A Student Leader in Wellness: Q+A with Stephanie Spruck '25

Antonia Gentile
February 20, 2024
Pace University's Psychology Pleasantville student Stephanie Spruck

Stephanie Spruck

Class of 2025

Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Relations

Stephanie Spruck is the student wellness coordinator on the Pleasantville campus, working with Assistant Provost for Wellness Sue Maxam, EdD on mental health and well-being initiatives, in addition to a volunteer mentor for RADical Hope, a peer-led wellness program offering services through a Pace partnership.

Tell us more about these experiences and how they have been meaningful to you.

In this role, which has been one of the highlights of my Pace Path, I assist with projects and event planning aimed at integrating Pace's vision for a cohesive approach addressing the eight dimensions of wellness (in February 2023, Pace adopted the Okanagan Charter, an international framework for promoting wellness on college campuses globally). As a student, I share insights on what services and support systems my peers and I want to see, serving as a voice for the student community. In the process, I am learning invaluable lessons on mental health, wellbeing, social justice, and purpose, which inspire me every day to learn more about these realities and assist in enacting change.

I also take great joy in being a program guide for the nationally renowned RADical Health program at Pace sponsored by the RADical Hope Foundation. In this role, I facilitate meaningful small group conversations around connection, resiliency, self-awareness, and stress management. Entering my fifth time taking part in the program, I always learn something new from my peers. I have also had the incredible opportunity of partnering with non-profit organizations, on-campus committees, and media platforms, such as NBC News’s NOW and TODAY, Radical Hope Radio, The Examiner, Pace Magazine, and Bloomberg News, to share my journey and learn from mentors every step of the way.

How did you become interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and Human Relations?

Unlike many colleges that offer only one psychology major, Dyson has four to choose from, which means a vast array of classes across the Psychology department. I have always been fascinated with how the human mind works and how that translates into behavior: why we choose, think, act, feel, and relate as we do. This major can truly guide my career in any direction with how expansive it is, serving as training for a wide variety of fields as well as continued learning in counseling, social/clinical work, academia, law, health, research, and even business, to name a few.

What have your experiences been like with the Pleasantville Psychology Department? What faculty have been instrumental in your academic journey?

The Pleasantville Psychology Department offers a wide array of opportunities and faculty who prepare students early on to reach our goals. We can spend time talking to and sharing interests with our educators, who have completed their master's and/or doctorate programs in psychology and can offer advice on the different paths our major can take us. Professor Courtney Gosnell, PhD, readily makes students aware of opportunities such as the Psychology Club and Psi Chi International Psychology Honors Society, as well as local internships. Any psychology student looking to put what they are learning in the classroom into practice should speak to her, as she has much wisdom to share.

Even prior to stepping foot on campus, I was welcomed and felt that this was the place I was meant to be. At an accepted students event, I could relate to the student speakers’ love of learning as they shared their classroom, leadership, and internship experiences.

Why did you choose to attend Pace?

I distinctly remember the day I first visited Pace at an Honors College Accepted Students event. Even prior to stepping foot on campus, I was welcomed and felt that this was the place I was meant to be. I could relate to the student speakers’ love of learning as they shared their classroom, leadership, and internship experiences, and thought to myself, “Wow, I want to do that, too!” I spoke to Professor Lawrence Hundersmarck, PhD, who I later enrolled in three engaging Honors classes with, as well as Senior Staff Associate Carol Turco, who greets my fellow students and I daily with a smile and makes us feel like family. The opportunities offered at Pace are unlike any other college I have visited. Also, a fun fact: both my parents and uncle attended Pace, so you could say we are a Pace family!

What other activities or organizations are you engaged with at Pace?

I serve as an Honors peer mentor, through which I help freshmen become acclimated with their new college environment, share my experiences, and give advice along the way. I have been blessed with many mentors at Pace, so being able to give back through this invaluable service is very rewarding. I am also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Leadership Society, where I get to collaborate with fellow student leaders. Recently, I have been welcomed into the Wellbeing Committee, and work with faculty and administration to share wellness-centered ideas for future implementation.

What would you like to do upon graduation/what are your career goals?

Upon graduation, I seek to continue my education at Pace in the MA program in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and pursue a career in this field. I also hope to continue in the wellness sector and ultimately share what I have learned with others through motivational speaking, podcasting, tutoring, and my creative writing—all newfound interests I have cultivated at Pace!

What advice can you give to our current students?

Opportunitas is more than Pace’s motto—it is a reminder to live out this goal each and every day, to seek out, learn from, and show up for opportunities of all types, from a simple interaction to professional development. Mentorship is also a beautiful experience, and I encourage everyone to both learn from a mentor and serve as one. With so many opportunities at our fingertips during these transformative years, learn all you can and explore your interests, and you will discover a lot about yourself along the way. What Pace has to offer is more than we can ever imagine, all you must do is take the first step.