Degrees & Programs Psychology
Gain a thorough grounding in the scientific discipline of psychology.
Discover how psychological knowledge informs your faith—and how your faith informs your understanding of psychology. Apply your knowledge through research with professors and present your work at academic conferences. Participate in local internships to investigate possible careers. Psychology alumni attend nationally-known graduate schools, and local employers recruit them. Graduates have received honors such as a clinical post-doctoral internship at Harvard Medical School and a Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Minority Fellowship.
Psychology Tracks & Requirements
Psychology Faculty Highlights
Examines the ways our relationships affect our mental health and wellness in her clinical practice
Studies the neuropsychology of aging, dementia and spirituality
Explains how implicit bias unknowingly affects your thinking and actions
Examines the neurobiology of drug addiction and how novel treatments may reduce drug craving and relapse
Meet the Staff
Our graduates hold a wide variety of positions in the field of psychology. Many work in clinical or counseling, school, health, rehabilitation, and educational psychology. Some serve in industrial/organizational settings, marketing, and neuropsychology. Still others specialize in social, media, military, or forensic psychology. Our department works hard to ensure the success of our graduates.
Information from the American Psychological Association can help you decide whether you want to pursue a career in psychology and what kind of education you need to attain your goals.
Exploring these divisions will give you a sense of the breadth of psychology and the many areas in which you can specialize.
Valerie Swisher, a Westmont Psychology major, has been accepted to the Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). SR-EIP is a fully paid summer internship that provides undergraduates with training and mentoring in the principles underlying the conduct of research and prepares them to pursue competitive applications to PhD or MD-PhD programs. It was founded at Brown University in 1992 and partners with 23 institutions in an effort to develop undergraduate students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business, and the public sector. Valerie will conduct research on the social and cognitive processes of autism in the SR-EIP program at the University of Virginia.
Michael Kong, a Westmont Behavioral Neuroscience major, has been accepted to the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). SURP is a paid 10-week research and educational program overseen by the College of Graduate Studies at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. The purpose of the SURP is to provide specific skills needed for future success in subsequent graduate level training in Biomedical Sciences. Awardees are matched with a graduate faculty mentor for direct laboratory experience, as well as earning graduate credit in Laboratory Science. Michael will conduct research this summer on the neurobiological bases of drug addiction.
Alongside students Maggie Zielinski and Christian Reynolds, Dr. Rogers gave two presentations at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Convention in August. These projects examined how sleep problems worsen the cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) and how behavioral disinhibition influences cognition in frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Rogers also gave a presentation about the changes in cognition and emotion that occur in PD to the Parkinson's Association of Santa Barbara.
Dr. Ronald See and his colleagues have recently published a review article titled “Neural Substrates and Circuits of Drug Addiction” in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine (2020). This article provides an overview of various theories of addiction to drugs of abuse and the neurobiology involved in elements of the addiction cycle.
Dr. Ronald See was a keynote speaker at the 14th International Conference on Psychiatry in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from March 28-30, 2019. His presentations included "Neuroendocrine Biomarkers for Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Treatment Response in Major Depressive Disorder" and "Current Trends in Addiction Pharmacotherapy".
Dr. Andrea Gurney has completed the writing of her most recent book Reimagining Your Love Story: Biblical and Psychological Practices for Healthy Relationships. Her book was released on March 26, 2019 and is now available for purchase. Book-signing events were held at Chaucer's Bookstore in Santa Barbara, CA and Hieronymous Lounge at Westmont College in April.
Dr. Carmel Saad's work with the Santa Barbara Unified School District on implicit bias training was recently featured in the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper.
Her research based on this work was also featured in a symposium at the annual meeting for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual conference in Portland, Oregon in February 2019. At this same symposium, Dr. Saad and psychology senior Connor Gibbs presented their work on self-affirmation and prediction of implicit biases.
Megan Anders Taylor ’11 graduated from Westmont with honors as a recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award in Psychology. She became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #97282) after finishing her master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California in 2014. After graduate school, she completed her clinical internship at La Ventana Treatment Programs in Santa Barbara, working as therapist and transitional housing manager for its eating disorder program. Megan then served as therapist and clinical coordinator at Community Solutions for Children, Families and Individuals, acting as the primary 5150 hospitalization evaluator for adolescents in South Santa Clara County. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, Ben ('09), and is currently the lead therapist at Palo Alto Therapy, where she maintains a full caseload of clients, provides clinical supervision to associate therapists, and runs a training group on cognitive behavioral therapy.
Hector De Los Santos ’12 graduated from Westmont with a degree in Psychology and worked as a residential coordinator for the YMCA in Santa Barbara for a year before attending Purdue University to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Philosophy. He serves as a teacher’s assistant at Purdue.
Suzanne Galletly ’08 graduated from Westmont with a degree in Theater Arts and a minor in Psychology. She entered graduate school at Azusa Pacific University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2013. While working as a registered nurse at Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital, she continued her education and earned a master’s degree in Nursing in 2016. She is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and currently works with pediatric clients and their families at a non-profit clinic in the Los Angeles area.
Carissa Balderas ’08 graduated from Westmont with a degree in Psychology, earned a master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy at the University of Oregon, and completed a doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia. She finished a doctoral internship at Emory University and serves as a postdoctoral psychology fellow in private practice and as Freedom University’s mental health coordinator to ensure that undocumented students have access to affordable mental health care. A volunteer driver for Freedom University students, she ensures they have safe transportation to and from classes. Her research and clinical interests include Latinx psychology and mental health for immigrant and minority communities living within the United States.
William Hochberger ’11 graduated from Westmont with a degree in psychology and emphasis in neuroscience. He went on to earn his doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, completed his predoctoral internship in neuropsychology within the Long Beach VA Healthcare System, and a two-year fellowship in clinical research and neuropsychology through the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry and San Diego VA Healthcare System. He currently performs clinical research examining neurocognitive functioning and novel cognitive rehabilitation programs for psychotic disorders, holds a position as an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University, and practices as an adult and geriatric clinical neuropsychologist at Advanced Neurobehavioral Health of Southern California.
Kyle Cablay ’14 graduated from Westmont with a degree in Psychology and spent 9 months working and traveling before attending Vanguard University to pursue a master's in Clinical Psychology. He plans to graduate December of 2018. Currently, he is creating a program for teenagers struggling with anxiety and depression that allows space for them to understand, work through, and effectively cope with the pressures in their lives. Kyle will continue completing his hours towards a license in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Katie Mukai ’14 graduated with a degree in Psychology and worked as Lab Coordinator for the Westmont Psychology Department for three years before entering graduate school. She is currently in her second year of a clinical psychology doctoral program on the neuropsychology track at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Katie is in the process of earning a master’s in Theology, also at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her master’s thesis will examine the outcomes of executive function in individuals who have undergone hemispherectomy surgeries to treat intractable epilepsy. In addition to working toward her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, she is currently in her clinical training at Vanguard University’s Counseling Center, working with undergraduate and graduate students to address issues related to depression, anxiety, trauma, interpersonal difficulties, eating disorders, and academic success. Additionally, she is employed as a psychometrist at UCLA’s Longevity Center, as well as a private neuropsychology practice in Pasadena.
Emily Hauk ’15 graduated with a degree in Psychology. Afterwards, she entered a clinical psychology program at Fuller Seminary. She earned her master’s in Psychology in 2017 and is now in the Ph.D. portion of the program. Her master's thesis examined how gender and marital status interacted with seminary student's levels of dysfunctional beliefs about relationships. Her dissertation will be an examination of evangelical purity culture through the lens of relational psychoanalysis. Clinically, she has been conducting individual psychodynamic therapy at a college counseling center in San Dimas and at a community therapy practice in Pasadena. Currently, she is an assessment clerk doing comprehensive assessment batteries with children at a Department of Mental Health organization in Los Angeles.
Kaitlin Kinney ’17 graduated from Westmont with a degree in Psychology on the Behavioral Neuroscience track. She went on to get a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California in Neuroimaging and Informatics. While at USC, she worked on research through the Mouse Connectome Project’s laboratory focusing on identifying and tracing neural networks and communications to and from the lateral amygdala, exploring potential connectivity distinctions for further segmentation of the region. She currently works at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at UCLA as a neuroscience research associate in the Laboratory of Molecular Neuroimaging headed by Dr. Edythe London. The lab uses both PET and MRI imaging techniques to investigate drug addiction and its effects on neurocognitive functioning, behaviors, and neural circuits in the human brain. In August of 2020, Kaitlin will be moving to North Carolina to start her Ph.D. in Neuroscience, under Dr. Colleen Hanlon, at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Megan Fuller '15 graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After graduating, Megan matriculated into California Lutheran University's Master of Science in Counseling program. During her program, Megan worked at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in student affairs and discovered her passion for medical student and trainee wellness. After completing her Masters in 2018, Megan made the decision to stay at UCLA. She currently works for the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital for the Department of Pediatrics managing their medical education office and residency program. Megan's experience has provided her a framework for developing programs for adult learners. She is passionate about collaborating with her colleagues to develop and improve wellness programs and opportunities for trainees in graduate medical education.
Anna VandeBunte '17 graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and then worked as the Psychology Lab Coordinator in the department for the following two years. She was also employed as a psychometrist for Pacific Neuroscience Medical group, and as a memory trainer for the UCLA Longevity Center. She plans to begin her clinical psychology doctoral program on the neuropsychology track at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, California in the Fall of 2021. Anna's research interests include utilizing exercise and diet interventions for those with memory concerns, the importance of vascular brain health, and the impact of mood disorders on aging.
Tessa (Thym) Munekawa '15 graduated from Westmont with a B.A. in Psychology. After moving back to the Bay Area, she joined the world of nonprofit legal advocacy as the Program Manager at the Child Care Law Center in San Francisco. In March 2017, she began to pursue a career in Nursing. She is currently obtaining her Master's Degree in Nursing at the University of San Francisco and resides in San Francisco with her husband, Ryan.