Former psychology major Sarah DiMuccio '15 follows her passion for research as the director of research at Catalyst, a global nonprofit that leads companies to help build workplaces that work for women.
Can you speak to how Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you along your career path?
Dickinson’s approach to liberal-arts education was crucial in shaping my further education and career path. The close faculty-student mentoring was especially important for my success. I found my passion for research and my interest in getting my Ph.D. in psychology after having spent three of my four years at Dickinson doing research under the mentorship of Megan Yost, associate professor of psychology and women’s, gender & sexuality studies. Together with Marie Helweg-Larsen, professor of psychology and Glen E. & Mary Line Todd Chair in the Social Sciences, we published this research, which made me a strong applicant for graduate school. I successfully obtained my Ph.D. in social psychology from New York University in 2021 and went on to do research for the nonprofit Catalyst where I’ve been able to apply the skills and research expertise that I began to cultivate in my undergrad thanks to Dickinson.
What was your favorite activity/organization at Dickinson?
My favorite organization at Dickinson was definitely the Italian Club. I minored in Italian and the professors in the Department of Italian & Italian Studies made my time at Dickinson so much fun. In the Italian Club, we threw some of Dickinson’s most interesting food and culture related events for all students to enjoy. I still keep in touch with several of my Italian professors to this day!
How has Dickinson’s focus on global education impacted your life or career since graduation?
Dickinson’s focus on global engagement was another huge contributor to my amazing experience there, as well as to both my life and career. I studied abroad for one semester in Bologna, Italy and for one semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. In Italy, I was encouraged to take a course on Dante in Italian at the University of Bologna—a truly unique and educational experience. In Copenhagen, I was supported by Dickinson to continue my research cross-culturally, which led to the publication that I mentioned above. Both of those experiences allowed me to develop as a person, a researcher, a scholar and as a globally engaged citizen.
What jumps out as a great memory from your time at Dickinson?
All of my memories from Italian Club events have been unforgettable. From pasta, pizza and espresso-making events to parties with lots of authentic Italian food, we always managed to have too much fun together celebrating Italian culture.
How do you stay involved with Dickinson?
I still keep in touch with many of my old professors, and I enjoy connecting with and mentoring current psychology students who are interested in pursuing graduate school in psychology.
How did you get interested in your work, and what about it excites you most?
My research experience at Dickinson led me to my interest in understanding men and how masculine societal norms impact their thoughts and behaviors. In graduate school, I wanted to understand how masculinity norms impact men’s political beliefs, and now in my work at Catalyst, I do research to understand how masculinity norms impact men’s willingness and ability to be champions for gender equity in the workplace. Making a difference for both men and women at work through this work excites me greatly.
What comes to mind as something unforgettable that you’ve done since you graduated?
I feel so fortunate to have truly gained professional success after graduation, but my most unforgettable experience has been having my daughter. There is nothing quite like the birth of your first child that puts everything into perspective.
Published February 21, 2023