Distinguished Psychology Alumna Monica Oganes Visits the Department
This past month the Psychology Department had the privilege of welcoming one of their own back to the department for the Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception. Monica Oganes graduated from George Mason University with highest honors along with the Mellinger Award for demonstrating scholarship, leadership, and service. She has since taken off with her passion for helping others through her experience in the fields of school psychology and neuropsychology.
After graduating with her undergraduate degree in psychology, Monica earned an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in pediatric neuropsychology. She is a proven leader with experience as the Past-President of the Florida Association of School Psychologists, the current Latino Co-Chair of the Multicultural Affairs Committee of the National Association of School Psychologists, as well as the Chair of the Private Practice Committee and previous Chair of the School Neuropsychology Committee of the Florida Association of School Psychologists.
Reflecting back on her time at Mason, Monica had lots to share about her time as an undergrad, along with advice for current psychology students. When asked about her biggest takeaway from her time at Mason, Oganes indicated that, "The passion that the faculty members had connected her to the field of psychology.” Her classes with Dr. Linda Chrosniak and Dr. Robert Pasnak were especially influential in establishing a deep desire to take her knowledge of psychology to the next level. She encourages students to maximize their time as an undergraduate student by volunteering, getting involved in clubs of interest, and gaining first-hand experience in their field of study. This allows students to better prepare for a career doing something that they love.
For Monica, work comes with its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh the frustrations. With fifteen years of experience providing assessment, therapy, consultation and advocacy to children and families in schools, hospitals, and private practice settings, the most rewarding part about her work is seeing the smiles that she gets from the kids and families at the end of the day. It reminds her that she is not just doing a job, but that her purpose is about improving the lives of others. Her hope is that students can pursue careers that leave them with this same sense of fulfillment and joy. It was truly an honor to speak with Monica about all that she has accomplished and to have her back visiting the department where her love for psychology first began.
April 24, 2017