Peggy Brady-Amoon is passionate and positive when it comes to the subject of educational and career development. She teaches and studies these topics at Seton Hall's College of Education and Human Services (CEHS). Much of what drives Professor Brady-Amoon is her own life experience with the subject. She, like many of the people she works with and studies, has experienced the transformative power of education and has seen her career evolve in unexpected ways.
A political science and Spanish major in college, Brady-Amoon once considered law school. A volunteering stint at her school's career counseling office lit a different spark. "I learned that counseling focused on human strengths and understanding people's potential, which I really liked."
She pursued graduate studies in counseling and psychology while raising her two children and working as a counselor and administrator in Academic Support Services at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Rockland County, New York. She enjoyed her work but wanted to go further. "I am a mid-life career enhancer," says Brady-Amoon, who earned a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University when she was in her 50s. In truth, Brady-Amoon followed her own advice on career development: pursue what you love and build on what you do well. "A lot of people mistakenly think they are too old to change careers, or that they've missed all their opportunities. But most people don't stay in the same career throughout their lives. We have to be adaptable – and make the most of our opportunities."
In 2008, Brady-Amoon joined the faculty of the college's Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy, where she teaches graduate courses in counseling and psychology. Her research focuses on educational and career development with a particular focus on underrepresented people including undocumented immigrants and at-risk youth. She's written numerous peer reviewed articles and has presented at scholarly events including every American Psychological Association convention for the past ten years, including Toronto in 2015 and the International Congress on Applied Psychology in Paris in 2014. Ever the writer, Brady-Amoon is working on two books now. One is a practical guide to careers in psychology, expected in early 2021. The second, begun during her recent sabbatical, is titled, Beyond Expectations, a look at success patterns among at-risk youth compared to their more privileged peers. Writing, she says, allows her to "be part of the professional dialogue and have a greater impact."
Inspiring Students and Faculty
In August, Brady-Amoon reached a career crowning achievement when she was elected as a fellow of the American Psychology Association (APA). The national award recognizes exceptional contributions to the field of psychology. She has also been the recipient of the College of Education's Schreitmueller Outstanding Faculty Servant Leader Award (2016) and the Counselors for Social Justice 'Ohana Award (2015).
"Dr. Brady-Amoon is a role model for faculty and students alike," notes Thomas Massarelli, Ph.D., co-chair of the Professional Psychology and Family Therapy Department. "With her leadership and encouragement, eight graduate students received the prestigious American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship in STAY (Services to Transition Age Youth), which involves special national training in Washington, D.C., professional networking opportunities, and a financial award." Adds Massarelli's co-chair, Sandra Lee, Ph.D., "Peggy takes our students from 'knowledge taker to knowledge maker!"
Faith in the Future
Learning something new is what interests her most about her chosen field. A grandmother of five, she also thrives on teaching and mentoring her Seton Hall students: "They often look at things from a slightly different angle, which helps me appreciate the possibilities. I have faith in the future because I can see that people are going to join forces with us to make the world better."
Dr. Brady-Amoon's Tips for Career Changers
- Don't underestimate your experience.
- Consider what you can build on and leverage your skills going forward.
- Be flexible, adaptable and ready to learn.
- Believe in your ability to grow and change
- Use your resources
- Seek mentors and role models; be a mentor and role model
Considering a career in psychology?
What it Means to be a Human
Thinking about studying psychology? Professor Peggy Brady-Amoon, Ph.D.gives a nod to the field of counseling and counseling psychology.