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From left, Astrid Tello-Rodriguez, now in the master of social work program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Brooke Randazzo, now in the experimental psychology masters program at Western Illinois University; and Angela Conte '13 at a Camp Kesem event. Conte is is in the master's program in cognitive and behavioral sciences at Illinois State University.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Recent graduates have completed PhDs in cognitive, clinical and social psychology, and behavioral neuroscience; and master's degrees in counseling, industrial organizational, social work and political science. Others have gone on to law and medical schools, nursing, and physical and occupational therapy.

Recent graduates are employed by Family Resources social services agency, Quad Cities Autism Center, Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. They are teaching English in Asia and working as substance abuse counselors, college admissions counselors, a behavioral health technician and a youth minister. Others work in sales, marketing and human resources.

All take Basic Issues in Psychology, a course that covers careers and graduate school plans and helps students weigh their options.

Students get clinical experience in a community placement for at least 40 hours. Students also may spend a term volunteering at a community agency and developing research based on the experience.

Recent graduates:

Kim Klien is in the cognitive psychology Ph.D. program at Colorado State University.

Samantha Kalmar '11 finished a master's in clinical-counseling psychology and is employed at Child and Family Connections, Peoria, Ill.

Angela Conte '13 is in the master's program in cognitive and behavioral sciences at Illinois State University.

Augustana College offers a major and minor in psychology, in a program that has adopted a developmental approach — identifying skills, such as writing and critical thinking, and setting assignments to develop these skills throughout each student’s curriculum. All students engage in experiential learning by completing a clinical placement or research with a faculty mentor.

The nine full-time faculty all have the Ph.D. and represent all major areas of psychology. Besides teaching and research, the faculty view advising as an important part of their work. All psychology students complete a series of tasks designed to help them reflect on their education and development. These tasks then become a porfolio.

Students complete Senior Inquiry, a focused, topical capstone project. In the psychology department, students develop a research proposal and complete a research project, concluding with a formal oral presentations.

Many students of psychology participate in Psychology Club and/or are members of Augustana’s chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology.

Augustana participates in several undergraduate, graduate and professional research conferences and encourages students to present their research. Examples include the Tristate Undergraduate Psychology Conference; theannual convention of the Midwestern Psychological Association; Midbrains: The Undergraduate Neuroscience Conference of the Upper Midwest; and the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences and Psychology held by the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science.

Julie Gass ’09, psychology, Spanish and Latin American studies majors:
“My psychology coursework at Augustana has been both interesting and relevant, and has completely prepared me for graduate studies in clinical psychology. One of the best things about Augustana’s psychology program is the opportunity to conduct research. I have had the interesting experience of working in the animal learning lab on an independent project, the results of which I have presented at professional conferences in Chicago. There are many other opportunities for research here, as well, and all of the psychology faculty are ready to advise a student in his or her research endeavors. It is unique for a liberal arts school of this size to have such an abundance of research opportunities, and I feel it is a huge asset to anybody interested in pursuing graduate school or a career in psychology.”

Niccole Kleeman ’08, psychology and pre-medicine majors:
“It only took one class for me to fall in love with psychology at Augustana. The department felt like a family where the professors supported the students and each other. Working in the department is one of my favorite memories of senior year. This provided me an opportunity to work even closer with the faculty, staff and students. From my work in the classroom, I feel confident in both my test-taking and critical thinking skills. I am also constantly finding practical applications of psychology in the community and everyday life.”

Sam Kalmar ‘11, psychology and Spanish majors, sociology minor. (Kalmar finished a master's in Clinical-Counseling Psychology and is employed at Child and Family Connections, Peoria, Ill.)
“As far as Augustana goes, the professors in the psychology department played a tremendous role in my college career. Their enthusiasm led me to change my major and after that switch, they continued to help me reach where I am now...” 

Kirn Book Award winners for 2016

The Kirn Book Award provides up to $1,000 to a student who exhibits the qualities of curiosity and a love of the printed word that would lead towards the development of a personal library. This year's winners are Amanda Schar and Kathryn Gorzek

Connecting interests leads Rakers down memorable path

Kendra Rakers ’16 is interested in memory and how it works, particularly as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease. So she chose an interdisciplinary major in neuroscience with minors in biochemistry and history.It’s a perfect fit, she says, because each field approaches memory from a different point of view, which is a good way to provide more flexibility in her career. As she sees it, “I’ll probably wind up with a job that hasn’t been invented yet.”

Hund '97 named Outstanding University Teacher

Alycia Hund '97 will be honored with an Outstanding University Teacher Award from Illinois State University, where she is a professor of psychology. She has guided more than 5,800 students in face-to-face, blended and online course since joining ISU in 2003. Hund has mentored 83 undergraduate research assistants, 41 undergrad teaching assistants, 14 graduate research assistants, 10 dissertation students and 16 thesis students.
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