Featured Alum: Dr. Melanie Weber, ’16
Dr. Melanie Weber graduated in 2016 from SUNY Brockport with a degree in Psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys finding new and exciting places to eat, reading mystery thriller books, and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys going for walks, hiking, and checking out cool plants! She is a plant mom - she can commonly be found watering, rearranging, or propagating houseplants. Dr. Weber also enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two beautiful nieces, as well as her boyfriend and her dog.
What is your current position and what do you find the most fulfilling about it?
I currently work in the Webster Central School District full-time as a District Behavior Specialist. I am also employed part-time within Renew Mental Health Private Practice (previously known as Victor Counseling Practice). The most fulfilling part of both my jobs is the direct work I get to be a part of in relation to a client/student’s life. There is nothing more fulfilling than working with people through the highs and lows, putting together the pieces, and seeing the progress/growth an individual or family can go through!
Please describe your path from SUNY Brockport to your current position. What was the most valuable lesson you learned while at SUNY Brockport?
After graduating from SUNY Brockport, I had applied to various Psy.D. programs to pursue my Doctorate in Psychology. I was very excited to complete my degree through Roberts Wesleyan College (now University) as their PsyD program has a dual focus of Clinical and School Psychology. Within graduate schooling, I was able to explore various different possibilities in the field; having placements in residential facilities, schools, neurorehabilitation units, and counseling centers. Being able to experience numerous different placements assisted in my understanding of what job opportunities I wanted to pursue! This also stemmed from my time at SUNY Brockport and being a part of different course work that allowed me to experience school settings and psychological research. One of the most valuable lessons I learned at Brockport was to not limit myself and what I could do - whether it be educationally, professionally, or socially. Being a part of a research lab, conducting my own research, joining club sports teams, step team, exploring the town, and taking classes that allowed me to work out in the field - all really allowed me to grow as a person and again, not limit myself. I am forever grateful for that type of college experience.
What is your favorite memory from your time at SUNY Brockport?
One of my favorite memories from Brockport was ordering Dominos on football Sundays with my suitemates! Pizza and garlic knots will never get old!
What advice would you give to current SUNY Brockport students? Any special advice for our psychology majors?
Don’t limit yourself and do as many different things as you can! I would say specific to Psychology: get involved in research labs, try to get as much real life, applicable experience as you can gather! It is one thing to read and learn about Psychology, but it is another thing to be immersed in the field!
What learned skills and/or experiences from your time at SUNY Brockport were the most transferable or useful in your current position?
Being part of a research lab, conducting my own research, and taking a course that allowed me to go into the Brockport schools. Having all of these experiences and being able to apply and grow my knowledge while experiencing pieces of the field in real time were extremely valuable and beneficial to where I work now.
Can you describe an obstacle you faced in your career so far (academic or professional)? How did you overcome or manage?
As most would say, COVID was a huge obstacle. When COVID hit, I was trying to finish up my practicum, start my internship, and complete my dissertation to finish my degree. Being set back repeatedly was very frustrating and discouraging. I would say that the keys to managing and overcoming these challenges were perseverance, adaptability, optimism, and most importantly, leaning on my support systems.
Anything else you would like to share?
There are so many people to learn from in life, always go into things with an open and curious outlook. You never know what someone may be going through and what you could learn from them and their experiences.