Professor; Director of the Master of Science in Developmental Psychology
BA, College of Our Lady of the Elms; MA, Westfield State College; EdD, American International College
During her career at Bay Path College, Dr. Cheryl A. Leary has served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology and is currently the Program Director for the Master of Science in Developmental Psychology
. For over 35 years, she has been a teacher in various disciplines. In addition, she has also worked as a clinical practitioner prior to assuming her role as a professor of psychology at Bay Path.
She began her career in local school systems as an Elementary School Teacher, a Special Needs Teacher (middle school and high school) and as a School Psychologist (elementary school, middle school and high school). During that time, she continually expanded her educational foundation by pursuing advanced degrees in special education and psychology. Dr. Leary also performed clinical work as a therapist/consultant at Elmcrest Psychiatric Hospital in Portland, Connecticut. For several years, she was a lecturer for the U.S. Department of Justice on the topic of adolescent suicide, and co-authored a booklet on adolescent suicide—prevention, intervention, and postvention.
Since 1992, Dr. Leary has been a member of the Department of Education and the Department of Psychology at Bay Path College. In her position, she has established programs of study in various areas. For example, she developed a course in Human Sexuality, Psychology of Women, Group Dynamics,
and the Psychology of Intimacy
. A professor with a strong background in various areas of developmental psychology, she has taught courses in human development, abnormal psychology, health psychology, psychological measurements and evaluation, and counseling. Dr. Leary also wrote a chapter on Human Development in Ryan’s Occupational Therapy Assistant: Principles, Practice Issues and Techniques
, Slack Inc. 2001.
To foster real-life experiences for students, Dr. Leary spearheaded the Community-Based Cooperative Education Program for undergraduate psychology majors. This type of experience is the core of the curriculum of the Master of Science in Developmental Psychology, particularly with the Community-Based Fieldwork research project. “It is my belief that students in my classes must be challenged to bridge the gap between ‘what is out there’ and what is occurring between the covers of their textbooks. By working directly with outside organizations or groups, they are able to place their experiences within a given context, allowing them to speak, act, and lead confidently and professionally in their field of study.”
In addition to her work as an educator, Dr. Leary is active in the greater community. Among her many endeavors she has played major roles in the Enfield Rotary Club. She has held positions of leadership: Vocational Director, Secretary, Vice President and President of the Enfield Rotary Club. She was the key point person for establishing the Amber Alert Program for the Enfield, CT community. She has been named a Paul Harris Fellow as a result of her community involvement, including establishing the Bay Path College Rotaract Club. This is the first time in the history of the Enfield Rotary Club that a Rotaract Club came into existence. She also worked as the co-leader for two years for the United Way Campaign at Bay Path.
Dr. Leary received her bachelor’s degree from Elms College in Chicopee, MA. She earned her Master of Arts in Special Education from Westfield State College with distinction
and her CAGS as a School Psychologist and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology with distinction
from American International College.