Alumni and Careers

Khalil LeSaldo performing

Khalil LeSaldo

Class of: 2011

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): Theater

Khalil is currently a Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s MFA Professional Actor Training Program.

What is your occupation? What is your current job (roles and responsibilities)?

Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s MFA Professional Actor Training Program. Student of acting, teacher of acting.

Resident company member at Playmakers Repertory Theater. Available for all shows cast in season, currently equity performer in world premier of Dairyland. 

http://playmakersrep.org/show/dairyland

How has your Bowdoin education and experience help you and inform the work that you do?

After my theater classes, I entered the Chicago acting community where I immediately found my skills an asset to the organizations I worked with. 

My Psychology classes and liberal arts background meant that I could offer a wider base of knowledge as a collaborator. 

I don’t think I was terribly good in the playwrighting class I took, but in a few years the lessons had settled and when I returned to writing, I found the lessons there and ready to help with some poignant self-started works which were well received.

Has studying Theater and Dance impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Theater is a study of humanness. It is perpetual learning, perpetual imagining, perpetual craft of the ephemeral. It is many disciplines, and anyone would be enriched to play a role outside their personal experience and give it the complexity they enjoy in their own lives. It’s a nebulous career path, but it is integral to the person I am today.

Also studying body movement then lets  you analyze how other people carry their frame, and what that might signify for character, so that’s cool.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

It is mostly the friends and the acting  roles I enjoyed while at Bowdoin. Physical Theater with Davis Robinson. Cultural and Literary Theory (!!!)

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

Everyone started somewhere. Your world continues after Bowdoin. Enjoy your time, but know that the skills and knowledge you are developing will require attention in the years to follow (if you want to improve). And always: you are challenged with the tension of being curious and expansive while remembering your privileges.

If you want to think about graduate school for theater and don’t want/can’t have loans for it, google the URTAs (UPTAs, too, for those pursuing a career in theater after graduation)

Elise Krob

Elise Krob

Class of: 2010

Location: Boston, MA

Major(s): Psychology

I work in healthcare management. My current role is Operations Manager of the Hematology/Oncology clinic at Boston Medical Center, where I oversee the daily operations of the clinic and supervise 20 staff.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

Critical thinking is an essential skill in the work place, which was honed by my liberal arts education at Bowdoin. It enabled me to think broadly about many fields, and pursue numerous job opportunities outside of my major.

Has studying Psychology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Studying psychology has had a huge impact on my perspective, in all fields of my life. It brings an ability to work with people from varying backgrounds, with different needs, and different motivations. Working well with people is one of the most important and rarest skill to bring to the work place – and also has huge benefits for interpersonal relationships.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

I formed a very close bond with one of my professors, which has been one of my lasting friendships from Bowdoin. My involvement in the robotics team has also been something that provided me with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

Soak it all in! Enjoy the friendships at your fingertips and the endless free food while you can J And don’t forget to learn practical things too, like how to read a rental agreement and balance a budget.

Emily Weinberger

Emily Weinberger

Class of: 2015

Location: New York City, NY

I am the Program Coordinator at NYU/Bellevue Hospital’s Juvenile Justice Mental Health Service in the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. We are a federally grant-funded, city-contracted team working directly in the two NYC juvenile detention facilities. My role includes both administrative duties coordinating the mental health services, and data/research responsibilities for the evaluation of our programs. This fall, I will be starting a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University in the child forensic concentration, focusing on adolescent trauma and juvenile justice.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

A liberal arts education helped me to realize the possibility of combining seemingly disparate interests into a career. The ability to explore a variety of disciplines at Bowdoin is unique, and not only expanded my mind, but also helped me to bridge the gaps across my specific interests in law, criminal justice, and mental health. Additionally, internship opportunities that I had during summers at Bowdoin laid foundation for the work I am engaged in now. The opportunity to intern in an adult treatment program of a county jail, at a juvenile justice legal aid clinic, and at a women’s prison NGO in Argentina all provided me with early hands-on experience to help inform my work today.

Has studying Psychology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Studying Psychology impacts how I perceive and interact with my world everyday. I believe that my greater understanding of how humans process information and emotions helps me to interact with more empathy and tolerance. Not only is this helpful when working with patients, but it is also important when collaborating on a team of coworkers with contrasting personalities, or in every day life with people who are meaningful to me. Studying Psychology has also taught me the importance of evidence-based work. I have come to appreciate the narratives that numbers can construct, and how theses stories can impact individuals and broader systems. My first taste of research was during my time at Bowdoin through lab classes, research methods/data analysis, and my honors thesis, and these experiences inspired me to pursue my current professional path.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

The experience that stands out to me was completing an honors thesis my senior year with Professor Slowiaczek. The ability to work so closely with a mentor and develop original, self-motivated research at Bowdoin is a truly rare undergraduate opportunity, and one that I continue to feel so grateful to have had. My honors thesis helped to inform many of the choices I made after graduating from Bowdoin and directed me toward the research I now wish to pursue in graduate school. The process of completing an honors thesis pushed me to think critically in innovative ways. Professor Slowiaczek provided me with the support and confidence to explore my interests through multiple lenses, making it an invaluable (and fun) experience!

Do you have any advice for current students at Bowdoin?

If you have a burning interest or passion, run with it! Sometimes our curiosities seem to come from inexplicable places that don’t seem worth acting upon, but I would really encourage the opposite. If you are motivated by a topic or a problem, then don’t stop asking questions. Explore it from various angles – academically, professionally, personally. I have found that most success seems to come from genuine passion. You do not need to have the perfect GPA, highest GRE scores, or greatest number of publications to be successful – the momentum of your commitment and fervor to your cause will take you much further.

Lindsey Bruett

Lindsey Bruett

Class of: 2009

Location: San Francisco, CA

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): Art - Visual Arts

I am presently an Assistant Clinical Professor/Attending Psychologist at University of California, San Francisco (the health sciences campus of the UC system) in the Eating Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry. I do a combination of clinical work with adolescents and young adults, teaching and supervision of trainees (psychology interns, medical students, residents, and fellows), and clinical research.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

I owe a huge amount of who I am to Bowdoin, and could go on and on – it’s an extraordinary place. But, it terms of professional development, my psychology professors at Bowdoin were passionate about the subjects they taught, and I know that influenced my choice to join the field. And, I was fortunate to have great advice from Professor Slowiaczek and others about navigating the grad school process.

Has studying Psychology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Yes, I would have had a very hard time following the career I chose without majoring in Psychology – deciding to do that after just taking Psych 101 my sophomore year totally changed my path and I’ve never looked back. However, even for folks who don’t pursue a career in psychology, knowing how to think about human behavior from a scientific perspective and be an informed consumer of research is both fascinating and crucial in today’s world.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

Thinking about psychology – I’d go with Professor Slowiaczek’s Language seminar during my senior year. Her enthusiasm for her teaching is infectious and she creates such a warm and engaging atmosphere. I think of her and many of my other Bowdoin professors often when I teach.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

Get involved with everything you possibly can! There are so many rich experiences to be had at Bowdoin, both academic and extracurricular. And, try to spend a summer on campus if you can. My summer working in Professor Lovett’s lab, living in Brunswick Apartments, and enjoying Maine was 100% the best summer of my life so far.

Emily McDonald

Emily McDonald

Class of: 2014

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): Education

I work at the Howard Center in Burlington, Vermont, with children who have behavioral and mental health challenges. The program I work for, called “Enhanced Family Treatment”, provides children and their families with the highest level of care that is possible while the children are still residing in their homes. I spend time with my clients one on one in the community and in their homes. Each client is unique and thus the work looks different depending on the child and their individual needs, but generally speaking, my role is to support my clients in learning how to talk about their feelings, developing and practicing coping skills, and learning how to ask for what they need. I also give them feedback about how their behaviors and words are impacting others. The program uses the “Trauma Informed Care” model of treatment which means that we respond to a client’s behaviors from a trauma lens, and we try to understand how their past trauma is impacting their ability to cope with the current stressors that they are facing.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

I first became interested in child development when I took Professor Putnam’s Infant and Child Development course during the spring semester of my first year at Bowdoin. I also did an honors project in Psychology during my senior year which gave me an opportunity to spend time in an elementary school interviewing students. After these experiences, I knew that I wanted to work with children in some capacity.

Has studying Psychology and Education impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Through both my psychology and education classes at Bowdoin, I developed a much greater understanding of the multitude of factors that impact a child’s development and his/her ability to cope in stressful situations. This informs the work that I do at the Howard Center today.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

  • Infant and Child Development with Professor Sam Putnam
  • Mindfulness in Education with Professor Katie Byrnes

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

My courses at Bowdoin were fantastic and they gave me a great foundation for a career in mental health. That said, there are some things that you cannot learn in a classroom, and thus work experience is an invaluable part of the process of enhancing your skillset and becoming better at what you do. So, when you walk into your first day of your first job after graduating from Bowdoin, know that your Bowdoin education has given you a solid foundation, but also let yourself be humbled by those around you and recognize that you still have so much to learn.

Allie (Yanikoski) Nerenberg

Allie (Yanikoski) Nerenberg

Class of: 2006

Location: Jericho, Vermont

Major(s): Psychology

Minor(s): English

I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC). I work for the Department of Mental Health in Vermont as a Care Manager. I collaborate with psychiatric inpatient teams and community mental health providers around the needs of individuals under the care and custody of the commissioner of DMH (involuntarily inpatient psychiatrically or on an Order of Non Hospitalization in the community).

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

My time at Bowdoin taught me so much. Although I laughed about it when I was a student, in some ways the “Bowdoin hello” was the most formative non-academic lesson I took from Bowdoin. This encouragement to approach others with warmth helped me to overcome some of my own shyness and to grow into someone who makes a career out of talking with people I do not know well and having hard conversations. Academically, Bowdoin taught me to challenge myself to do my best work and hold myself to a high standard.

Has studying Psychology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

I took my studies of Psychology to work in a couple of group homes, one for adults with cognitive impairment, and one for youth with mental health issues. These experiences made me realize that I wanted to go to graduate school and I got my Masters of Science in Counseling.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

Most of my best friends are my Bowdoin friends. I got married eight years after graduating and I had twenty Bowdoin classmates with me. The people I met at Bowdoin have shaped, and continue to shape, my life in more ways that I can even explain. That includes professors, as I enjoyed working with my pre-major academic advisor so much that I went on to major in Psychology and then make a career out of the study of human behavior and interactions.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

I wish that I had taken more academic risks at Bowdoin and sought out classes that I might not do well in, but that would give me a more rounded education and challenge me, rather than classes that were comfortable.

Ariye Krassner

Ariye Krassner

Class of: 2014

Location: New Haven, CT

Major(s): Psychology

I am currently a graduate student at the Yale School of Nursing in the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program (Class of 2020). I will be working at the Connecticut Mental Health Center in the fall, where I will be learning to perform psychological assessments, make DSM-5 diagnoses, prescribe medication, and provide psychotherapy. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I look forward to treating my patients through a combination of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

In the psychology courses that I took at Bowdoin, I was afforded numerous opportunities to engage in hands-on learning as a supplement to my classroom education. This not only helped me to engage with the material at a deeper level, but empowered me to pinpoint future career goals. For instance, in Professor Samuel Putnam’s Infant and Child Development course, students volunteered at a daycare center outside of the classroom, where we were able to interact with and observe children in different developmental stages. Similarly, as a component of Professor Julie Quimby’s Abnormal Psychology course, students volunteered at the Mid Coast Hospital in the inpatient psychiatric unit, where we were able to learn directly from patients about their diagnoses and from clinicians about providing mental health care. These out-of-classroom experiences helped to affirm my passion not only for academic psychology, but for direct patient care and working with both adult and child populations.

Bowdoin also offers ample opportunities for students to become involved in internships, fellowships, and research experiences. In the summer of my sophomore year, I was awarded a Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowship, and was matched with an organization in Brunswick called the Independence Association. Through this fellowship, I worked in several different group homes and day programs with clients with developmental disabilities, and was also able to take a training course to become a certified Direct Support Professional. This fellowship was an amazing opportunity to work with patients with a wide variety of physical, behavioral, and mental health problems, and further reinforced my desire to pursue a career in clinical mental health post-graduation.

Has studying Psychology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

I believe that studying clinical psychology has helped me to become a more perceptive and empathetic person, both inside and outside of clinical settings. With holistic communication, I have learned that it is extremely important to not only engage in active listening, but to pay close attention to subtle cues in nonverbal communication and behavior in order to fill in the gaps of what a person may not say out loud. I have learned to look beyond basic facial expressions to observe a person’s overall demeanor. This helps me to determine whether a smile is a true sign of happiness, or a mask of underlying pain, and if hyperactivity is a sign of energy and excitement, or a manifestation of underlying anxiety. I strongly believe that studying and working in the field of psychology has also made me a more patient and accepting person. When engaging in a difficult interaction with a person or a patient, I have learned to take a step a back, and to give people the benefit of the doubt when I find myself frustrated or offended. Rather than assuming that someone is mean-spirited or intentionally disagreeable, I now try to reflect on what challenging experiences a person might have had in the past to lead to inappropriate behaviors or aggressive interpersonal styles.

 

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

The experience that stands out the most for me about my time at Bowdoin was the process of completing my honors project in psychology, and the incredible resources and support that I received from Bowdoin, and specifically from Professor Samuel Putnam. At the end of my sophomore year, Professor Putnam helped me to develop a project that addressed my research interest in how cultural differences in early parent-child interactions, schooling approaches, and other social factors impact child temperament and behavior. The project incorporated my study abroad experience junior year in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I volunteered at the University of Copenhagen’s baby lab. I then replicated and expanded upon the Danish group’s methods with an American cohort during my senior year in order to draw cross-cultural comparisons. I saw first-hand that cross-cultural developmental research is extremely important to the field of psychology, since through studying social influences on child development, we can learn how to better promote the psychological wellbeing of individuals from diverse backgrounds, beginning at a young age. Professor Putnam helped me to obtain funding the summer of my junior year to conduct this research full-time, and also continued to support me post-graduation to analyze the data collected during the study. I was ultimately able to present two first-authored posters to the 2014 Berlin International Conference on Infants Studies, and to first-author a manuscript published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology. These were incredible, unique research opportunities that are often only afforded to graduate students, and I can’t express my gratitude enough to Professor Putnam for mentoring me through these experiences.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

I think that the most amazing aspect of attending a small liberal arts school like Bowdoin is all of the educational resources and funding opportunities that are so readily available to students. The number of summer internships, research experiences, honors thesis opportunities, and volunteer placements is truly outstanding. Without competition from graduate students, undergraduates are able to develop close working relationships with professors and take on elaborate research projects. I would strongly encourage current students to take full advantage of these resources, since they not only made me a more competitive candidate for graduate school, but were extremely formative in shaping my future career trajectory.

 

Coretta King

Coretta King

Class of: 2012

Location: Nashville, TN

Major(s): Psychology

I currently live in Nashville, TN pursuing music projects. Particularly singing and songwriting. My website is http://corettakingmusic.com.