My Journey Continues at Niagara University

by Melissa Leone on November 16, 2016
My Journey Continues at Niagara University

Melissa is a student in the school psychology program at Niagara University. She works in her graduate assistantship at the Office of Academic Support.

This past May, I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in statistics. Having a statistics background undoubtedly helped me succeed in my psychology courses, undergraduate research projects and my Honors thesis. My love for psychology and challenging myself also pushed me to take Niagara University graduate courses during my senior year. Currently, I am blessed to say that I am in the process of obtaining my master’s degree in school psychology from Niagara and serve as a graduate assistant in disability services. 

I firmly believe I received an incredible amount of undergraduate experience to further prepare me for graduate school. Having such an overall positive experience at Niagara, I knew that Niagara University was the place for me to continue my graduate education. Today, I feel as though I am continuing to challenge myself in ways that I never thought possible but am convinced my undergraduate education has equipped me with everything needed to succeed. In addition, my graduate assistantship has further provided me with opportunities to not only serve the undergraduate community, but also interact with them.

While at Niagara I have also created some of the best memories and friendships with my class. Niagara students are genuine, selfless and intelligent individuals and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people. Although many of my friends senior year said goodbye to NU and our beautiful campus, I knew my journey at Niagara was not quite finished. I feel so honored to be considered a graduate leader and continue my journey at this pristine university.

I highly encourage those interested in graduate schooling to make their undergraduate education challenging. Pursue research opportunities, obtain minors that are beneficial to your career goals, become actively involved in your field of interest, and create personal connections with Niagara’s distinct faculty. Additionally, I encourage those interested in applying for and obtaining a graduate assistantship to act early and be committed. It is extremely important to get your name out there, research the department, and introduce yourself early to potential employers. Graduate assistantships are highly competitive and should be approached in a professional way. Lastly, take the time to get to know your fellow classmates, as your friendships in college will be some of the best friendships you will create.

For more information on the school psychology program, contact Lisa A. Kilanowski, the program advisor, at or at 716.286.8797.