Q & A with Maureen Sullivan
I felt that it was important to learn about mental illness—something that is often stigmatized and unspoken about in my community.
When did you decide to major in psychology?
I initially intended on studying pre-nursing, but after taking a psychology course I quickly changed my major. I felt that it was important to learn about mental illness—something that is often stigmatized and unspoken about in my community. I’ve also found that studying psychology helps you learn how to navigate the world and changes your overall outlook on life and the people around you.
What was one of your favorite classes in your major?
My favorite classes in the Department of Psychology were Psychology of the Abnormal and Child Psychopathology. Both courses really gave you an in-depth look at various mental health disorders, such as depressive disorders, conduct disorders, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, mood and identity disorders and much more. The teachers usually showed short video clips to really give us a visual of how these disorders present themselves. In class, they sometimes even passed around materials that they used in their professional settings to diagnose their clients, which I found intriguing. Even though we covered so many topics, I never felt rushed. The information was easy to retain due to how the professors presented it to us, and I can easily speak about the things that I learned years after taking the course.
Who was one of your favorite professors?
Dr. Heather Jones was definitely one of my favorite professors. She’s extremely knowledgeable about what she teaches and goes above and beyond to make sure her students not only succeed, but have an understanding of the material. For example, despite being sick with the flu, she still made a point to lecture via Zoom from her home. She is truly such a kindhearted professor and I wish I had thought to take a course with her sooner.
Can you tell us about your study abroad experience?
I also had the opportunity to study abroad at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. My psychology adviser was the one who recommended that I do this and helped fit it into my schedule. It was a five-week program and while there I also had the opportunity to visit Naples, Capri, Florence and Rome. It was by far one of the best things that I’ve ever had the chance to do for myself. Not only did I get the opportunity to experience places that I’d only imagined, but I also gained friendships that I’m sure will last a lifetime.