Justine CarraEast Meadow, NY
Academic SchoolSocial and Behavioral Sciences
“It was really appealing to be able to finish the Educational Psychology program after five years of college, rather than six or more years,” said Justine Carra ’17.
Carra noted how her appreciation for the program’s structure grew over time. She admitted she “did not fully understand why, as a person who was set on pursuing a career path in education, I was having to take psychology. After my sophomore year, though, I realized that it was important to have this psychological foundation to justify my instructional practices,” said Carra. “I was lucky to be able to have another year to be a full-time student, and not have to worry about balancing work and school at the same time.”
Highlights of the program for Carra included “having my cohort become a family, always running into classmates and giving each other some encouraging words, having ‘ah-ha’ moments in a professor’s office, and having that extra time to enjoy everything that makes this school so great: the river, the sunsets, and seeing familiar faces on campus daily.”
“While all of the faculty in the Educational Psychology program was wonderful, Dr. Stivers, Dr. Szabo, and Professor Finnerty all played a big part in shaping my career. With all three of these professors, I have found a connection inside and outside of the classroom that allowed for my learning to feel personal.” said Carra. Some milestones for Carra include getting her certification in Special Education, developing strong skills to teach reading, and using Marist’s emphasis on STEM to further her career and work at a STEM camp in the summer months.
This year will be Carra’s first year teaching at the same elementary school that she attended, as a permanent substitute teacher. “I love the experience of being able to teach at all different grade levels and make a connection with students who are in many classrooms throughout the school. It is so rewarding to be able to have mutual respect between my students and me, and it is a joy to be a part of their education.”