Psych Major Discovers Her Leadership Talents:
Letricia Brown (B.A., '10)
June 9, 2010
Letricia Brown, who describes herself as "timid" when first enrolling at Lehman, graduated summa cum laude this spring as a confident campus leader and accomplished scholar who will pursue a master's degree in occupational therapy at New York University this fall.
Initially attracted to Lehman for the beauty of the campus and its proximity to her Yonkers home, the Yonkers resident found her academic focus during freshman year on a trip to Tijuana, Mexico with Lehman L.I.F.E. (Leaders Involved for Everyone).
There, she says, she saw "a world greater than my own and the needs of those who continue to be ignored," as well as "the fact that people like me can make a difference in the lives of others if we choose to." A member of the Lehman Scholars Program, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and Golden Key Honor Society, Brown decided on psychology as a major because she wanted to learn more about human cognition and behavior.
Her interest in the helping professions led to the Urban Male Leadership Program, where she spoke with high school students about the importance of higher education, and with Student Disability Services, where she worked as a peer educator and as a mentor to students with autism. As co-vice president of the Lehman chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology, she led campus workshops and community service projects. She also traveled with Lehman L.I.F.E. to New Orleans to help in the rebuilding effort after Hurricane Katrina and to Cincinnati to help that city's homeless population.
Brown's burgeoning confidence and leadership abilities were tested when her mother fell ill and needed to be hospitalized for several months. "When she was released from the hospital, I had new demands placed on me," she says. "I had to figure out how to juggle helping my mother readjust to life, given her current state of health, as well as working, church, campus life, and my schoolwork."
Brown was able not only to manage, but to excel under this pressure. She was chosen for the competitive Occupational Therapy Research Internship at Washington University in St. Louis, which she completed during the summer of 2009. She was also accepted into occupational therapy master's programs at Columbia University and SUNY Downstate.
As an occupational therapist, she hopes to help people with disabilities discover how to become more productive and independent. She says that her academic and community service experiences at Lehman have helped to prepare her for this profession. "Lehman College has played a major role in transforming me from a timid follower as a freshman into a confident leader by the time I became a senior," she says.