Leeanna Golembiewski – Ph.D. – Health Psychology at Old Dominion University



          “My biggest source of academic support has come from the psychology department at Edinboro University.”

          Developmental Psychology

          After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Edinboro in 2015, I attended the University of Pittsburgh from 2015-2017 and graduated with a master of science in Applied Developmental Psychology. I spent this past year teaching as an adjunct professor at Gannon University in Erie. This past spring, I applied for and was accepted into a Ph.D. program in Health Psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. The program will last approximately four years, and I intend to graduate with a Ph.D. in Health Psychology. While completing the requirements for the program, I will be a graduate teaching assistant in the psychology department. To attend ODU, I will be moving back to my hometown of Virginia Beach in August 2019.

          Without a doubt, I would say that my biggest source of academic support has come from the psychology department at Edinboro University. In my mind, they are the most hardworking, underrated department on campus, and I would put their knowledge and expertise against any academic department in the country. I’ve always described Compton Hall as a “hidden gem,” and it quickly became my second home. Specifically, I would like to thank Dr. Gary LaBine, who directs the psychology internship program and has become my primary mentor at EU. I would also like to recognize Dr. Pete McLaughlin, Dr. Susan LaBine, Dr. Cynthia Legion-Bucell and Dr. Heather Snyder, who was my research adviser in the Creativity, Aesthetics, and the Arts research group. 

          In the four years I spent at Edinboro and moving through the Psychology program, I learned more about the field than I ever would have imagined. And consequently, I learned a great deal about myself and my career interests. I still keep in regular contact with all of the individuals mentioned above, and they have become colleagues and dearest friends.

          Edinboro University has played a huge role in my life and has provided such an incredible foundation. As I mentioned, the classes and coursework in the psych department was extremely informational and provided my first true exposure to the field. I also gained a great deal from the extracurricular activities on campus at EU. I served on the board of directors of the Highland Ambassadors and volunteered for every homecoming, open house, phone-a-thon, and campuswide outreach program. I was a member of the Ambassadors for four years and served as the special events coordinator. I also was on the planning committee and played on the worship team of Edinboro’s Chi Alpha campus ministry program. I was part of the first group of Chi Alpha that was held on campus every Thursday evening and has since moved to McLane Church. I also played various intramural sports through Edinboro Rec Sports and volunteered for many fundraising campaigns on campus.

          In the next five to 10 years, I plan on graduating from Old Dominion University with a Ph.D. in Health Psychology. From there, I plan on working as a professor of psychology in higher education. For me, the ultimate dream has always been to teach and follow in the footsteps of the family members before me. A career in academia has always seemed like second nature, but I have since refined it to include specifically the subject of psychology and working with undergraduates. I also want to continue to conduct research and publish work in subjects related to developmental and social psychology. Particularly, I am interested in studying minority groups and at-risk populations, teacher-student interactions, creativity and the arts, and gifted education.