prepare you to provide a range of support to law enforcement, caseworkers, and judicial officials.

Psychology Minor

Keuka College also offers a minor in psychology that pairs well with any major, but especially so with:

Learn More About the Psychology Program

All psychology majors will complete an independent senior research project over a series of two courses. The senior research project is self-directed, but guided by a faculty member, and will reflect your personal areas of interest. By intent, your research project will be professional caliber and some students have chosen to further enhance their study by pursuing academic publication of their research.

Capstone research projects have recently explored issues such as:

  • whether student-athletes are more motivated during their sports season or during the off-season;
  • how students’ sense of well-being may be impacted by perceptions of discrimination in regards to race, religion or other factors and whether an increase in include in alcohol use may result;
  • mindfulness (the trait of being fully present), and various impacts and effects mindfulness may have in performance across a range of activities.

In contrast to other regional colleges or universities, Keuka College requires each undergraduate student to complete four 140-hour Field Period® experiences, (one per year) which may take the shape of a real-world internship, cultural study at home or abroad, community service project, artistic endeavor or spiritual exploration.

Keuka College psychology majors have conducted personal Field Period® experiences in sites such as prisons, jails, public school psychology or counseling offices, acute or chronic care mental health facilities, residential treatment programs for individuals with emotional or behavioral disturbances, or those with developmental disabilities.

Our unique Field Period® program means you’ll graduate with more applied experience in psychology than any other school in the region.

Our faculty boast a wealth of clinical experience, which will impact your classroom studies and academic advisement. A licensed, clinical psychologist leads the program, bringing experience in forensic evaluations, developmental disability assessments, child custody evaluations, and mental health services within local county governments.

Additional supporting faculty bring expertise in abnormal psychology/psychopathology, physiology of the brain and related behaviors, the dynamics of child and family behavior, as well as clinical interventions, therapies, and various types of mental illness.  

Christopher Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Founding Dean, School of Health and Human Services
Professor of Occupational Therapy
Director of Disability Services

Academic Credentials

Nova Southeastern University
Dr.OT
SUNY at Buffalo
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Alterio graduated cum laude from the SUNY at Buffalo Occupational Therapy program in 1987. He worked as a clinician, educator, and manager before completing his post-professional clinical doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in 2007.

He authored the textbook “Clinically oriented theory for occupational therapy” and co-authored "Caring for someone in your home." He writes extensively on a professional blog that covers occupational therapy topics. His clinical experience ranges across practice areas but his primary interest and focus is in pediatrics. He has presented at state and national conferences on topics ranging from pediatric clinical care and injury prevention programs, certification standards for occupational therapists, occupational therapy history, and appropriate use of social media in a professional context.

He has volunteered for 27 years for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, serving as pediatric subject matter expert on various exam and product development committees, and in all Board of Director leadership positions including Board Chairperson from 2010-12. He owns ABC Therapeutics, a private occupational and physical therapy practice in Western New York. He has served at Keuka College in various roles since 1992 and is currently Associate Professor, Chair, and Program Director of the occupational therapy division.

Professional Interests

Pediatrics, private practice, entrepreneurship, social media, occupational therapy theory, occupational therapy history.

Kristen Bacon, O.T.D., OTR/L

Chair of Applied Health and Wellness
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Utica College
M.S.
Syracuse University at Utica College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Kristen Bacon began her career working as an occupational therapy assistant in 2003 while attending the weekend program at Utica College. After graduating in 2006 with a B.S. from Syracuse University at Utica College and M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Utica College in 2007, she then earned a post-professional clinical doctorate from Chatham University in 2011.

Dr. Bacon has presented at several national occupational therapy conferences and currently volunteers for organizations including AOTA and NBCOT. She is working on AOTA’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and a Flipped Learning 3.0 Certification, Level I. Her professional focus includes the adult and geriatric populations with a special interest in TBI and orthopedics.

Dr. Bacon began her academic work as adjunct professor for Keuka College in 2014. Since then, she has continued on as full-time academician and is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Bacon was appointed to faculty development committee, is co-advisor for the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), a national occupational therapy honor society, and completed a three-year term for Sigma Lambda Sigma (SLS) advisor the college wide honor society.

Michele Bennett ’05 M’06, O.T.D., OTR/L

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Keuka College
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Bennett graduated from Keuka College in the first OT master's program. After college she worked in local hospital and rehabilitation sites serving children to older adults. As she transitioned from rehabilitation sites to teaching she completed her post-professional clinical doctorate at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 2013.

Dr. Bennett has presented topics at national conferences that have included international, interprofessional service learning, program evaluation/outcome reporting and fieldwork level I experiences in emerging areas of practice. Dr. Bennett is currently Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and remains active working with adults in their homes as a per-diem therapist for Visiting Nursing Association/Kaleida Health in the Steuben County region. Dr. Bennett joined the Arc of Yates board of directors for a three year term. 

Professional Interests

Adults with developmental disabilities, middle to older adult populations, and professional development of the OT students of Keuka College.

Dr. Susan Bezek ’01

Associate Professor of Nursing
Clinical Coordinator

Academic Credentials

Capella University
Ph.D.
University of Rochester
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Julie Burns

Associate Professor of Social Work

Academic Credentials

Union Institute and University
Ph.D.
Nazareth College
M.S.W.
SUNY College at Buffalo
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Julie Burns began her interest in Social Work as an activist during her teenage years and has been a professional Social Worker for 30 years.

She has participated in community organizing, planning, and leading demonstrations of civil disobedience in her community. She has a passion for working with people with disabilities and has spent the bulk of her career working with people with intellectual disabilities and their families in grassroots organizations.

Her work as direct care staff, educator, trainer, counselor, program developer, and administrator has provided a solid foundation for linking theory to practice. She has always believed that education can change the world and is deeply honored to teach the next generation of Social Workers.

Professional Interests

Public Policy and Social Change, Women's Healthcare, Reproductive Justice, Intellectual Disabilities, Human and Civil Rights, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Narrative Inquiry and Critical Theories.

Kelly Christensen ’10 M’11, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Keuka College
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Christensen graduated with her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College. She went on to complete her post-professional clinical doctorate at Chatham University in 2015. She is an Assistant Professor and also the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Keuka College. Dr. Christensen remains active working with the adult population in a variety of settings including acute rehabilitation, inpatient hospital, short term rehabilitation, and long term care. Her research interests include neurological diagnoses and sports related concussion care.

Stephanie Craig

Professor of Social Work

Academic Credentials

University at Buffalo
M.S.W.
Nazareth College
B.A.

Biography

Associate Professor Stephanie Craig has been a social worker for nearly 35 years. She is a Licensed Registered Certified Social Worker which is the highest clinical social work degree. Stephanie has been a practicing clinician for Not-for-Profit agencies such as Pathways, Inc. and Family Service Society, Inc. She is the owner of a private practice in Bath NY, Professional Counseling Services, since 1994. Specialties include mood disorders, forensic social work, developmental disabilities and child and family issues. Craig came to Keuka in 2002 as an adjunct instructor and began her full time position in 2003 in the Education and Social Work Division. She has taught most of the courses in the curriculum. According to Craig, the excitement is in teaching the Introduction to Social Work class, awakening the passion, and teaching the history of social justice." One of her favorite experiences was taking a group of students to New York City to participate in a Peace march. The passion and heart of the profession is what Craig imparts to all of her students. In 2004 and 2007, Craig led group Field Periods to Poland for a cultural immersion experience for one month. Craig received the Excellence in Experiential Teaching Award for the 2005-2006 Academic year.

Professional Interests

Advocacy for the disabled, improving the distribution of benefits and creating awareness of the large minority, creating greater awareness of the importance of children's rights in many areas, gay/lesbian rights with regard to parenting. Treatment of mood disorders, couple's therapy, and youth and adolescent counseling.

Cassie Hey ’04 M’07, D.B.H., M.S., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Arizona State University
D.B.H.
Keuka College
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Dr. Beth Hopkins

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Academic Credentials

St. John Fisher College
D.N.P. in Nursing Practice
Community General Hospital of Greater Syracuse
M.S. in Family Nurse Practitioner
University of Virginia
M.S. in Adult Nurse Practitioner
St. John Fisher College
B.S. in Nursing
Jamestown Community College
A.A.S in Nursing

Biography

Dr. Beth Hopkins brings decades of professional clinical experience as a Nurse Practitioner in Family Health. She has been involved extensively in both professional practice as a F.N.P. and administratively in the development and delivery of health care models for otolaryngology, allergy/asthma, sleep medicine, occupational health, and primary care.

As clinical faculty in nursing, Dr. Hopkins has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and Upstate Medical University with her primary teaching focus at the graduate level, educating students in the nurse practitioner programs. Additionally, she has been involved in developing and teaching Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care extensively across the health professions. Dr. Hopkins area of interest is in Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea having conducted her doctoral clinical scholarship project on increasing the primary care providers competence and confidence in early detection and intervention of sleep-disordered breathing in young children.

Professional Interests

Otolaryngology, Allergy/Asthma, pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Interprofessional Education, and Collaborative Care.

Beth Jordan, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Utica College
M.S.
Syracuse University at Utica College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Jordan began her professional career as an occupational therapy assistant in 1989. She continued her education at Utica College and graduated with a M.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2007 and earned a post-professional clinical doctorate from Chatham University in 2011. Dr. Jordan began teaching adjunct before transitioning from clinician to academician. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Keuka College.

Dr. Jordan has presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) national conference and actively volunteers through AOTA as a peer reviewer and member of Community of Leaders. She is also currently volunteering with the National Board Certification for Occupational Therapy as a pediatric subject matter expert on an exam development committee. Dr. Jordan is in the preliminary stages of engaging in scholarly research with faculty from three other universities with a focus on improving engagement and intentionality of learning in college students. She is an advisor for Keuka College’s Sigma Lambda Sigma Honor Society and is the faculty liaison and chair for the DRIVE Steering Committee. Dr. Jordan continues to work as a senior occupational therapist at Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center in Syracuse, NY.

Dr. Melis Kural

Associate Professor of Sociology

Academic Credentials

University at Buffalo
Ph.D.
University at Buffalo
M.A. in Sociology
SUNY Geneseo
B.A. in Sociology

Dr. Jessica MacNamara

Associate Professor of Sociology

Academic Credentials

University at Buffalo
Ph.D.
SUNY Albany
M.A.
SUNY College at Buffalo
B.A.
Finger Lakes Community College
A.A.

Dr. Rich Martin ’05

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Academic Credentials

Regent University
Ph.D.
Boston University
M.S. in Criminal Justice
Keuka College
B.S. in Criminal Justice Systems

Dr. Patty Mattingly

Professor of Nursing
Program Director of B.S., Nursing

Academic Credentials

Robert Morris University
D.N.P.
University of Maryland
M.S.N.
George Mason University
B.S.

Dr. Jason McKinney

Division Chair
Associate Professor of Social Work

Academic Credentials

University of Rochester
Ph.D.
Roberts Wesleyan College
M.S.W.
Roberts Wesleyan College
B.S.W.

Biography

Dr. Jason McKinney earned a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan College and a PhD in Human Development from the University of Rochester. Dr. McKinney has authored articles in peer reviewed journals, including Child and Family Services Review and The Journal of Critical Social Work. He has also published articles in The New Social Worker. His research interest is in the developing self across the life span, and most recently within caregiver-child interactions. In 2006, Dr. McKinney received the Scandling Scholar Award from the University of Rochester. Dr. McKinney's practice experience includes family therapy, parent-training curriculums, and the design and implementation of a successful therapeutic foster care program in Rochester, NY. Prior to joining Keuka College, Dr. McKinney taught at Ashland University as an Assistant Professor of Social Work and adjunct at The Greater Rochester Collaborative, State University of New York (SUNY, Brockport) and Nazareth College, and also at Roberts Wesleyan College. He places a strong emphasis on the need for research in social welfare and enjoys providing students with opportunities for meaningful research.

Professional Interests

Research in Selfhood and Identity Development within Cultural Categories Across the Lifespan Using Socio-Linguistic and Discourse Analytic Methodology, Effects of the Child Welfare System on Children and Families, Community-based Action Research on Aging Well.

Dr. Philip Miller

Assistant Professor of Social Work
Interim MSW Field Director

Academic Credentials

Rutgers University
D.S.W. in Social Work
Washington University in St. Louis
M.S.W. in Social Work
Greenville University
B.A. in Psychology

Biography

Dr. Miller is a licensed clinical social worker with 25 years of social work experience. He completed a Doctorate of Social Work from Rutgers University and a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis with a concentration in mental health and specialization in family therapy. He is passionate about marriage and is a certified Gottman marital therapist from the internationally acclaimed Gottman Institute in Seattle, WA. He spent eight years as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force as a clinical social worker.

Dr. Miller has extensive experience working with varied client groups ranging from children to the elderly as well as living and working in unique settings such as Japan, rural Appalachia, and the inner city. Research interests include military social work, marriage, and experiential learning.

Dr. Jenniffer Mullen, PhD, RN, CHPN, CNE

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Academic Credentials

Walden University
Ph.D.
Walden University
M.S.
Kaplan University
B.S.
Tompkins Cortland Community College
A.A.S

Dr. Vikki O'Connor

Professor of Social Work
MSW Program Director

Academic Credentials

Syracuse University
Ph.D.
Syracuse University
M.S.W.
SUNY Empire State College
B.S.

Megan Robbins

Instructor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Genesee Community College
A.A.S in Occupational Therapy
Utica College
B.S. in Occupational Therapy
Utica College
M.S. in Occupational Therapy

Carrie Roberts ’02, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Keuka College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Carrie Roberts has been an occupational therapist for over 15 years, with experience in various areas of  practice including the hospital and nursing home, with a greater focus in pediatrics birth-21 years old. She graduated from Keuka College with a degree in occupational therapy; she also graduated from Chatham University in 2013 with her clinical occupational therapy doctoral degree in which her research focus was related to children with Autism Spectrum. Dr. Roberts was an adjunct professor for Keuka College before joining the Occupational Therapy program full time in 2013.

Dianne Trickey-Rokenbrod, O.T.D., M.B.A., OTR/L

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Alfred University
M.B.A.
University at Buffalo
B.S.

Biography

 

Dr. Trickey graduated with honors with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from SUNY at Buffalo in 1980. She completed an M.B.A. at Alfred University and then completed her doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Chatham University.

Her clinical career has been through service in a variety of health care settings specializing in physical dysfunction rehabilitation in hospital-based outpatient clinics, inpatient acute units, home care and geriatric settings, as well as some acute psychiatric experience early in her career. Across these settings, Dr. Trickey has developed management expertise by operating multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs, developing and operating hospital-based nursing homes, and offering management consulting to healthcare agencies in trouble.

After teaching courses in both business and Occupational Therapy as an adjunct at higher education institutions including Alfred University, Alfred State College of Technology, and Keuka College, she joined the faculty at Keuka College full-time in 2009. Dr. Trickey is currently a tenured faculty member with the rank of Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Division.

Dr. Trickey has published a textbook, "Therapy in Action: A library of realistic case studies with Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins" in February, 2016. She continues to conduct research related to driving independently as well as housing insecurity.

Dr. Sekai Turner

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Academic Credentials

University of Maryland
Ph.D. in Human Development
University of Pittsburgh
M.S.W. in Social Work
Cornell University
M.P.S. in Africana Studies
Spelman College
B.A. in Psychology

Melissa Whipple ’16

BSW Field Director and Program Coordinator

Academic Credentials

New York University
M.S.W.
Keuka College
B.S. in Social Work
Keuka College
B.A. in Psychology

Contact Information

Dr. Nicholas Koberstein

Associate Professor of Psychology

(315) 279-5456
[email protected]