Motivated students. Supportive colleagues. Small, cozy campus. Great location.
These are all aspects that Melissa Terlecki, Ph.D., considered to be part of her dream job. When she came to Cabrini in 2005, Terlecki was thrilled to find an institution that had everything she was looking for.
“The opportunity to be a part of the Cabrini community has been a wonderful blessing,” says Terlecki, named associate professor of psychology in 2011.
Terlecki has found her time at Cabrini rewarding both professionally and personally, as she believes the Cabrini experience is a unique one.
“At Cabrini, students get individual attention and concern from faculty and staff like no other college or university, so our students learn to shine, no matter what their talent,” she says.
“I feel Cabrini is a special place that provides not just a top-notch education, but also spiritual growth and responsibility. I am happy to be a part of that.”
An interactive, fluid learning environment is at the core of Terlecki's teaching philosophy. In the classroom, she fosters a comfortable, engaging environment where students feel free to share, discuss, and think critically.
“Motivation and energy are key in getting students interested in course material,” she says. “Connecting what is learned with personal experience is the glue that creates lasting impressions.”
Terlecki believes strongly in the value of working to better the community, and spends a great deal of time volunteering with organizations aimed at making a positive impact. Her contributions to the community include working with the Crabby Creek Partnership (alongside David Dunbar, Ph.D., associate professor of biology), and more recently on a project at the Norristown State Hospital. There, she co-teaches with Darryl Mace, Ph.D., (associate professor of history and political science) on social justice issues revolving around the history of mental illness.
Terlecki has co-authored several interdisciplinary publications with her colleagues on community-based research.
Other contributions include sponsoring annual free workshops to strengthen the skills of young women in math and science, areas in which they are underrepresented. Terlecki also volunteers for numerous organizations, committees, and fundraisers throughout the year, including serving on the Editorial Board of Sex Roles: A Journal of Research.
Besides serving the community, Terlecki’s other love is video gaming – studying it, that is. Her research has shown that men and women aren't so different in their gaming preferences.
Some of her work with Cabrini psychology students was published in an article in the journal Current Psychology, titled "Sex differences and similarities in video game experience, preferences, and self-efficacy: Implications for the gaming industry."
Terlecki earned a doctoral degree from Temple University and a bachelor of arts in psychology from The College of New Jersey.
She is a member of several professional organizations, including
From Lambertville, N.J., Terlecki for some time lived in Mercer County, N.J., and now lives with her husband in Jeffersonville, Pa. She has a young daughter and two pugs.
Melissa Terlecki, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Psychology Iadarola Center, Room 101B610-902-8358 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cabpsy.net