Christa Dinolfo (SBU 2005) PsyD Clinical Psychology

I can truly say that if it weren’t for my Bonaventure experiences I would not have become the person and professional that I am today.  My college years were a time not only for my educational growth, but for enormous personal growth as well.  I learned about myself and began a life that I wanted to live.  I graduated from St. Bonaventure in 2005 with a B.S. in Psychology and continued on to earn my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH).   During my later years at Bonaventure, in between studying for GRE’s, working on independent research projects, teaching the Research Methods labs, and developing the heartfelt friendships that remain a close part of my life today, I began to explore graduate school options.  I was drawn to the Psychology Department at Xavier University, because of their Jesuit underpinnings and prestigious reputation.  Their mission, to educate and train competent psychologists on a path to serve the underserved individuals within our greater communities, fit exactly with what my Bonaventure background had instilled in me. I knew in my heart that it was my new home away from Bonas.  I graduated from Xavier University in 2010 with my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.  I had a wide breadth of amazing educational, clinical and research experiences within a generalist framework, although I chose to specialize in work with children and adolescents.  I went on to complete my APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry clinic (Syracuse).  While on my pre-doctoral internship, I had a wide variety of amazing experiences conducting psychotherapy and comprehensive psychological evaluations with children, families, and medical students.  I was a consultant to a local residential facility for adjudicated teens and a hospital-based medical clinic for children in the foster care system.  I also participated on a variety of multidisciplinary teams within the hospital’s ADHD, Anxiety, and DBT clinics.  I later went on to complete my post-doctoral training at the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.  I became a Licensed Psychologist in 2011 and continue to work for OPWDD, where I conduct evaluations and psychotherapy, provide behavioral consultation, and advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities.  In addition to my work at OPWDD, I maintain a small private practice where I conduct comprehensive psychological evaluations and work with teenagers and families in psychotherapy.  I also occasionally teach adjunct courses within the psychology departments at St. John Fisher College and Monroe Community college.     

Christa Dinolfo, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist

1415 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
office: (585) 262-3320 x 207
fax: (585) 262-3325

Chloe Farmer (SBU Class of 2014) Rehabilitation Counseling

Fellow Bonnies! First and foremost, let me congratulate you for choosing to pursue psychology at Bonaventure. The professors in that department are particularly invested in their students and in my experience, share in your failures and successes as their own.

 I came to psychology as a double major after completing two years at Bonaventure. Having no real idea what I was getting myself into, I sat down with Dr. Stephanie Vogel and she helped me outline my schedule in a way that was both comfortable and challenging. It helps that the material fascinated me but I really felt that my experience in every psychology class was beneficial. This includes statistics with Dr. Privitera – give it a chance because I’m only two months into my graduate program and I can tell you that you’ll definitely need it!

 When I decided that pursuing graduate school was the right course of action, I turned to the professors in the psychology department as mentors. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without their help and advice. Special thank you to Dr. Vogel, Dr. Privitera, and Dr. Mayeaux for believing in me.

 I am currently in the Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology MS program at UNC at Chapel Hill. It has been a pleasant experience to be at a university this size (29,135 students) but I still appreciate a small undergraduate university like Bonaventure. After completing this program I plan on pursuing my doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

 Applying to a graduate program is a daunting task and (if I had a megaphone I would use it now) please, please, please ask for help whenever you need it. The professors are willing to explain, advise, and encourage you at every turn. I would recommend that you begin by listing places you would be willing to relocate to. Use this list to narrow down your search for schools. Universities will appreciate your willingness to move to a new area and will definitely recognize if you’re trying to fake it in an interview. I think a lot of people forget that a graduate school should fit your interests first and foremost.

 One piece of advice that Dr. Privitera gave me throughout the application process was to remember that a rejection letter is not equivalent to being unqualified for the program. It’s a tricky process and often programs will choose not to accept anyone new or they may even have someone in mind before the application process begins. Do not let this discourage you – be persistent and confident! If I can do it, you can definitely do it.

 Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, funny anecdotes, etc. because I am always available to help a fellow Bonnie! You can reach me at my UNC email (oh yeah, did I mention I now have a med school email address?), which is chloe[underscore]farmer[at]med[dot]unc[dot]edu. Good luck and keep being extraordinary! 

Kacie Strong (SBU 2014) MA School Counseling

I am currently in a master's program for school counseling (and a certification in community mental health counseling) at Lenoir-Rhyne University (which is about 40 minutes north of Charlotte, NC in a small town of Hickory, NC). If I had to take the Bonaventure campus and move it down south this would 100% be it. I am really enjoying school so far and I think I am transitioning well to the southern lifestyle. While I'm taking classes, I am the graduate assistant for the disabilities services and deaf/hard-of-hearing services on campus. This is a GREAT experience and I am really enjoying working with the students. I do a lot of behind the scenes work and paperwork for the students with disabilities and/or hearing loss. I also work part time as a tutor for students who fall on the autism spectrum (this is extremely challenging at times, but well worth the hard work to see them succeed).

Please feel free to share any of my contact information with any students who may be interested in school counseling, making a move to the Charlotte area or struggling with the decision of whether to stay at Bonas for graduate school or to try something new!! I would absolutely love to talk to them about my experiences and share my insights.

I would really like to thank you and other the other faculty at Bonas for truly preparing me for Graduate school. I felt 100% prepared when I walked into my first day at Lenoir-Rhyne and so far the semester has really confirmed just how great of a education I received and how good the psychology department is at Bonaventure!! I feel steps above some other students in my classes because of my bachelor's degree I earned from you all!! (Again please feel free to share this information with all of the other faculty to let them know they are appreciated and doing a A+ job!)

kacie[dot]strong[at]my[dot]lr[dot]edu

Rachel Schey (SBU 2014) on Clinical Psy Grad School

I am currently enrolled in a PsyD program with a Military Track at Adler School of Professional Psychology, which will soon change to Adler University. I plan on applying to the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program where, if I were accepted, I would be an active duty clinical psychologist after graduation. I eventually would like to open a private practice and work with therapy dogs! If you are interested in Military Psychology, this is the only civilian program of its kind in the country! The school consists of PsyD and masters programs. There are various concentrations you can choose, since it is a graduate school that consists of only psychology. After graduation, I worked at a young men’s adolescent chemical dependency facility. Experience helps getting into clinical graduate programs, especially if the GREs are not strong for you. However, experience is not necessary. The psychology department at St. Bonaventure offered expertise in various fields of psychology that helps during the transition into graduate school. My undergraduate experience was unique in that I was able to benefit from numerous research opportunities, small class sizes, and the ability to learn from one-on-one conversations with professors. It has been truly valuable in my graduate school experience thus far! -Rachel Schey (SBU Class of 2014)

Craig Kordic (SBU 1991) Clinical Psychologist

 I loved my experience at SBU (many years ago....graduating class of 1991). I have gone on to earn my PHD in clinical psychology and am working as a staff psychologist in the inpatient psychiatry program at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, NYC. I also have a small private practice in Manhattan and teach at the Hunter College undergraduate psychology department and the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. I would be happy to speak with current students about the real world of clinical training and practice. 

Best,

Craig Kordick, Ph.D. ckordick[at}aol[dot]com

Amy Burleson Sullivan SBU 1999 at Cleveland Clinic

My favorite quote has always been Henry David Thoreau's quote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined." When I was a little girl, my parents instilled the confidence and work ethic to achieve whatever we dreamed with integrity and class. This inspiration helped me to earn a Division I Full Basketball Scholarship to St. Bonaventure University, then my Psy.D. from GSPP, with a focus on health and medical psychology. While I had the privilege of undergraduate training at St. Bonaventure, I realized that the teamwork on the court and in the classrooms prepared me for the field of medicine and the teamwork that I participate in daily as we work collaboratively with our physicians and our patients. St. Bonaventure taught me how to be a leader through sports, volunteer work and through mentoring. After leaving NY, I went to graduate school in Atlanta and began focusing my career on health psychology, because of my interests that we developed by the strong science track that I chose and Dr. Donna Brestensky (chemistry) and Fr. Peter Schneibel (biology). I knew that I wanted to combine my chemistry background with psychology. I also began thinking of a research oriented career, because of the mentoring by Dr. Robin Valeri. These 3 helped me become the person that I am, they mentored and guided me and taught me critical thinking skills and how to apply those skills to the real world. After graduate school, I completed my internship at the University of Cincinnati and continued with fellowship training in pain medicine at one of the top 4 hospitals in the nation, the Cleveland Clinic. I am now in the role of Director of Behavioral Medicine, Training and Research for the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis at The Cleveland Clinic. The path was long, it was 9 years of schooling undergraduate and graduate, and 3 years of post-education training. However, the work was worth it as I find it a true honor and privilege to walk with patients and my fellows on their own personal journeys. More importantly however, is that I have learned incredible work-life balance skills, by being a part of a strong Women In Medicine organization. I use my God given talents at work and in training, but I only do that 3 days a week, while taking care of my husband and my 3.5 year old twins.  I feel truly blessed to be living the life I had always imagined. Please feel free to reach out to me through linkedin, if I can ever provide guidance to you. Amy Burleson Sullivan SBU class of 1999

Kelly Rohan (SBU 1993) Clinical Prof at U Vermont

Kelly Rohan (SBU class of 1993) earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology  from the University of Maine and did her predoctoral internship and  postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical  Center/Jackson VA Consortium.  The research experience working with  Dr. Charles (Chuck) Walker, presenting research while an undergrad at  APS, taking graduate-level stats courses while an undergrad, and the  experience of running research methods/stats labs at SBU with Dr.  Harold Gelfand were invaluable in terms of getting into grad school  and getting socialized to research.  Initially, Kelly joined the  faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in  Bethesda, Maryland, which offers a Ph.D. program in military clinical  psychology.  Kelly is now Professor of Psychological Science and  Director of Clinical Training at the University of Vermont, where she  has been since 2005.  Kelly leads an active lab of clinical graduate  students and undergraduate independent study students, focusing on  adult depression vulnerability and treatment.  The most recent study  is a large, 5-year National Institute of Mental Health funded clinical  trial to compare cognitive-behavioral therapy and light therapy for  
seasonal affective disorder.  In that study, 177 community adults were  treated and then followed for 2-years for depression recurrences.   Kelly teaches graduate courses in Adult Psychopathology and Adult  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and undergraduate courses in Abnormal  Psychology and Intro to Clinical Psychology.

Lori Scott-Sheldon, Assoc Prof at Brown Medical

Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon, PhD earned her MA from St. Bonaventure University and her PhD at the University of Connecticut in social psychology/quantitative methods. She was a Research Scientist in the Center for Health and Behavior and an Assistant Professor Psychology at Syracuse University from 2006 to 2011. Dr. Scott-Sheldon is now a Senior Research Scientist in the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University. She also holds a secondary appointment in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health. 

Dr. Scott-Sheldon is a social scientist with extensive expertise in applying theory to health behavior. Her work broadly focuses on health promotion and disease prevention in the domains of sexual health, HIV, and alcohol use. Most of her research uses meta-analytic methodology and statistical analyses to determine the efficacy of behavioral, social, and biomedical interventions to promote health behavior change and to evaluate individual, contextual, and structural factors that facilitate behavior change (i.e., moderators of treatment efficacy). Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and she is well published in leading medical, public health, psychological and multi-disciplinary journals in psychology, public health, and behavioral medicine.

In addition to her research, Dr. Scott-Sheldon is the Associate Editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior, serves on the Editorial Boards ofAIDS & Behavior and Health Psychology, and has served as a reviewer for more than 30 journals and for the Cochrane Collaboration. Dr. Scott-Sheldon was elected to the International Academy of Sex Research in 2011 and the Research Society on Alcoholism in 2013. Dr. Scott-Sheldon was recently awarded the Bruce M. Selya Award for Excellence in Research from the Lifespan Hospital Network, Providence, RI, in recognition of her commitment to academic medicine and research excellence.

Sarah Diorio, 2005 Graduate, and new Post-Doc Resident

Sarah Diorio, 2005 graduate

I attended Penn State University for my master's in Clinical Psychology after graduating from St. Bonaventure. After completion I started the PsyD program at Immaculata University in PA. I graduated from my clinical psychology program this year and started my Post-Doctoral Residency in July at a private group practice in Wilmington, DE where I currently reside. This year will be filled with further training and preparation to take the EPPP and become a licensed Psychologist. The St. Bonaventure psychology department had a huge influence on love for psychology and my decision to continue my education and ultimately become a psychologist! I hope everyone is doing well!! 

Aimee (Koehler) Lepsch, B.A. 2006, M.A./A.C. 2010

Aimee (Koehler) Lepsch, B.A. 2006, M.A./A.C. 2010

I cannot say enough about how SBU’s psychology program helped me reach the point I am at in my career. Through coursework and field work placements at Salamanca Alternative School and Ellicottville Central Schools during my junior year, I was able to solidify my passion for school psychology, research and data, and making a difference for at-risk children.

I completed my Masters/Advanced Certificate (M.A./A.C.) in School Psychology at the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education. While a graduate student, I became immersed in practica and research. As a practicum student at Cleveland Hill UFSD, Niagara Wheatfield CSD, and Sweet Home CSD, I honed my psycho-educational evaluation skills, conducted literacy-based Response to Intervention (RTI) initiatives, and participated on various Student Support and Intervention Teams. I completed a yearlong internship in Niagara Falls CSD during the 2009-2010 school year. There, I assisted in the development of my building’s RTI Data Team, using research-based practices to drive academic interventions for struggling students. I was also a member of the district-wide RTI Steering Committee.

After finishing my Masters of Arts/Advanced Certificate in 2010, I was hired by Buffalo Public Schools as the school psychologist at Hamlin Park School #74, one of the district’s lowest performing buildings. I was instrumental in implementing Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) in the building and served as coordinator of Tier 2 and 3 initiatives. I focused my strengths on developing Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) with accessible goals and progress-monitoring methods, on which I trained psychologists district-wide. In 2014, I was hired as the psychologist on the District Committee on Special Education (DCSE) in Buffalo’s Special Education Office. With two chair-people, I serve the entire district, addressing and resolving parent appeals, complaints, and due process hearings filed against the district. While daunting to some, I love the flexibility and challenge of my current position. It makes every day fulfilling, as I know I am linking students and families with the services and special education supports needed to succeed.

Outside of work, I am highly involved in the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP). I have been an Executive Board member since 2012, representing the five Western NY counties under Chapter C at the state level. I communicate important psychological issues and legislation to members, organize state-wide and local conferences, and provide educational and networking opportunities. I married fellow Bonnie, Joe Lepsch (B.A. in JMC) in 2012. We live in Williamsville, NY with our English springer spaniel, Murphy – who is brown and white, just like us!

My biggest advice to any SBU psychology student is to get involved. Get as much hands-on experience as you can in your potential field, join professional organizations, and network to meet people. Learning does not stop when you leave SBU! I am happy to hear from any psychology students and alumni who would like more information about school psychology – or to reminisce about those days in the basement of De La Roche.

Aimee (Koehler) Lepsch

aimeeclepsch(AT)gmail(DOT)com