Joined USJ: 1994
The Power of Moral Development
Elly Vozzola feels at home at an institution that is committed to high ethical standards. The focus of her scholarship has been the psychology of moral development. While studying for her doctorate at Fordham University, she had the opportunity to work with a mentor who was the major collaborator of Lawrence Kohlberg – considered to be the father of moral development. Vozzola commented, “When you think about it, moral development runs through every major liberal arts discipline with their focus on all the nuanced complexities of deciding right from wrong … If I were to describe myself, I’d always say first that I am a teacher. Teacher, mother, reader, psychologist. USJ is a teaching-intensive university; students enjoy discussing real life ‘ripped from the headlines’ issues such as France making it illegal to wear a hijab in public. As a values-centered institution, USJ encourages students to carefully consider and articulate their assumptions on morality.”
A Passion for Mercy Values and Social Justice
USJ’s support of women and ethical values has always been of great significance to Vozzola: “I am not Catholic myself, but I love the Sisters of Mercy commitment to social justice – they truly walk the walk! Faculty are encouraged to integrate Mercy values and we take it seriously. Within the Psychology department, everyone is passionate about helping students grow, reflect, and reach a high bar of expectations.”
Inspired by Strength, Intellect and Dedication
If she could sit down and talk with anyone on today’s national scene, Vozzola would choose Hillary Rodham Clinton: “I think she is exactly the kind of woman we teach about who had to write a new narrative in a culture that really didn’t have a place for her. She’s strong, smart, and has made a difference.”
From Vozzola’s perspective, “I think people do have a moral obligation to make a difference in the world – that’s the core of it. I encourage people to feel that sense of empowerment.”
Ph.D., Fordham University
M.A., Fordham University
M.S., Winona State University
E-mail: [email protected]
The University of Saint Joseph, including the Gengras Center School and the School for Young Children, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. and the State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education. The University of Saint Joseph prohibits discrimination against any persons on account of their race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital status, national origin, ancestry, disability (including, but not limited to, intellectual disability, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability, or physical disability), genetic information, homelessness, prior conviction of a crime, or any other characteristic protected by law, in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and employment practices (unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification related to employment).
Inquiries concerning the University’s non-discrimination policies may be referred to Deborah Spencer, Human Resources director /Title IX coordinator, telephone 860.231.5390 or email [email protected], or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston Mass 02109, telephone 617.289.0111, TDD 800.877.8339, fax 617.289.0150, or email [email protected]. More information.