Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications

Psych Major Finds Not Just Beauty, But Opportunities (B.A., '10)

May 28, 2010

Willa Charise Ivory

This is the second in a series of profiles of Lehman's 2010 graduates.

Willa Charise Ivory chose Lehman College over two other CUNY schools and had to take three trains to get here from her home in Queens. The campus played a big role in her decision. "Lehman offers the kind of environment that many New York City colleges lack," she says.

During her freshman year, she followed the pattern of most commuter students—train, class, train, home—and was not involved at all in student organizations. Soon, though, she realized she wasn't making the most of her experience. "Lehman offers so much more than just a beautiful campus," she notes.

Ivory credits Lehman faculty and staff for keeping her motivated and focused, helping her to find a new major—psychology—and a new connection to her fellow students. Suddenly, she wasn't rushing to catch the train any more.

"My interactions with other students, inside and outside the classroom, allowed me to appreciate other people's views and perspectives on issues," she says. "And opportunities such as the ability to be a peer educator for the Counseling Center or participate in the Urban Male Leadership Program have give me chances to grow on a variety of levels."

Through her participation in student life, Ivory volunteered three times in post-Katrina New Orleans and became part of the District 75 Peer Mentor Program, a Lehman initiative that pairs undergraduates with autistic high school students. She also made the Dean's List and was named to Golden Key Honor Society and Psi Chi, the psychology honor society.

Ivory plans on pursuing a master's degree in social work at Fordham University, beginning this fall.