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Alumni Spotlight: Diana Cabezas ’14

Posted in: Featured Alumni

Professional headshoto of Diana Cabezas.

Diana Cabezas graduated in 2014 with a combined BA-MA degree in Psychology and has now been accepted and enrolled into a PhD program in Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University.

“I think it was helpful to have completed a master’s degree before applying to a doctoral program. The MA program guided me to develop research skills and narrow my interest which I believe are instrumental in a doctoral program. Overall, I think that in my experience the program prepared me to continue my education as a doctoral student,” she said.

What are your career goals?

“My future career goals will be to work closely with community-based organizations that aid Latina immigrant women and families. I would like to become an advocate and hopefully help develop culturally relevant programs that assist immigrant women. Also, I aspire to contribute to the research field by examining perinatal mental health disparities among Latina immigrant women.

The FSHD program offers various fieldwork opportunities that extend beyond the lab. I am a part-time student, and the program has helped me to become involved in various ways. The program’s social justice emphasis is central to my interests as it has strengthened me as a scholar and advocate for Latino immigrant families.”

First-Person Account from Diana Cabezas in 2014 on the BA/MA Program in General Psychology

I started at Montclair State University in 2009, and as a freshman was unsure of what major to declare. I found myself switching constantly until my first semester as a sophomore, when I discovered an interest in psychology. I became fascinated with the courses offered and developed great relationships with the professors and students. Through the courses and relationships with faculty, I became more involved in the field. My primary goal was to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in four years. Little did I think that I would leave with a Bachelors and a Masters degree in psychology, all in only 5 years!

I applied to the Psychology Department’s BA/MA Program in General Psychology in early April of 2012. I was unsure of what to expect as a member of the BA/MA class, yet I was eager to learn. I was interested in clinical or counseling psychology, but was not sure if I wanted to commit the additional 4 plus years to a Ph.D. program- at least not just yet. I believed that the BA/MA program would allow me to acquire more skills in order to find a job close to my interest.

The program did that and much more! Not only did I graduate in May 2014 with a Masters, but I found a job as a case worker for an immigration and refugee service in a non-profit organization. There I will be working with families and children who have been separated, helping them reunite and adjust to their new situations. To say the least I am amazed and glad to work for this organization because my Master’s Thesis examined how Latino immigrants coped with and adjusted to their new homes and communities in the United States. I feel that I can definitely apply the knowledge I obtained from my research to my new job. I am looking forward to this new opportunity and I am glad I enrolled in the BA/MA program. It helped me to define and pursue my interests and to develop lasting friendships.