“What should I do after graduation?” is a common question among students obtaining their master’s degrees from John Jay. Last semester, the Masters Student Research Group put on an event for both graduate and undergraduate students called Careers in Forensic Psychology to showcase different career and educational paths that can be pursued after graduation. The event featured three panelists who have gone on to different careers after graduating from John Jay with their Masters in Forensic Psychology and Forensic Mental Health Counseling. The panelists spent an hour with students eating pizza and reflecting on their goals and achievements, as well as offering advice and answering questions from those in attendance.
Abbie Tuller: Senior Director of Domestic Violence Special Programs and Tier II Shelter at Urban Resource Institute; Doctoral student in the Criminal Justice Policy, Oversight, and Administration Program
Julia Campregher: Psychological and Administrative Associate at the Institute for Forensic Psychology
Teresa Curmi: Doctoral Student in Psychology and Law at the CUNY Graduate Center & John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Member of the Investigative Psychology Research Unit under Dr. Salfati
The panelists began the evening by introducing themselves and describing the experiences that helped lead them to where they are now. Abbie Tuller always knew that she wanted to work with victims of crimes and participated in the Victim Track Specialization while she was obtaining her master’s degree from John Jay. (Find out more about the victimology certificate here). Tuller first went through the Forensic Psychology program and then returned to obtain her Master’s in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. She is now a licensed mental health counselor and a certified rape crisis counselor. While at John Jay she was one of the founding members of MSRG and did research at a domestic violence shelter. She believes that her degrees from John Jay were instrumental in her search for a job, because the networking opportunities found at John Jay are some of the best in the victim services field. She noted the Dr. Raghavan has been one of her greatest mentors during her education and career. Now Tuller oversees all special programming available to survivors residing in eight different domestic violence shelters across the city. These programs include the People and Animals living in Safety Program (which assists victims of domestic violence by allowing them to bring their pets with them to the shelters), the Working Internship Network, and the Manhattan Family Justice Center Initiative. These programs teach economic and workplace empowerment among other skills. She is also working part time towards her doctoral degree in the Criminal Justice Policy program at the CUNY Graduate Center. This program is unique as many doctoral programs do not accept part time students. This program allows her to continue her full-time work with victims of domestic violence while attending classes in the evening.
Julia Campregher graduated with her Master’s in Forensic Psychology from John Jay and now works for the Institute for Forensic Psychology. There she provides psychological evaluations for different city departments in New Jersey, examining officers' fitness for duty and administering and scoring reports. While she was at John Jay she conducted research under Dr. Falkenbach and Dr. Jeglic, and published psychology as a psychological and administrative assistant. Her thesis, Public Attitudes Toward Juvenile Sex Offender Legislation, was published in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. During the panel, she spoke about how greatly her professional writing and public speaking skills benefitted from her education at John Jay. She also mentioned how the opportunities to participate in such involved research and present at the MSRG conference prepared her for future research at the Center for Court Innovation and for her current career at the Forensic Institute. Finally, she spoke highly about her externship experience at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center and encouraged students to explore the possibility of completing their own externship there.
Teresa Curmi is currently a doctoral student in the Psychology and Law program at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as a member of Dr. Salfati’s Investigative Psychology Research Unit. She described the Psychology and Law program as highly research oriented, more so than a Clinical Psychology Doctoral program. Before applying and being accepted to the Psychology and Law program, Curmi worked for seven years as a senior analyst for a pharmaceutical company after obtaining a certificate in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She spoke at length about her difficulty deciding between a clinical doctoral program and a non-clinical doctoral program. She ultimately decided on the Psychology and Law program after consulting with her faculty mentors during her time as a master’s student. She urged students that are considering applying to doctoral programs to spend their time developing their professional research portfolio as much as possible and to develop their relationships with faculty in order to obtain letters of recommendation for applications. She also mentioned that she believes it was very beneficial to go to a school renowned for criminal justice and that she believes it was highly influential during her application process.
The panelists discussed the process of applying to doctoral programs and searching for careers. Although they acknowledged that the process is incredibly competitive and can be discouraging, they agreed that there is plenty of time to apply again in the future. Additionally, there are many amazing opportunities to be found with a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology or a Master's Degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling from John Jay.