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Students in BEH101 class sitting at their desks.

The Interactive Classroom BEH 101 & 102: Connecting MCPHS Students and Alumni

  • At Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), our students receive an education based on a foundation of collaboration and hands-on learning as they work towards becoming the healthcare leaders of the future.

    Each semester, health psychology majors take three 1-credit career exploration and professional development courses (BEH 101, 102, and 103) that focus on the breadth of the field of psychology and the various career paths graduates can follow.

    In these seminars, Stacie Spencer, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Director of Health Psychology at MCPHS, invites various alumni to join her class via Skype. The goal of these sessions is to bring together current students and alumni of health psychology to ask and answer questions and share experiences. This gives current students a chance to interact with people who have followed a similar path.

    Professor Spencer enforces that a career in health psychology can lead to many different opportunities in the work-force. Occupations in this field vary from nursing, licensed professional counselors, communications coordinators, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and research coordinators. This shows that the health psychology career path is not one dimensional; students can partake in various career opportunities both inside and outside of the healthcare world.

    Alumna Lindsay Storm Scholl, now works as Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Utah, Department of Psychiatry. She independently runs a large NIH/NIDA funded R01 (5-year) randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating treatment for depression. A former student of Professor Spencer’s class, she credits the course and her education from MCPHS to her successful career. “The school’s fundamentals in interprofessional collaboration education benefitted me in my career. This is because, in the healthcare field, everyone’s views are valuable and offer a different perspective,” Scholl said when asked about how her education and experiences here shaped her career.

    Students in Professor Spencer’s class were able to ask the alumni about some of the challenges they will be facing in the future including, applying to graduate school, capstone presentations, and what to expect during field placements.

    MCPHS proudly supports a curriculum where these students focusing on health psychology are empowered to help shape the future of healthcare according to the role of behavioral factors in health promotion, disease prevention, treatment of illness, and health policy. Their growing knowledge of human behavior can help people cope, grow and thrive to help meet the mental health needs of society.