Internships offer powerful professional development and experiential learning opportunities for students. For Kira Marshall ’18C, her internship was a direct pathway to a career.
A Psychology major at St. John’s Staten Island campus, Ms. Marshall was hired as a Research Grants Administrator after working as an intern at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), a nonprofit organization that funds research related to suicide prevention.
“St. John’s has allowed me to pursue my passions and do so successfully,” she said. “I see the work I do for AFSP as consistent with the Vincentian mission of serving those in need.”
As an intern with AFSP, Ms. Marshall assisted with data analysis, helping to track the number of researchers who were published and received federal advanced funding. In her new role, Ms. Marshall handles many of those functions in greater depth.
Despite her passion for psychology, Ms. Marshall entered St. John’s as an Accounting major. It was not until her junior year that she discovered her calling and decided to shift paths. “After I took Child Psychology I knew I wanted to change my major,” she said. With the help of Carolyn Greco-Vigorito, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean on the Staten Island campus, she was able to make the switch and graduate on time. “Despite all of her other responsibilities, Dr. Greco-Vigorito was always willing to clear her schedule to meet with me.”
A member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, Ms. Marshall also served as Treasurer for the University’s chapter of Catholic Relief Services. She credits St. John’s with helping her make the connections that led to her success.
Ms. Marshall worked with faculty, including Miguel Roig, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, on a variety of different research projects. “Based on my experiences with Kira, I know that she will be an effective and ethical professional,” he said. “I have no doubts that we will hear more about her as she reaches for new academic and professional heights.”
While her immediate focus is on supporting AFSP’s mission, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her ultimate goal is to work as a psychologist for the military, something she was inspired to pursue after seeing her oldest brother serve in the armed forces.
“He is my role model,” she said. “While I have never pictured myself as a soldier, I want to serve my country in some way. Psychology research offers me a completely different way of helping people.”