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
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
Nick Kicior, BA Psy 2004, MSEd 2006, Advanced Certificate, 2009
When asked to reflect on what he learned from his undergraduate experience as a psychology major wrote
"Thinking. Feeling. Doing. Those are the things my education at Bonaventure taught me. While working with the Psychology Department, I was strongly encouraged to think independently, outside of the box, and find problems that needed solutions. The professors there fostered personal and professional development, asking students to search for an area that interested them and involve themselves in as many ways possible within it. While at Bona's, I was able to take several courses that varied in focus and join research teams to conduct independent studies. This allowed me to hone my areas of interest so that I could go on to learning more about them in graduate school and specialized training so that I was assured I would eventually be doing something I loved. My experience at Bonaventure also allowed me to never forget the person behind the diagnoses. I was always encouraged to help promote personal development and growth in others and to never forget how finding effective treatment modalities might actually influence the person receiving them. Finally, I was ALWAYS encouraged to be action oriented; to put verbs in my sentences so that there was an effective outcome. As president of Psi Chi, I would look for ways to engage others in psychology events and promote environments that fostered learning for everyone. The courses I took through the Psychology Department were diverse to say the least. I experienced everything from calculating statistics to the behavior of animals, allowing me to see the variety of directions in which psychology could take me. I was also involved in a summer research program that linked me with professors and students at Buffalo State College as well. Because the Psychology Department was always committed to learning and striving for excellence, they were able to continuously pass down opportunities that came across their desk that would help me develop as an individual. All of my experiences led me to where I am today as a professional. I was able to go on to receive my Master's Degree and Advanced Master's Certification and will be taking a licensure examination to potentially start my own practice. Currently, I work as a Program Director for an ambulatory adult mental health service , overseeing a staff of 17 individuals across six counties in Northcentral PA. I work with individuals who live with a variety of mental health disorders and are at different stages in their own recovery and wellness. I enjoy what I do because of the foundation that was laid when I was learning. I still maintain relationships with not only the university, but with the professors who taught me there because, quite frankly, their passion is contagious. I believe that people can and do change and that holding people to a higher standard beyond taking medication is imperative to personal growth and long-term, sustainable wellness. I am so grateful to those who helped me grow while I was at Bonaventure and encourage individuals to constantly evaluate how much they are putting into their education, because the rate of return is comparable. Do more than what is expected. Look for learning opportunities. Use the time you have around the people at Bonaventure to your advantage. Don't look back and wish you did more."
Nicholas A. Kicior, MSEd.
Peer Support Services Program Director
Outpatient Mental Health Therapist
Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems
800 East Main Street, Bradford, PA 16701