Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications

Christina Barbieri (B.A., '10) Finds Her Dream Within Reach at Lehman

June 11, 2010

Christina Barbieri

Christina Barbieri was convinced she wanted to become a fashion designer, until she took an introductory psychology course at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Now, the psychology graduate is taking steps toward pursuing a doctorate in the field of psychology.

Barbieri transferred to Lehman after attaining her A.A.S. from the Fashion Institute of Technology. After discovering how much she loved psychology, she chose to minor in early childhood education because she wanted to work with children with disabilities. Her minor afforded her ample opportunities to conduct classroom observations.

"I noticed a disconnect between what I was learning about children in my psychology classes and how certain teachers and schools were approaching teaching these students," says the Yonkers resident, who recently graduated summa cum laude. "I gained a better understanding of the need for continued research applicable to fostering school environments that cultivate students' strengths."

Barbieri is appreciative of the support of faculty members like Dr. Keith Happaney of the psychology department, whose laboratory she works in as a research assistant. He was also instrumental in helping her become an LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Participation in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology) Scholar.

In addition to working part-time as a data analyst for the Forensic Interviewing Best Practices (FIBP) project, Barbieri was inducted into Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology (where she served as vice president). She is also a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society and Sigma XI, the Scientific Research Society.

She says that the encouragement she gained from the Lehman community helped her to find her niche and succeed. "The knowledge and experience I have gained and networking opportunities I have been able to take advantage of are priceless," she says. "I know exactly what I want a career in and precisely how to pursue it."

Barbieri continues to work in Dr. Happaney's lab and with the FIBP, but she is also busy applying to Ph.D. programs in school psychology. "Once I'm accepted," she says, "I will be able to focus on my goal of contributing and applying research to the promotion of cognitive, behavioral, and social-emotional development of children in school settings."