Scholarship, service drives new Abington graduate

The drive to support people runs strong and deep within new Penn State graduate Quintara Tucker. So much so that she is packing up her life and heading for New Hampshire this fall to advance her skills through a master's program in adolescent and child developmental psychology.

Tucker's undergraduate scholarship and leadership left an enduring mark on Abington. Her senior thesis for the psychological and social sciences degree explored the emotional consequences of racial misidentification. And she earned placement in two distinguished honor societies: Abington's Civitas Victus Dictio and Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society.

Her accomplishments led Fran Sessa, associate professor of psychology at Abington, to sponsor Tucker's attendance at the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) conference this spring. The experience helped confirm her career choice, and she had the interact with experts and innovative research.

"EPA was enlightening and really made feel as though I could do this for the rest of my life," Tucker said. "I was presented with interesting, current research by scholars in the field."

Quintara interned as a social worker and works as a substitute teacher, but "great models at Abington" inspired her goal to teach at the university level.

Seth Williams

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams '89 and Quintara Tucker at the Civitas Victus Dictio Abington Honor Society dinner. 

Image: Regina Broscius

Tucker's innate desire to support others and create change led her to three service organizations on campus. She volunteered as a peer counselor for A Place To Talk, the president of at Abington, and the co-events coordinator of the Student Parent Association, although she isn't a mom.

"Being a mother, working, and being in school is a huge job, and it often reminds me that my worries are nothing compared to theirs so I show support in every area I can," she said. "Since the Student Parent Association and have similar goals, we often co-sponsored events and collaborated on community projects."

Tucker's effectiveness didn't escape the notice of the Student Government Association, which named her its outstanding organization president for leading DoSomething.

As Tucker prepares to leave her New Jersey home for graduate school at Southern New Hampshire University, she reflected on the last four years.

"I was the first person in my family to think about college, let alone apply, and attend for all four years," she said. "And finding a major that suits you and your dreams, and allows you to bond with such awesome, intelligent peers is perfect."

Read more about Quintara's undergraduate research experience at

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Last Updated May 14, 2015