“The internship opportunities that the Psychology Department presents skyrocket your professional experience and help you stand out as a candidate.”
Months before she graduated summa cum laude from one of the most highly recognized Forensic Psychology programs in the Midwest, Sarah Wurster knew where she was headed next. She had been admitted to a highly competitive mental health counseling master’s program at Valparaiso University. “My experiences at SAU were absolutely indispensable in gaining admittance,” she says. “I credit the amazing psychology professors I had at St. Ambrose.”
Home Town: Crest Hill, Illinois
Sarah came to St. Ambrose a highly motivated but under-confident student from the western edge of Chicago’s suburbs. She found friends and fellow students from a host of backgrounds who were equally determined to learn, succeed, and make a difference.
A Psychology Department that features eight full-time professors, all with PhDs, embodies the impressive 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio we offer our students. Sarah’s education was bolstered by one-on-one, focused attention from professors whose interest in her growth was obvious and sincere.
How has SAU changed you?
“As much as I learned from my studies at St. Ambrose, I have learned even more about myself. I came to St. Ambrose feeling unsure in so many ways. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take for a career, and I really didn’t know how I would adjust to the social life and the rigor of college. But at St. Ambrose, I found my best friends, the confidence and spirit to be a leader, and the career direction I craved.”
How has SAU allowed you to make a difference?
When clients at a local mental health center told Sarah they weren’t legally allowed to vote in an upcoming election, she went to work helping those clients and others understand their rights and the issues their vote could affect. Sarah got a grant to host a community forum at St. Ambrose where persons with disabilities learned about their voting rights, got to register, and learned how and where they could vote. Candidates for local, state, and national offices also attended to discuss issues pertinent to mental health. “I wasn’t politically driven before this,” she said, “but going through this process helped me realize the impact advocacy can have.”
Why Choose the Forensic Psychology Program?
“When I was 9, I received a Crime Scene Investigation kit for Christmas and decided I wanted to be a detective. In high school, I fell in love with psychology. So I decided to combine the two passions into Forensic Psychology. I visited a few colleges with majors in that emerging field, but when I visited St. Ambrose, I knew I was called to be there. I plan to counsel juveniles in the criminal justice system. That’s a career plan I developed due to the social justice mission St. Ambrose promotes, as well as through the personal guidance of professors I trust.”