Passion For Psychology Alumna Leads To New Position

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Ashlyn Allan ’21, now the Intensive Outpatient Program coordinator at Bayside Marin Treatment Center, was interested in multiple courses and career paths after transferring to Dominican University of California from Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Novato High School grad initially had a challenging time picking a favorite interest.

“I wanted to do everything,” she says. “I wanted to date different majors before marrying one and making that commitment.”

The Psychology Department quickly won her over, thanks to its supportive faculty and hands-on focus.

“I was immediately engaged with the work and I finally began connecting with people,” she says. “I thought `This is it! This is what people go to school for. To find that passion.’ ”

Recognizing his student’s interest and commitment, Professor Ben Rosenberg invited Ashlyn to be a teacher’s assistant. Professor Ian Madfes served as a mentor while Ashlyn was writing her senior thesis – The Relationship Of Personality Traits and the Continued Use of Childhood Comfort Objects by College Students – which she presented at both the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research and the Western Psychological Association Conference.

Ashlyn also received valuable input on her digital portfolio from both Psychology Department chair LeeAnn Bartolini and Christina Mayes, Digital Portfolio Specialist and Integrative Coach in Dominican’s Student Success Center.

“I found the process of creating my digital portfolio really fun. It was very empowering. It forced me to look at all the things I had accomplished,” Ashlyn says. “It’s kind of like putting a mirror in front of somebody and saying, `Hey, look. This is who you are and this is what you’ve done. You should feel accomplished.' ”

That feeling of accomplishment followed Ashlyn to her placement at Bayside Marin, thanks to the encouragement of a Dominican classmate and fellow psychology graduate, Doug Lytz ’21. Ashlyn began as a clinical technician/behavioral health associate and was promoted to her current position within six months. Ashlyn works at Bayside Marin with another Dominican alumna Lorel Grande Geidt, Director of Outpatient Services, who earned her degree in psychology in 2010 and her masters degree in counseling psychology in 2014.

Ashlyn is grateful for all her mentors at Bayside, led by Program Director James Winder, who have helped her evolve quickly and efficiently into her new role. The journey from JC to DU to Bayside has been a joy.

“My most incredible privilege has been being able to take my time being a student and explore my every interest,” she says. “My degree isn’t what gives me my worth; it’s the process I went through to earn it.”

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