Assistant Professor of Psychology Melissa Soenke, Ph.D., was recently appointed program director for CSUCI’s Extended University Psychology program.  Soenke enters the role of director with an extensive education that began at American University in Washington, D.C. where she received her B.A. in Psychology and Justice. Shortly thereafter Soenke continued her preparation at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona where she obtained a Master’s and a Doctorate in Social Psychology with a minor in Psychophysiology. Along with her education, efficacy as an instructor at CSUCI and competency as a Psychology program major advisor, Soenke is well suited for the role of director.

   The Psychology program recognizes versatile a degree in psychology can be to students hoping to enter the workforce. The field of psychology provides students a thirst for knowledge as they continue to partake in research. However, this isn’t the only entry into the labor market with a psychology degree.  Soenke says “Many of our students want to help others and give back to their community in health and mental health fields as school counselors, therapists, or social workers. Some students discover a love for research and go into fields related to data science or continue on to graduate school.” Notably, the Psychology program for Extended University aspires to prepare students for the rapidly expanding demand for individuals with knowledge in the field of psychology.

   At the direction of Soenke, Extended University Psychology’s program will continue to foster growth and provide a student-centered education throughout the Santa Barbara area. While the position of program chair requires conscientious planning, Soenke aspires to maintain “rigor and high standards of excellence in an affordable and accessible program of study.” Despite her newfound role, Soenke continues to instruct Psychology courses including Social Psychology, Theories of Personality, and special topics. As Extended University’s Psychology program further develops in accordance with Soenke’s leadership, success is inevitable.

For more information on a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and other Extended University programs,
please visit: BA Psychology - Santa Barbara

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