I chose to attend Marywood University for a specialist degree in school psychology because Marywood shared my ideals of service to the marginalized. The school psychology program is rigorous, yet individual coaching from faculty helps students succeed. Graduates carry out Marywood’s mission of service to students in public schools who face the greatest challenges. While attending a recent meeting of the area Autism Task Force, a special education director informed me of huge need for school psychologists and complimented Marywood’s interns.
After eight years, our department finally received a second professor, Dr. Ajani Cross. Her position is a critical need to pursue additional accreditation of the school psychology program, which could attract more students. However, she is an asset beyond her position. Currently attending her class, I can attest to her encouraging, mentoring spirit and the rigor of assignments. She meets with class members personally to improve skills. The quality of class readings are doctoral-level. She demonstrates a commitment to mentor diverse students. However, she was one of the first-year professors whose positions have been cut.
I ask administration to reconsider the decision to terminate Dr. Cross and other faculty. Please prioritize faculty and staff, who serve with integrity in spite of cuts to benefits and threats to livelihood. Bulldozing the previous library and building an auditorium can wait, but we cannot risk losing the people and programs in the meanwhile. What impressed me the first time on campus was not the Rotunda, though beautiful, but a member of housekeeping who talked with me and prayed for my interview for a position here. We cannot risk losing our perspective that Christ is embodied not through buildings but through living people who carry a spirit of excellence, mission, and service, like that housekeeper, and like Dr. Cross.
Graduate Student of School Psychology
Graduate Assistant, SOAR program