By Joanna Cortes
Joanna Cortes, who completed her Masters' degree in the Organizational Psychology program in February 2003, began the Ed.M. program in psychological counseling this spring.
In addition, she is an adjunct professor teaching abnormal psychology in the adult education program at The College of New Rochelle.
The adult education program serves adults that have chosen to continue their education after being out of school for several years. Most of Cortes' students are between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. One of the major challenges that she has faced is teaching students who, because they have been out of school for a good deal of time, need guidance on other skills that are unrelated to psychology. Starting in September, she will begin her fieldwork and training at Brooklyn Technical High School under the supervision of the Guidance Counseling Team at the school.
Cortes also serves as part of a research team, led by Ruth Vinz, Enid and Lester Morse Professor in Teacher Education, and Gregory Hamilton, Assistant Professor of English Education, which is focused on the Professional Development of Teachers and is looking at how professional development models for teachers are working and developing teachers' skills. This research, which focuses on interviewing teachers and principals and observing them in their natural setting, has allowed Cortes to meet various teachers and principals. Being part of the research team has enabled her to develop research skills and develop an understanding of how to process and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data.
Playing an active role at TC, Cortes also serves as a writing consultant in the writing center; she assists students with their research papers and also will be holding a workshop in April on how to write an APA format research paper.
TC has helped to shape her interests and career aspirations by helping her to put theory into practice. While in the organizational psychology program, Cortes served as an intern for Dudley Hamilton, a management consulting firm located in midtown Manhattan. While there she learned how to put the knowledge of organizational psychology learned at TC, into practice with various organizations.
After serving as an intern, Joanna acted as an independent consultant for several months for Dudley Hamilton helping them analyze qualitative data for a non-profit organization which was undergoing diversity training and needed to understand how their organizational structure and culture were affecting their employees.
While in the organizational psychology program, Joanna had a desire to continue with the Ed.M. in counseling psychology because of the electives that she took in counseling psychology. The multi-cultural counseling psychology classes were particularly appealing to New York City native Cortes who knows the importance of being able to counsel diverse populations. Having both degrees will enable Joanna to provide management consulting to organizations with an understanding of the organization as a whole as well as a deeper understanding of the individual within the organization.
In ten years, Joanna sees herself in the role of counselor and hopefully teaching in higher education. Eventually, she will earn her doctorate here at TC. She hopes that her career will be continually evolving and constantly present her with opportunities to further her learning.