When Nicole moved to the U.S. in 1997 to attend Rider University as an international student, she knew she wanted to study psychology. During her last year of high school in Germany, Nicole participated in an elective Introduction to Psychology class that made her curious about this discipline.
As soon as I became part of the Psychology Department at Rider and met the many professors–all from different specializations–I knew it was the perfect fit for me.
Nicole Schaefer-McDaniel, Ph.D.
Rider's impact on Nicole's career
At Rider, Nicole learned about clinical psychology, research & statistics, cognitive psychology and so much more. She welcomed the opportunity to take part in two internships, each of which allowed her to work closely with a professor in understanding clinical settings with different populations. These experiences, and in particular the close mentorship of supervising professors, were particularly valuable because they steered Nicole towards a path in research and higher education.
After her graduation from Rider University, Nicole completed a M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology as well as post-doctoral training in urban health. While her career has taken a less traditional route after her husband joined the United States Department of State, Nicole has been able to continue participating in social science research studies and, while living in Mongolia, served as Visiting Professor in local universities and taught research methods to U.S. college students spending a semester abroad.
Having been a part of many post-secondary schools as a student, professor, and administrator, Nicole looks back very fondly of her time at Rider. "There is simply no other school that creates such personal spaces and interactions with professors." It’s been 20 years since she graduated from Rider and Nicole still keeps in touch with one of her favorite Psychology professors, Dr. Wendy Heath, on a regular basis!