Name: Colleen Yeckley

Field of Study: Psychological and Brain Sciences

Status: Alumna

Graduation Year: 2020

Hometown: Delran, New Jersey

Why did you choose Catholic University? I chose CatholicU because of its wonderful location and strong sense of community. Coming into school, I was not exactly sure what career path I wanted to pursue. I wanted to find a school that would allow me to have plenty of opportunities to grow academically, socially, and spiritually. I loved that at CatholicU I got to experience college life in a major city while also having a smaller community environment where I would be a name and a face instead of a mere number.

"At CatholicU I got to experience college life in a major city while also having a smaller community environment where I would be a name and a face instead of a mere number."
– Colleen Yeckley

Activities: During my time at Catholic, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the Orientation program, Best Buddies, Cardinal Service Corps, Cardinal Ambassadors, Lunar Psychophysics lab, OCA, President's Society, Renew, Habitat for Humanity and the Service and Justice Immersion program to Jamaica.

Favorite courses: I really enjoyed my Personality Psychology and Abnormal Psychology courses with Dr. (John) Parkhurst! It was so interesting to learn about prominent disorders in the field and hear real-life case studies from a therapist who has treated them.

Goals: I will be attending graduate school at New York University to pursue a masters in Occupational Therapy. I hope to use my experiences and knowledge from CatholicU to become a genuine and supportive occupational therapist for others.

Is there a faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact on you? One staff member who has made a significant impact on my experience at CatholicU is the Office of Campus Activities Director Steve Kreider. I have worked with Steve on numerous occasions through OCA and the Orientation program. He is always so supportive of the students and encourages them to become the best versions of themselves to leave a positive impact on the university. Besides being a wonderful leader and resource, Steve acts as a friend and supporter to all who meet him. His dedication to making student activities and Orientation more engaging and inclusive for all are just some of the characteristics that have impacted me so greatly. In the Office of Campus Activities and with Steve's leadership, students are encouraged to discover their passions and build their dynamic individuality through clubs, organizations, and campus events.

What makes Catholic University unique? Catholic University is unique due to its community center that allows every student to have a voice on campus. With its faith-based center and close-knit environment, students can truly discover their passions through the different organizations on campus. Throughout my four years, I have been amazed by all of the students who belong to the CatholicU community. So many individuals are activists and creators making positive change on campus and beyond.

Awards/recognition: During the Cardinal Leadership celebration 2020, I had the honor of receiving the Martha Comiskey Memorial Award. The award is presented to a university student who is dedicated to campus involvement in the university community as well as the willingness to motivate his or her fellow students. The award is named for Martha Comiskey who is remembered for her social activism and dedication to the University. She was a very active student during her time at Catholic in the early 1960s where she created the Fine Arts Council which today is known as Program Board.

Proudest accomplishment: One of the things that I am very proud to have accomplished during my time at Catholic is participating in service throughout the surrounding Brookland area. During my sophomore year, I dove deep into the service opportunities that Campus Ministry helps to organize each week! It was not until sophomore year that I learned about an organization called Cardinal Service Corps where undergraduate students lead weekly or monthly service sites and seasonal events throughout the surrounding area of Catholic University. In addition to service, Cardinal Service Corps members attended bi-weekly meetings to learn about and discuss complex social justice issues and learn how to be an advocate for marginalized populations. For my senior year, I led the weekly service site at Armed Forces Retirement Home, going once a week to the government facility providing care to veterans who have served over 20+ years in all branches of the U.S. military. Engaging in service has helped me to develop a more empathetic heart for others and have opportunities to put my faith and beliefs in action to attempt to be a helpful resource for others. Volunteering taught me how to see the beauty in others and their stories as well as step out of my comfort zone while giving back to the community. I highly encourage other students to take advantage of service opportunities in their local community!

An example of what Catholic University means to you: One experience that really stands out to me is my first day at college. It was move-in day and my family and I were as nervous as ever to unload all of my things and fully be away from home. From the second we pulled up at the school, students in brightly colored shirts flooded to my car and helped my family and I unload the things to my new dorm room. They provided me with resources, directions and were overall so helpful in making the process easier and less overwhelming. Students had smiles on their faces and clearly were happy to do their part. From that moment, I knew that I had picked the right school for me. I believe this moment really exemplifies how the campus community comes together to look out for their fellow students and make them feel welcomed no matter where they come from. Even years after, I never forgot that moment and was able to pay it forward through being involved in Orientation and participating with other student leaders and volunteers helping new students move in and get acclimated!