Major: Liberal Arts and Sciences: Math & Science
Transfer Institution: State University of New York at Geneseo
Current Position: School Psychologist
Current City: Salt Lake City, UT
Initially, Christy Lasher planned to go to college to become a doctor. Towards that goal, she took a number of lab science classes while at Jamestown Community College, as well as many required general education courses. Yet it was in those general education courses, particularly psychology and sociology, where she discovered a passion for learning about why people think and act the way that they do.
"As a full-time student at JCC, I recognized that I wanted to pursue this passion," she said. "As a student assistant in the social sciences department, I developed closer connections with my professors." Through these connections, Christy discovered what career options were available to someone with her interests. She realized that what she really wanted to do was use psychology to help others. What better way to do this, she thought, than as a school psychologist?
After earning her associate’s degree, Christy transferred to the State University of New York at Geneseo to major in psychology. While at Geneseo, she came across quite a few other students who had gone to JCC.
"There seemed to be consensus among us that transferring to Geneseo from JCC was not very difficult, and that most if not all JCC credits were accepted at Geneseo." Two short years later, Christy graduated from Geneseo with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in communication.
Afterwards, "I was accepted into a grant program at Alfred University, which allowed me to receive my master’s degree in school psychology at very little financial cost," she said. "During my time at Alfred, my coursework and practical experiences confirmed that I was in the right field for me." Christy's suitability as a school psychologist was further confirmed during an internship at Letchworth Central School District in Gainesville, NY, where she earned a certificate of advanced specialization in school psychology.
Christy applied for jobs across the country, but mostly in New York State. This process was daunting, as it seemed that there were few open jobs in her field. However, she was eventually contacted by Early Light Academy, a charter school in Utah, to interview for a position as a school psychologist. Although it was difficult to leave the Jamestown area, Christy decided to move to Salt Lake City to pursue this opportunity.
Happily, "since moving to Utah, I have had a number of exciting experiences, including hiking, learning to mountain bike, and skiing at some of the most well-known resorts in the country," Christy said.
"I am also very happy with my position as a school psychologist, as I love working with students, families, teachers, and administrators to promote student potential academically, socially, and emotionally. Some of my main roles as a school psychologist include student assessment, counseling, teaching a social-emotional wellness curriculum, and helping teachers understand how to best educate each of their students."
Christy believes that her experiences at JCC were critical in leading her to where she is today. "JCC allowed me to explore different fields of study before going to a larger university. As an officer in the Student Senate and a member of Student Ambassadors, I developed leadership skills that would have been more difficult to obtain at a larger school. Overall, the things that I learned in and out of the classroom at JCC have allowed me to be successful at a career that I love."