CUNY SPS Alumni Joins Psychology Department Faculty

Anthony Mongelli

This fall, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is pleased to welcome a former student to our faculty family. Anthony Mongelli, a graduate of the BA in Psychology program and one of the school’s first ACE Scholars, will be teaching in the psychology department in the fall 2020 semester. In this Q&A, Mongelli shares his thoughts on his time here, his plans for the future, and how his studies have helped him cope with current events. 

Q: Tell us a bit about your work and career so far. What inspired you to study psychology? 

A: I have always had an interest in the sciences and, in recent years, in human behavior. My wife, who also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduated with her master’s in social work in 2015. Thumbing through her textbooks and discussing her studies with her really moved forward my interest in clinical work. I found SPS online, enrolled in the psychology BA program, and the rest is history!  

I went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) in 2018 at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. I have mostly worked in substance abuse, in both outpatient and inpatient units. I am now working as a therapist in an outpatient psychiatry clinic. I work under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and I am accumulating experience hours so that I can become an LCSW myself.

Q: You got a BA in psychology from CUNY SPS in 2015. Did you have any favorite classes? Teachers? Tell us a bit about your undergraduate time here.

A: My two favorite professors were Kim Felsenthal for Intro to Psychology and Carla Marquez Lewis for the capstone class. I also really enjoyed Abnormal Psychology. I found that all of the professors were very responsive and that the coursework was well planned and structured. One of the most important takeaways from online instruction was how important time management is; I’ve always know that it was important but the experience re-emphasized it for me.  

Q: What will you be teaching at CUNY SPS this fall?

A: I will be teaching RM201 – Intro to Research Methods, a class that I took and enjoyed while working on my psychology BA at CUNY SPS. As a student, I appreciated how the professors were interested, connected, and available, and had put thought into the lessons, readings, and their Blackboard feedback. I hope to bring this kind of care and thoughtfulness to my class.

Q: How are you dealing with the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic? Are there any specific coping skills that you’ve learned in your studies that you’d like to share? 

A: The COVID-19 pandemic represents a novel, unprecedented, and (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the most important things during this time is recognizing “locus of control”, a psychology concept (which I first learned of in Intro to Psych!) that posits that there are things within our control and outside of our control, and knowing the difference is crucial to managing distress. I personally cannot control that the virus has swept the globe, that people are dying, etc., but I can control washing my hands, social distancing, wearing a mask, limiting my exposure to distressing news, getting out into nature, FaceTiming friends and family, etc.  Let go of what you can’t control, and be sure to manage what you can!

About the CUNY SPS BA in Psychology Program

The BA in Psychology online degree program focuses on investigating why people think, behave, and feel the ways they do. Throughout the program, students gain a solid foundation in motivation, learning, social behavior, and development across the life span. Students learn how to conduct research, interpret behavioral situations, and communicate effectively while developing sociocultural and international awareness, and competencies in information and technological literacy.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

For over 15 years, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) has been leading online education in New York. Offering the most online Bachelor’s and Master’s degree options at the City University of New York, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who are looking to finish a bachelor’s degree, progress from an associate’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers.

The School’s growth has been remarkable, with twenty-three degrees launched since 2006. Enrollment has risen by more than 30% in the last four years to over 3,700 students in the credit-bearing programs and thousands more who are enrolled in non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs. In addition, the School has an active Alumni network and has established the CUNY SPS Foundation, which offers multiple scholarship opportunities to current students.

CUNY SPS has been ranked in the nation’s top 5% by U.S. News & World Report for the past six years, most recently in its list of the 2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, making CUNY SPS the highest nationally listed program in New York State and New York City.

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