Sonya Thomas

Class of 2008
Major/Minor: Psychology

Professors, Internship, Guide Psych Major’s Career Choice

Originally from upstate New York, Sonya says the small classes and committed faculty she found at Washington College helped her adjust to her first year away from home. “I love my professors; they’re dedicated to helping students find their true passion.”

Sonya specifically references mathematics professor Louise Amick: “She’s one of the most patient, dedicated teachers I know.” Amick encouraged her desire to pursue a mathematics minor to complement her major in psychology.

Sonya has found her passion in helping others. In regard to a career choice she says, “I want to have a career with some intrinsic reward, one that is meaningful to me as well as others.” Pursuing a concentration in clinical psychology, Sonya landed a summer internship at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, NC, where she was assigned to the psychiatric rehabilitation division for patients suffering from long-term psychiatric illnesses. The internship, funded by the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, gave her the opportunity to shadow a clinical psychologist, attend weekly lectures on clinical psychopathology, and conduct a case presentation on one of the patients. The experience of being part of a treatment team helped her focus her career goals and understand the importance of proper medication for psychiatric treatment.

Honing her leadership skills, her college activities also reflect her civic-mindedness. She is director of the Center for Black Culture, a peer mentor in the writing center, chair of the SGA’s academic affairs committee and campus climate and diversity committee.

After graduation, Sonya will pursue graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work.

Cater Society Of Junior Fellows Research

The grant I received from the Cater Society of Junior Fellows allowed me to partake in an eight week summer internship program sponsored by Davidson College at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, North Carolina.

The internship provides an opportunity for undergraduate students interested in clinical psychology to get practical experience in dealing with psychiatric populations by working with hospital professionals as observers and assistants in patient treatment programs. I was assigned to the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit which provided long-term care for such patients. The internship involved the completion of a case-specific diagnostic study, daily journals and classroom instruction as well as participation in case conferences, treatment team meetings and group therapy sessions.