I attended the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) from 2001-2005 and majored in Communication and minored in English and Spanish. The Communication Department piqued my interest in observing human interaction from a social scientist’s point of view and gave me a firm foundation in the field in which I would later pursue my doctorate. The English Department fed my love of writing and appreciation of literature. The Romance Languages and Literatures Department fueled my interest in the history, literature and world cultures surrounding the Spanish language, and also rendered me bilingual. I was also in the Honors College (known then as the Honors Program), whose intensive seminars provided an intimate professor-to-student ratio for academic discussion and debate. I graduated summa cum laude with my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2005.
From 2005-2008, I attended Buffalo State College, where I obtained my Master of Science degree in Public Relations Management. This multidisciplinary degree track enabled me to take a broad selection of courses, including those in the fields of leadership, business management, and creativity and change leadership through the International Center for Studies in Creativity. In particular, the public relations courses I took provided me with theory, history, and hands-on experiences which I could apply and see in action during my tenure at Carr Marketing Communications Inc. The courses that I took through the International Center for Studies in Creativity gave me a solid foundation in the Creative Problem Solving Process, as well as provided me with pedagogical tools which I would later apply in my own classrooms.
In 2008, I returned to UB to pursue my doctorate in Communication. I received my Ph.D. in Communication in May of 2012. In addition to my exploration and study of emotional intelligence and creation of the construct of socio-emotional intelligence, my involvement with the Communication Science Center enabled me to successfully undergo certification as a coder of facial expressions of emotion using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). This training enables me to recognize and “read” micro-expressions, which are expressions of emotion projected onto the face for intervals as brief as a quarter of a second. This training has enhanced my studies of emotional intelligence and has provided me with additional insight into human behavior.