A first-gen La Salle graduate is realizing her educational dream at a doctoral program at Auburn 

March 12, 2024

Tatiana Guevara, ’22, is studying industrial-organizational psychology. 

Tatiana Guevara, ’22

Tatiana Guevara, ’22, always dreamed of contributing to others’ lives and careers in a big way.  

Her dream became a reality during a job shadowing opportunity organized by La Salle University in 2020. Being able to learn from a United Healthcare employee showed Guevara she’d be able to utilize her psychology studies in the workplace.  

“It really opened my eyes,” she said. 

Guevara has had to overcome a number of challenges to get to this point in her career path. 

“Tatiana Guevara is the center of this remarkable story. Though life has presented her with several challenges, financially and otherwise, she’s persevered through these challenges at every step,” Patrick T. Coyle, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.S., assistant professor of management and leadership said. “She is well on her way to doing amazing things in the field.” 

Guevara is now continuing her education at Auburn University in the industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology doctoral program. But it was at La Salle where her interest in I/O psychology began.   

The Long Island, N.Y., native was looking for a university that was in a major city and offered psychology. That, plus scholarship opportunities and the University’s inclusive makeup made La Salle check all the boxes.  

“I never felt out of place at La Salle,” she said.  

Choosing her major was easy as Guevara always wanted to make a difference in her community. 

As an undergraduate student, she received the opportunity to learn inside and outside of the classroom. She worked as an academic research assistant for Coyle and during that time and co-authored three international peer-reviewed conference presentations at the Society of I/O Psychology (SIOP). 

Guevara said she learned so much from La Salle’s faculty, who introduced her to the world of academic research.  

Following graduation, she began working as a research assistant, and later, research coordinator at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. Guevara gained more research experience studying geriatrics. She assisted with managing teams of nurses, research assistants, participants, and analyzing data and communications.  

Now, as a second-semester doctoral student at Auburn, she’s continuing to dive into research focusing on technostress and an individual’s psychological detachment from work alongside smaller projects including studies on eco stress and gig work.  

She said the community and resources at Auburn have helped her find the right place to continue her studies following her time at La Salle.  

As the first person in her family to attend a higher education institution, Guevara found the support at La Salle immensely beneficial, and she utilized every resource available. After graduating from Auburn, she hopes to work as a practitioner and consultant making positive changes in the workplace.  

“I always saw education as my way of dreaming big,” she said.  

—Meg Ryan