MSPP Student Ambassador
University of Florida
2nd Year Clinical PsyD
Latino Mental Health Program
Hi all! I am a second-year doctoral student in the clinical PsyD program at MSPP. I am originally from New Jersey, earned my bachelors degree in psychology from The University of Florida, Gainesville and later earned my masters degree in urban education and English as a Second Language at Jersey City University. Before deciding to apply to MSPP, I taught Spanish and ESL at both the middle school and high school levels. I made the decision to seek a PsyD because I was sure that I wanted to solely focus my training in the clinical arena rather than in research.
Upon beginning my research on PsyD programs I noticed MSPP’s concentration in Latino Mental Health and immediately knew that the program was a perfect match for me. I wanted to continue using my Spanish language skills in combination with my studies and eventual practice in psychology. I attended an open house last fall and had the opportunity to sit in on two classes during that visit. I felt extremely welcomed by both faculty and students. The best way I can describe the culture at MSPP is one of “family.” The faculty at the school is supportive, readily available and genuinely invested in the personal and professional development of each of its students.
MSPP is unique in that its students immediately begin clinical training in their first year. I am currently doing my first-year practicum at The Latin American Health Institute, a community mental health agency in Brockton, Massachusetts. Working with both English and Spanish speaking clients, I have been given the opportunity to do intakes, assessments, treatment plans and individual therapy with adults. The experience has been invaluable in my early development as a clinician. Although I am not one hundred percent sure of my career path, I have recently developed an interest in psychological assessment and hope to have the opportunity to do more testing at my second-year practicum at a school setting. At MSPP, through a wide variety of coursework and the opportunity to work with diverse populations in multiple clinical settings, you will certainly find your niche.
A commitment to community service also is a big part of MSPP’s culture. In early August I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to a part of western Massachusetts that was seriously impacted by a devastating tornado. Along with other students, I helped a family clear rubbish from the yard they had been planning on using for their daughter’s wedding. It was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!
Your first year at MSPP will be challenging, exciting and at times overwhelming. The best advice I can offer is to budget your time (and money!), stay organized and make sure you set aside time to take care of yourself. Although you may feel that there’s no time in the day for things like exercise and socializing, it’s essential that you strike a balance. Best of luck! Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.