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

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Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. You'll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. We'll connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs ... See MoreSee Less

Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. Youll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. Well connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. http://ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs

Congrats!!Congratulations Cathryn! She finally got to walk with her colleagues and other graduates of Golden Gate University at Oracle Park in San Francisco! The classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 were well represented! Master's Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and High Honors. I am so proud of you my darling! #graduation ... See MoreSee Less

Congrats!!

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Congratulations 🎊 🎈 🎉

Lahore from Pakistan 🇵🇰

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

GGU's 2022 Commencement Ceremony livestream is starting soon!

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GGUs 2022 Commencement Ceremony livestream is starting soon! 

Watch on YouTube starting at 10 a.m. PT http://ow.ly/gepT50IQxKB

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I am so grateful that we could attend. Thank you, GGU

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about being able to join this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

As we celebrate the Class of 2022, show your support for future GGU students the way someone once supported you. Make a gift to the Fund for Golden Gate University today. Share using #ggugives. lnkd.in/gBH3skuk ... See MoreSee Less

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The grad ceremony was amazing! Thank you to the faculty and everyone involved in organizing and preparing for this event. Much love to all. 🙏❤️

Timeline photosDear GGU Law Community:

It is with great sadness that I write to share news of the passing of Peter Keane, who died Sunday after a long illness. Peter Keane served as Dean of Golden Gate University School of Law from 1999-2003 and later, as a much beloved classroom teacher of Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, and Professional Responsibility. Dean Keane always said that his greatest pleasure at GGU was getting to know, teach and learn from his students.

In addition to his contributions at GGU, Dean Keane was a prominent member of the San Francisco and California legal communities. Among other distinctions, he was appointed to the San Francisco Ethics Commission and served both as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and as Vice-President of the State Bar of California. His law reform achievements were notable, including authoring San Francisco’s Handgun Control Ordinance and California Proposition 190, which reformed the State Commission on Judicial Performance.

Drucilla Ramey, who followed Dean Keane as Dean, remembered him this way: “Peter Keane was a courageous and inspirational leader of legal academia, the broader legal community, and his own beloved San Francisco. Whether as Chief Assistant Public Defender, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Dean of Golden Gate Law School or Chair of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, Peter met society’s greatest challenges head on, with his characteristic intelligence, bravery, and élan, and leaves behind him not only scores of loved ones, friends, and admirers, but also a more fair and equal system of justice.”

Dean Keane will be greatly missed by those at GGU whose lives he touched. Please join me in extending our condolences to his wife Nancy and their family. As soon as I have news of the celebration of his life, I will share it.

Sincerely,
Dean Colin Crawford
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I had the pleasure of working with Dean Keane as a Board member in the early 2000’s. He was a great leader and inspiration to those he taught. Deepest sympathies to Nancy and his family.

Professor Keane was one of my FAVORITE professors at GGU. Such a smart and sweet person. Condolences to his family.

A couple months ago I crossed paths with Professor Keane in the rose garden at GGP. He was quick with a kind word and a nice conversation. I sincerely appreciate having known and had my life enriched by this bright and thoughful man.

He was a great professor and person!

Always admired Peter Keane; a great los to the legal community and all the people of San Francisco

Rest In Peace.

He was a kind person. I am sorry for your loss.

RIP…

Sorry for your loss.

RIP

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