December 14, 2015

December Grad Stevens '16 Lands Job as Behavior Technician

Following her graduation this month, developmental psychology major Cara Stevens ’16 will put the skills she learned through her courses, an internship and employment outside of the classroom to work as a behavioral technician at the Autism Behavioral Center (ABC), where she will receive training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

As a first-year student at Emmanuel, Cara Stevens '16 enrolled in a child and adolescent psychology course that "sparked a deep interest" within her and set her on a path to a degree in psychology with a concentration in developmental psychology. Following her graduation this month, she will put the skills she learned through her courses, an internship and employment outside of the classroom to work as a behavioral technician at the Autism Behavioral Center (ABC) in Northborough, Massachusetts. There, she will receive training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the application of behavioral principals to everyday, real-world situations that will, over time, increase or decrease targeted behaviors.

"The child and adolescent development and child psychopathology courses that I have taken will be extremely helpful as I enter a career in which I will be working with children with various developmental and psychological disabilities, specifically related to autism," Stevens said. "Many of the children that receive ABA services suffer from coexisting mental health disorders as well as with autism."

Stevens was initially drawn to ABA because she knew it would give her the opportunity to apply what she has learned as a psychology major to an area in which she is already familiar. A former swim instructor at a Boys & Girls Club and an assistant teacher at a KinderCare Learning Center, she is excited to integrate her academic knowledge and her experience working with children into a new career opportunity.

"When I first went to ABC for an interview, I arrived early and began to observe what was going on in the center," she said. "It seemed to be such a positive environment, as I saw one behavior technician supporting each child and working individually with them to help them engage in social interaction with others. I began to notice aspects of Behavior Therapy that I have learned about in my psychology classes play out in real-life situations." 

Stevens also recently finished an internship at Samaritans Inc., a Boston-based suicide prevention and awareness organization that offers 24-hour crisis services by phone, as well as grief support and community education and outreach programs.  At Samaritans, she answered calls and provided a safe, confidential outlet for people with feelings of isolation, desperation or other emotional concerns.

"My internship experience at Samaritans has definitely been a challenging one, with many long and emotionally draining days," Stevens said. "Providing emotional support to individuals suffering from some really devastating situations is not always easy, but being the person to be there for them during these difficult times can be tremendously rewarding."

After completing her training in ABA at the Autism Behavioral Center and gaining some experience in the position, Stevens will evaluate whether to continue her education in that field or to expand her career outlook. Through her work at Samaritans, she also developed an interest in counseling psychology and would consider a master's degree program in which she could apply the interpersonal, crisis intervention, active and empathetic listening skills she acquired at the call center.

Cara Stevens '16, photo by Chloe Pangonis '16

Explore Emmanuel

Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Jolie Erlacher ’19 Finds Purpose Counseling Those in Need

As early as her second year at Emmanuel College, Jolie Erlacher '19 discovered the power of networking, seeing firsthand how the connections she has made at Emmanuel-and then beyond-have affected the course of her academic and career trajectory, each opportunity opening a door to the next.

Learn More
Featured Faculty: Rebecca Moryl

Dr. Rebecca Moryl is an Associate Professor of Economics at Emmanuel College. Professor Moryl teaches on subjects including microeconomics, economic relations, the politics of international economic relations and urban economics. She believes that understanding economics is critical to understanding the worlds-big and small-in which we live.

Learn More
Featured Faculty: Aren Gerdon

Professor Aren Gerdon is the Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics and an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Emmanuel College. He leads his own chemistry research group, focusing on biomaterials, and works closely with other research groups across campus. Professor Gerdon is passionate about sharing his deep knowledge of chemistry with his students, guiding them from class work to practical, real-world lab experiments.

Learn More
Featured Faculty: Petros Vamvakas

Petros Vamvakas is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies and Peace Studies Programs. His work focuses on security and democratization, as well as issues related to identity and race in politics throughout the Americas. As part of his teaching, he has escorted groups of students to Crete, Greece, and will be bringing a group of students to Cuba.

Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Learn More

Let's Get Started.

Emmanuel is a place where students broaden their sense of what’s possible and prepare for inspiring careers in an ever-changing world. Be here.