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Alumna Combines Psychology and Business to Help College Students

Woman in college hallway, wearing Immaculata sweatshirt

Immaculata University provided Catherine “Cat” Knoll ’22 with a comprehensive education that primed her for future success and opened doors to her dream job upon graduation. Knoll, a psychology major and business administration minor with a keen interest in sports psychology and improving athlete wellbeing and support, secured a director of outreach position with CogWell, an organization dedicated to bringing interactive workshops to college campuses to increase effective listening skills, mental wellness, and peer support among college students. With chapters at various universities, including Immaculata, CogWell offers programs for building campus-wide networks that support students with academic stresses and social challenges.

After participating in the CogWell’s Listen Up workshop, Knoll immediately understood the importance of active listening and sharpening her communications skills. As an active member of the softball team and a leader in various campus roles, she promoted CogWell within the campus community. Knoll initiated several listening workshops for student leaders and, with the guidance of Immaculata’s counseling services staff, began working with the men’s soccer team. Demonstrating her commitment to the CogWell mission and enhancing communication among the players and coaches, she earned an internship with the organization during her final semester.

While serving in her internship position, Knoll traveled to Binghamton University and the University of Alabama, where she led workshops for athletic teams and other campus groups. She immediately knew that this was the career path she wanted to pursue.

“My success at Immaculata, my public speaking skills and passion for fostering support on college campuses, helped me secure the job,” Knoll affirmed. She also attributes her success to her decision to complement her psychology major with a business administration minor at Immaculata. The minor introduced her to remarkable role models who helped shape her self-confidence to address audiences with her authentic self. Knoll also acknowledged the positive impact of the student leadership opportunities that were available to her at Immaculata, which molded her into the responsible leader she is today.

In her role as director of outreach, Knoll is tasked with promoting CogWell’s program to higher education institutions and delivering workshops at colleges and universities. In just over a year on the job, she’s been leading conversations with state representatives, university presidents and mental health decision-makers focused on student needs. Using her strong speaking voice and passion for the issues, Knoll has successfully secured donors and partnerships for CogWell.

To advance her career, Knoll enrolled in a master’s degree program in performance psychology at National University and expects to graduate in January 2024. Admitting that her real passion lies with building mental health skills in athletes, she plans to become a certified mental performance consultant.

For now, Knoll is busy helping college students—even though she is as young as those she is trying to support. “I think it is cool to say that I have done all of this one-year post-graduation,” Knoll expressed.

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