Alumni Spotlight: Nina F. Rizzo '13
Mirmont Treatment Center
My Widener Experience
Why did you decide to major in psychology?
I wanted to pursue a degree in psychology when I was a junior in high school. I came to this realization because nothing made me happier than relating to and listening to others. A high school teacher of mine affirmed this decision for me when she told me that she could see me being a successful counselor because of the way I related to my peers. As a sophomore at Widener, I realized that I wanted to work in addictions and pursue graduate school in the field of counseling.
What clubs/organizations were you involved in that made a memorable impression?
I was a student-athlete at Widener and a member of PsiChi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Practicum/Internship Club, Northern Star Sports, SAAC, Sigma Alpha Pi, and Pi Gamma Mu. Being involved in numerous organizations and clubs while at Widener made my experience fun and limitless in possibility. Widener's concerned faculty provided me with the space to be innovative and to develop into a leader. I was able to help kick-start a new club with Dr. Lori Simons and fellow students called the Practicum/Internship Club. I am still connected with this club and hear from the students involved in it.
My Professional Experience
How has widener prepared you for life after college?
The psychology faculty allowed me to not only learn about the field, but also to go inward and learn much about myself. I became more self aware, which allowed me to accept and appreciate my strengths. This has given me confidence and the ability to relate to my coworkers, supervisors, and clients in a professional and authentic way. In psychology we learn so much about what drives others to act the way they do. Learning more about ourselves is paramount because we have to know how to take care of ourselves, so we can have fun and grow healthily as professionals.
What advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
From my experience, what has helped me most is keeping an open mind, keeping in touch with what my passion is, and having fun. The field of psychology is so broad; there are many exciting things that can be done with a psychology degree. The Widener faculty provided me with support and insight that helped me to evolve and grow. Every student should reach out to the faculty, and they should get involved in clubs and organizations like the Practicum/Internship Club. And make it a fun process.