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Alumna Alyssa Basile ’15, ’18M Publishes Research on Mental Health Effects of Hurricane Sandy

Alyssa Basile ’15, ’18M recently published a research article, “Disaster Relief Shelter Experience during Hurricane Sandy: A Preliminary Phenomenological Inquiry,” in the May 2020 issue of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Scholarly recognition of her research, which started shortly after earning her Bachelor of Arts in psychology, is another milestone in Basile’s continuing academic journey.

Immediately following her May 2015 graduation, Basile was selected for admission to the Summer Research Program (SRP), an initiative led by the Monmouth University School of Science. Two years later, she earned her Master of Science in mental health counseling, graduating in May 2018.

Between her two degrees, Basile began her research in the SRP with two goals: to continue to live on campus, and to contribute to research in the field of mental health. “Among the summer research projects, research on Hurricane Sandy was the most intriguing topic to me considering the devastating impact that it had on countless people. My close friend lost her house from the storm,” Basile explained.

Basile pitched her idea of analyzing the psychological experience of residing in a disaster relief shelter during Hurricane Sandy to the late Robert Kelly, a long-serving adjunct professor in Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Monmouth University. “I discussed how I believed that this research was important to better understand staff members’ and shelter occupants’ experiences in disaster relief shelters and to improve future disaster relief shelters. Professor Kelly was supportive of my research proposal and created a separate project for me to complete this study,” Basile said.

Basile currently works as a substance abuse/mental health therapist both full-time at 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. and part-time at Leading Youth Through Experience (LYTE). She is also pursuing a post-graduate master’s degree in Art Therapy at Caldwell University with the goal of becoming an art therapist.

Basile credits her education at Monmouth for helping to advance her career goals. “My Bachelor of Arts in Psychology provided me with experience in conducting research projects, which enabled me to publish two articles. My art minor gave me insight that I will apply to my future practice as an art therapist. And through my Master of Science in mental health counseling, I prepared to become an effective counselor, which was my dream since I was 14-years-old,” Basile said.

Basile is also in the process of publishing another article titled, “Authoritative Parenting Characteristics and Intimate Relationship Satisfaction and Commitment,” in the Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. Her study explores the correlation between authoritative parenting and adult children’s intimate relationship satisfaction.

“I completed this study in my senior thesis psychology class under supervision of [Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D.]. Over the past five years of revisions, Dr. Lewandowski continued providing me with feedback on this article, so I am really appreciative of his support and guidance,” Basile noted.