Monica Becerra | Psychology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Monica Becerra

Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology

Monica Becerra


I lived in Jalisco, Mexico for 7 years, but I have lived in California most of my life.

Undergraduate Institution and Degree:

University of California, Irvine School of Social Ecology. My degree is a BA in Psychology and Social Behavior.

Current Program/Degree Pursued:

Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Program at SIU Carbondale

Year of Matriculation:


Awards Received:

  • Honors in Social Ecology
  • Excellence in Research
  • Outstanding Contribution to the School of Social Ecology
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program                                                                                                        
  • Women’s Empowerment Initiative Award                                                                                                       
  • Golden Key International Honour Society Excellence Award                                                                 
  • Hermanas Unidas de UCI Scholarship

Research Interests/Publications/Presentations:

My research focuses on obtaining a deeper understanding of Racial Ethnic Minorities (REM) in higher education, improve mental health programs and resources for college students, and promote cultural competency in order to provide quality mentorship in graduate departments and strengthen multiculturalism in counseling practices.

I presented the findings of my research at the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) conference where I explain psychological, social, and cultural factors that impact the educational journey of REM students. Currently, I am in the process of publishing my first research article with Dr. Sarah Pressman for the journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.

Teaching Experience:

I have been a teaching assistant for a Research Methods class, an Independent Research Study Group seminar, and a peer program in the UC Irvine Counseling Center.

Future Career Plans:

My future plans usually change and adjust to the interests I develop. As of now, I want to work in a university with college students either as a professor or as a counseling psychologist in a student health center.

What Attracted Me to SIU:

What attracted me to SIU was the holistic training offered by the Counseling Psychology program and its flexibility to personalize my graduate training to reflect my career interests. I will have the opportunity to train as a researcher, counselor, supervisor, professor, and mentor. The atmosphere at SIU made me feel like part of the Saluki family since I set foot on their campus and I am excited to call SIU my home for the next couple of years.

Anything else you would like to add:

I enjoy connecting with people through food and trying new dishes. Bunnies make me happy and count on me if you want to make some traveling plans or watch a movie.