Professor of Psychology
Dr. Susan K. Marell has devoted over three decades to teaching psychology as a professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College. She feels that the most rewarding aspect of teaching is helping students build the confidence in themselves to pursue their goals and dreams.
Dr. Marell joined the faculty after completing her Bachelor’s in Psychology at Brooklyn College, and then her Master’s and Doctorate in Personality and Social Psychology at New York University, where she also earned a Master of Social Work degree.
In 2006, Dr. Marell helped develop a program that enables highly qualified psychology students to begin New York University’s MSW program in their senior year and earn both their bachelor’s and master’s in just five years. Over one hundred students have completed this hybrid program and gone on to successful careers in hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, schools, private practice, and more.
Besides teaching and mentoring students, Dr. Marell has held many other positions at STAC, including director of the Honors Program, chairperson of the Division of Social Sciences, and co-chairperson of the Middle States Self-Study Steering Committee. Most recently, she served as the Executive Councilor for Academic Standards on the Faculty Senate. She has been a recipient of the Academic Vision Award, and was named a Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers six consecutive times. A member of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Marell has published her research in scholarly journals and presented on a variety of topics at professional conferences.
Dr. Marell has taught many different Psychology courses at STAC, including Psychology of Women (soon to become Psychology of Sex and Gender), Personality Theory and Counseling and Psychotherapy. She has also designed new courses, including Positive Psychology, Abnormal Child Psychology, and Psychology for Sustainability, in which students learn how psychological principles can help slow and potentially reverse climate change.
Positive Psychology, which is the science of optimism and hope, focuses on mental health and building personal strengths and resilience. Dr. Marell has often been told by students that the course has been ‘life-changing.’ She has recently done research to see whether the positive effects of the course last once the semester is over, and the results show that for most students, the benefits often continue for years.
Originally from Brooklyn, Dr. Marell has lived in White Plains since she began teaching. She has two sons; the younger one attended STAC as an undergraduate and also completed his MBA at STAC. Dr. Marell loves to travel, from her favorite destination, Cape Cod, to gathering shells on the beaches of Sanibel Island. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, sewing, nature hikes and is an avid photographer. Her favorite photography subjects are landscapes, flowers, butterflies, and most of all, her three grandchildren.
Publications & Professional Affiliations
Marell, S.K. (1994). Understanding research articles in experimental psychology. In Kadel, S. & Keehner, J.A. (Eds.), Collaborative Learning: A Sourcebook for Higher Education, Vol. II, University Park, PA: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning and Assessment.
Roskin, G. & Marell, S.K. (1988). Differences in attitudes toward patients among medical specialties. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 18 (3), 223 – 233.
Roskin, G., Carsen, M.L., Rabiner, C.J. & Marell, S.K. (1988). Attitudes toward patients among different mental health professional groups. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 29, (2), 188-194.
Carsen, M.L., Roskin, G., Rabiner, C.J. & Marell, S.K. (1987). Gender differences in attitudes toward patients. Journal of Medical Education, 62, 442.
Marell, S.K. Using Positive Psychology to Create Happier and More Meaningful Lives for Ourselves and Our Students. Guidance Expo, White Plains, NY October 2006.
Marell, S.K. Positive Psychology. American Council on Education, National Network of Women Leaders, Sparkill, NY, March 2006.
Marell, S.K. Anxiety in Today’s World and the Positive Psychology Movement. Scarsdale Teacher’s Institute, Scarsdale, NY, December 2005.
Marell, S.K. Positive Psychology: Building resilience, hope and happiness in ourselves and our clients. NASW Mentorship meeting, White Plains, NY, November 2005.
Marell, S.K. Choosing a college for students with special needs. College Planning Night, Dobbs Ferry High School, Dobbs Ferry, NY, April, 2005.
Marell, S.K. Choosing a college for students with special needs. College Planning Night, Irvington High School, Irvington, NY, September 2004.
Marell, S.K. Choosing a college for students with special needs. College Planning Night for Students with Special Needs, White Plains, NY, April 2004.
Gruen, B., Kaplan, A.J., & Marell, S.K. Been there, done that: Counselors and educators as parents of 504/special needs students. National Association for College Admissions Counseling, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2002.
Marell, S.K. Choosing a college for students with special needs. College Planning Night for Students with Special Needs, White Plains, NY, November 2000.
Gruen, B., Kaplan, A.J., Marell, S.K., & Yablow, J. Been there, done that: Counselors and educators as parents of 504/Special needs students. Conference on Guidance, White Plains, NY, October 2000.
Marell, S.K. & Wyatt-Ortiz, L. Improving teaching effectiveness through peer coaching. Presented at the 11th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology, Ellenville, NY, March 1997.
Marell, S.K. Teaching concepts in experimental psychology through journal articles: A Technique that works! Presented at the 10th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology, Ellenville, NY, March 1996.
Marell, S.K. & Wyatt-Ortiz, L. Cooperation in operation: Examples of successful cooperative learning lessons from four areas of psychology. Presented at the 8th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology, Ellenville, NY, March 1994.
Cioppa, R., Donn, B. & Marell, S.K. Presentation of the dyad project at St. Thomas Aquinas College as part of the Sears/Columbia project, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, May 1991.
Roskin, G., Chalfin, R., Levy, B. & Marell, S.K. Patterns in psychiatry of former Hillside residents. Presented at Grand Rounds, Queens Hospital Center, Elmhurst, NY, March 1986.
Roskin, G., Carsen, M.L., Rabiner, C.J & Marell, S.K. A study of attitudes toward patients and to psychopathology: The experience of clerkship in psychiatry. Presented at the Medical Society of the State of New York’s Annual CME Assembly, New York, June 1985.
Kaplan, S. Lanzkowsky, P., Marell, S.K. & Weinhold, C. Depressive symptomatology and life events in children and adolescents with cancer: A longitudinal study. Presented at the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 1984.
Marell, S.K. Development of schematic knowledge of social roles. Presented at the 88th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Montreal, Canada, September 1980.
American Psychological Association
Division 2, Teaching of Psychology
Division 8, Personality and Social Psychology
Division 35, Psychology of Women
Degrees & Certifications
B.S. Psychology, Brooklyn College
M.A. Personality and Social Psychology, NYU
Ph.D. Personality and Social Psychology, NYU