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Humans of JCU: Tracy Masterson

Tracy+Masterson+is+a+clinical+psychologist+and+professor+who+develops+relationships+with+all+of+her+students+through+teaching+at+John+Carroll+University.
Tracy Masterson
Tracy Masterson is a clinical psychologist and professor who develops relationships with all of her students through teaching at John Carroll University.

Whether it’s reaching out over LinkedIn or hosting alumni events throughout the academic year to see what former students are up to, one aspect John Carroll University faculty are known for is staying connected with students that graduated from this institution. JCU often hires alumni to contribute to current students’ education and college experience.

Tracy Masterson graduated from John Carroll with a major in biology and a minor in sociology and is currently a full-time professor in the Department of Psychology. Aside from her engaging lectures and class activities, she is known for her sense of humor and ability to relate to each and every one of her students.

Kendall Trunzo ‘25 explained to The Carroll News the numerous ways in which Masterson made an impact on her while attending John Carroll.

“I [had] her for ‘Forensic Psychology’ and absolutely love her and the class. She constantly is so engaged with us and understands what we go through as students. Multiple times [last] semester she has connected us with professionals in the field of criminal justice/forensic psychology that gives us an insight on their lives. I’ve gone to her several times after class or on days that I don’t have her class to talk about life and oftentimes what I’m stressing about. She has helped me so much with taking control of my anxiety and looking for internships”

Trunzo went on to elaborate how Masterson affects her students with her personality.

“She’s truly made a personal connection with each of her students and just speaking to my fellow classmates everyone loves her. She’ll stop me in the foyer of the [Psychology Department] just to talk about my day. Dr. Masterson is overall just an amazing human being and an unforgettable professor! I recommend anyone to take one of her classes because she is truly amazing!”

Talia Weeks ‘24, a Psychology major, The Carroll News said, “People are what make JCU great and Dr. Masterson is one of those people. Dr. Masterson is energetic, fun, always makes you laugh and puts a smile on your face! She is so caring for all her students but makes everyone feel special. She is an amazing professor but an even greater person!”

Masterson was hired by JCU’s Department of Psychology in 2008 when she returned after earning her degree to lecture students about careers that fall within the Psychology field, in which she was approached about a job offering to be a professor. Those with a Psychology degree can become a mental health counselor, family therapist, psychiatrist and more. She currently teaches “Introduction to Psychology,” “Adolescent Development,” “Child and Adolescent Psychopathology,” “Forensic Psychology” and “Psychology of Autism.”

In addition to teaching at John Carroll, Masterson also works as a clinical psychologist for Cleveland Clinic in which she interacts with children and young adults about their mental health issues and comes up with effective ways to resolve them.

Masterson was born in Lakewood, OH and later moved to Olmsted Falls, OH where she attended Olmsted Falls High School. After graduating from John Carroll with a B.S in Biology, she went to medical school at Ohio University. Masterson interned in neurology and did research for a year at Case Western Reserve University where she developed a passion for psychology from learning about the pediatric side of the field.

She went on to earn her Ph.D in clinical psychology at Kent State University. After that, Masterson completed a pre-doctoral internship in pediatric psychology at A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children located in Wilmington, Delaware. She did a post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral health at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

Recently, she traveled to Vietnam to work with autistic children. Currently, Masterson is working on her Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) certification which entails completing 2,000 hours of clinical psychology experience.

Aside from being a clinical psychologist and a tenured professor at John Carroll, Masterson holds a handful of leadership positions. She is on several boards such as the Board of Milestones Autism Resources, the secretary of the Parent Teacher Organization for her kids’ school and a room parent for her son’s fifth grade classroom. Masterson also coaches her kids’ sports teams, which consists of K-8 cross country, 8th grade basketball and K-8 track and field.

When asked what advice she would give to students taking classes at John Carroll, Masterson had a lot to offer. It is essential to have a “yes” mindset because it helps to combat social anxiety. Also, she encourages students to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented. College only lasts for four years, so it is important to soak it all in.

Brynn Kemelhar, a former JCU alum who graduated with a B.S in Psychology, had Masterson as a professor and scheduling advisor. She reflected on her experiences and shared with The Carroll News, “Throughout my time at John Carroll, Dr. Masterson proved to be an exceptional mentor. Although only having her for one class, I was able to build a relationship with her that helped to make my time at Carroll even more meaningful. She is always willing to lend an ear and a helping hand to aid in students’ success.”

Masterson is married to her husband of 18 years and has two children: a 13 year old daughter named Layne and an 11 year old son named Graham. She also has a cockapoo named Penny. When Masterson isn’t working in clinical psychology or teaching at JCU, she can be found working out and spending time with her family.

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About the Contributor
Amelia Marlow, Campus Culture Beat Reporter
Amelia Marlow is a beat reporter for the Campus and World sections of The Carroll News. She is from Madison, OH and a Junior at John Carroll University majoring in Communications (concentrating in Integrated Marketing) and double minoring in Leadership Development and Psychology. Amelia has been a member of The Carroll News staff since the start of her third year of college. In addition to writing for The Carroll News, Amelia plays the clarinet in four musical ensembles at John Carroll: Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band and a chamber group that performs at Sunday night mass. She is the President of the Pep Band and a member of the Improv Club. Amelia is also a librarian for JCU’s Department of Liturgical Music and Musical Arts and a Peer Learning Facilitator for the Communications major. Amelia will be a marketing intern for JCU’s Academic Success Center in the spring of 2024. When Amelia isn’t busy at John Carroll, she can be found sleeping, watching funny videos and game shows, coloring, completing jigsaw puzzles and spending time with friends and family. In the future, Amelia hopes to attend graduate school and is interested in pursuing a career somewhere in advertising, public relations or journalism. To contact Amelia, email her at [email protected].

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