Alumna Nicole Buss ’02, was very happy to learn that the College now offers a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I earned my A.A in psychology at Marymount, which allowed me to hit the ground running. Graduate programs require many prerequisites so a B.A will open lots of doors a lot sooner for psychology students,” she says. Buss should know- she recently earned her doctorate in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California.
Buss now works at the Pediatric Therapy Network, a nonprofit children’s therapy center in Torrance, California, that is committed to providing quality services for children with special needs. “I work in early intervention with a lot of children with autism and other special needs. We help them learn how to participate in school activities, play and do things in daily life. Whatever is meaningful in life to the child and family, we’ll help them figure out a strategy to make it happen,” she says.
A San Pedro native, Buss’ interest in her field came from her mother, who teaches special education. This prompted her to volunteer at the center where she now works. “Volunteering was a really big deal for me. You really have to get in there and get your hands dirty, because then you can ask yourself, ‘Can i see myself doing this?” Buss says.
She credits the professors at Marymount with encouraging her to follow her path, while still providing her with a “reality check” occasionally along the way. “They were always very accessible, and that made a huge difference,” Buss says.