Success Stories
MA in I/O Psychology Student
LINKEDIN
July 28, 2020 |
:::

Helping Others Grow Inspires I/O Psychology Grad

Priscilla Castro won the Outstanding Student Award in the Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology program. A background in teaching martial arts sparked a love for facilitating positive change.

By Jenny McKeel
:::

Priscilla Castro, a marketing manager for a construction engineering firm, came to GGU to pursue a professional interest that emerged organically. At work, she wears many hats including marketing, strategy, recruitment, and employee engagement. She also has a background in teaching martial arts and a passion for changing lives through teaching and coaching. As she met with departments about marketing strategy, Priscilla discovered that within departments existed enormous potential for employee development that could benefit individuals and the organization as a whole.

Growth Opportunities

“A skill set I bring is the ability to talk to people,” said Priscilla. “People open up to me, and I started to see that there’s a whole component of listening to people and working with them as they strive to learn, develop, and improve.”

As she spoke with employees, she learned more about their knowledge, needs, and motivations. She recognized opportunities for training and staff development that would allow her organization to successfully retain their valuable employees. After researching graduate programs that would deepen her knowledge and skills in the area of employee engagement and development, she enrolled in GGU’s MA in I/O psychology program. She was drawn to the well-regarded professors and wanted to attend an accessible school located in the city. A full-time parent, Priscilla also knew that flexibility was essential.

MA in I/O Psychology

“Everything I learned at GGU resonated with the experience I have and what I was experiencing at my organization,” said Priscilla. “I felt infused every time I went to class. I just wanted to keep learning.”

Priscilla gained valuable insights into the dynamics that produce great teams including trust, collective decision-making, and accountability and how to strengthen those areas within herself and others. She learned how to engage in skillful conversations that can facilitate change and she acquired an array of tools for analyzing and approaching organizational problems in the workplace.

“I have a higher level of awareness and a new lens through which to view my organization. When making changes in one area to improve productivity and efficiency I now know how to understand other moving components,” reflected Priscilla.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my commitment to finishing the program (taking all classes in person) while working full time and raising my daughter in the process.

What courses have proven most valuable to you?

PSYCH 340 Group Dynamics (Professor Dan Clurman) was an excellent course in helping me understand the different theories and concepts related to group dynamics. What I found most valuable was examining the behavioral, psychological, and social-psychological dynamics of group behavior.

PSYCH 396 Coaching (Professor Dan Clurman) was one of my favorite courses. What I found most valuable was learning how to engage in skillful conversations, specifically asking thought-provoking questions, listening reflectively, and supporting and giving feedback to facilitate change.

PSYCH 341 Organization Behavior (Professor George Romanko) was another favorite. On the first day of class Professor Romanko introduced three guiding principles that resonated with me in relation to understanding human behavior in an organizational context: 1) Organizations change when people change. 2) People power organizations. 3) People are naturally curious for a better way.

PSYCH 342 Organization Development (Professor Pamela Hopkins) taught me a systems thinking approach to OD. This skill created a new lens that allowed me to capture greater complexity, looking beyond surface problems for the interrelationships that cause different patterns of behavior. Additionally, studying the various OD interventions and their appropriate use was also very valuable.

PSYCH 343 Leadership (Professor Jeffrey Yergler) was extremely valuable. I learned about leadership theories, models and research, and their application. This helped me to define the kind of leader that I want to be and to strive to continuously grow to be a better leader each day.

How do you think your education at GGU will help your career?

My education at GGU has provided me with additional tools, resources and confidence to continue growing my career. Most of all, it has reaffirmed my interest and passion in studying and understand human behavior in the workplace.

What are your career ambitions for the future?

My career ambitions for the future are to successfully lead initiatives that address human and organizational problems in the workplace. I also hope to attain a coaching certification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Recently, GGU hosted a speaker, Adam Foss, who enjoys a reputation as an important and critical voice on criminal justice reform. Since then, it has come to our attention that he has been accused of sexual violence and other harassing behaviors that have been hurtful and damaging to women.

Had we known about these accusations—none from within GGU—we would not have selected him as a speaker.

We can’t undo that. But we can state unequivocally that behavior of this nature is anathema to our values, and that people who engage in it are not welcome at GGU. The #MeToo movement continues to expose the distressingly widespread nature of sexual harassment, violence, and abuse, and the time for indifference and silence has long passed.

An investigation has begun into the allegations. Meanwhile, we cannot reinforce a system where women, men, and others with stories of abuse and predatory behavior remain silent because they are afraid to come forward. No one should be subject to an imbalance where their voices are judged less important than those who hold power.

This news is deeply disappointing to those who helped organize this event and those who participated in it. Going forward, we will work to ensure that guests to GGU clearly understand and acknowledge our values in advance, and that we strive to maintain an inclusive and safe environment for our community.
... See MoreSee Less

Recently, GGU hosted a speaker, Adam Foss, who enjoys a reputation as an important and critical voice on criminal justice reform. Since then, it has come to our attention that he has been accused of sexual violence and other harassing behaviors that have been hurtful and damaging to women.

Had we known about these accusations—none from within GGU—we would not have selected him as a speaker.

We can’t undo that. But we can state unequivocally that behavior of this nature is anathema to our values, and that people who engage in it are not welcome at GGU. The #MeToo movement continues to expose the distressingly widespread nature of sexual harassment, violence, and abuse, and the time for indifference and silence has long passed. 

An investigation has begun into the allegations. Meanwhile, we cannot reinforce a system where women, men, and others with stories of abuse and predatory behavior remain silent because they are afraid to come forward. No one should be subject to an imbalance where their voices are judged less important than those who hold power.

This news is deeply disappointing to those who helped organize this event and those who participated in it. Going forward, we will work to ensure that guests to GGU clearly understand and acknowledge our values in advance, and that we strive to maintain an inclusive and safe environment for our community.

Today marks the 21st Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence, an epidemic that disproportionately affects transgender people-of-color.

This year, the Human Rights Campaign has reported at least 37 violent deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people, the deadliest year on record. However, many other incidents may be unreported or misreported.

Let's take a moment of silence for those lives lost.

Learn more about the history of TDOR: ow.ly/4DeI50CqNjJ

📷 : "George" Larcher
... See MoreSee Less

Today marks the 21st Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence, an epidemic that disproportionately affects transgender people-of-color.

This year, the Human Rights Campaign has reported at least 37 violent deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people, the deadliest year on record. However, many other incidents may be unreported or misreported.

Lets take a moment of silence for those lives lost.

Learn more about the history of TDOR: http://ow.ly/4DeI50CqNjJ

📷   :  George Larcher

Meet Amy Kweskin, GGU instructor in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

What is your educational and professional background?

I have 2 BAs from Ithaca College in Cinema and Photography and English Literature, and I graduated from GGU in Arts Administration in 1997. Now I’m a doctoral student at GGU in Business Administration. My professional background is fashion marketing and management as well as the management of arts organizations. I consult in strategic planning for orchestras, gallery spaces, festivals, theater and dance companies.

What do you like about teaching at GGU?

I love teaching at GGU. Students bring real life experience from a variety of career paths and they benefit from classroom learning that’s practical, applicable, and immediately implementable. It’s not theory we teach, but practice. Our students have complex lives with families, school, and work. It’s different from any other school at which I've taught. Our students are mature and they’re committed to earning their degree. They challenge me in really good ways. They don’t just take my word, they really process it and dive into topics. They’re always willing to go above and beyond the requirements.

What is it like teaching teaching online?

GGU was ahead of the curve in terms of transitioning to online classes. Still, it was a huge transition. It's very important that we develop rapport, so I allow time to check in. We spend time talking about where students are physically or anything they want to share so that we build community. I make weekly Zoom classes highly engaging with breakout rooms and activities that enable students to collaborate together on-screen. I strive to engage all learning modalities. I'm very available so they can call, text, or email me. I make myself available to listen. That's important.
... See MoreSee Less

Meet Amy Kweskin, GGU instructor in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

What is your educational and professional background?

I have 2 BAs from Ithaca College in Cinema and Photography and English Literature, and I graduated from GGU in Arts Administration in 1997. Now I’m a doctoral student at GGU in Business Administration.  My professional background is fashion marketing and management as well as the management of arts organizations. I consult in strategic planning for orchestras, gallery spaces, festivals, theater and dance companies.

What do you like about teaching at GGU?

I love teaching at GGU. Students bring real life experience from a variety of career paths and they benefit from classroom learning that’s practical, applicable, and immediately implementable. It’s not theory we teach, but practice. Our students have complex lives with families, school, and work. It’s different from any other school at which Ive taught. Our students are mature and they’re committed to earning their degree. They challenge me in really good ways. They don’t just take my word, they really process it and dive into topics. They’re always willing to go above and beyond the requirements.

What is it like teaching teaching online?

GGU was ahead of the curve in terms of transitioning to online classes. Still, it was a huge transition. Its very important that we develop rapport, so I allow time to check in. We spend time talking about where students are physically or anything they want to share so that we build community.  I make weekly Zoom classes highly engaging with breakout rooms and activities that enable students to collaborate together on-screen. I strive to engage all learning modalities. Im very available so they can call, text, or email me. I make myself available to listen. Thats important.

There is still time to register for today's show...Stories are universal and core to who we are as humans. So why are they so rarely used in the business world? In this upcoming GGU Presents, Marc Singer talks with management consultant and GGU Adjunct Professor Larry Ebert about why storytelling is an incredibly powerful, but underused, form of communication for leaders in business and how we can mine our internal stories to clarify values and move and shape teams and the world.

That's this Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Register for free here: ow.ly/YwQs50Cli79
... See MoreSee Less

There is still time to register for todays show...

Is vegan butter "butter?" The California Department of Food and Agriculture says no. But Miyoko’s Creamery, an all-vegan creamery, recently sued the state over that and other product-labeling issues—and won. It's one of many challenges the Sonoma food company has faced. This week, join founder Miyoko Schinner and GGU Visiting Associate Professor of Law Lucas Williams in a discussion of her company’s beginnings, challenges, and victories along the way. Her recent win against the state is a victory not only for her product label, but also animal rights, plant-based products, and women- and minority-owned businesses.

That's Thursday at noon on GGU Presents.

Register here: www.eventbrite.com/e/spread-the-love-and-the-vegan-butter-tickets-127239654231
... See MoreSee Less

Is vegan butter butter? The California Department of Food and Agriculture says no. But Miyoko’s Creamery, an all-vegan creamery, recently sued the state over that and other product-labeling issues—and won. Its one of many challenges the Sonoma food company has faced. This week, join founder Miyoko Schinner and GGU Visiting Associate Professor of Law Lucas Williams in a discussion of her company’s beginnings, challenges, and victories along the way. Her recent win against the state is a victory not only for her product label, but also animal rights, plant-based products, and women- and minority-owned businesses.

Thats Thursday at noon on GGU Presents.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spread-the-love-and-the-vegan-butter-tickets-127239654231
Load more