Marc Gironda '00


“Why do we like certain music over others? Why are some melodies so emotionally powerful and moving, such as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, that they are performed and beloved by virtually all people across all generations?”

Marc Gironda ’00 found his interest in becoming a psychologist through his love of music.

A graduate of the PsyD program in school-clinical psychology, Gironda, plays both the piano and trumpet, and is most fascinated by the universality of music, its timelessness, and presence in every culture.

He is also interested in musical perception.

“I enjoyed investigating how musicians versus non-musicians process music in the brain, as well as the similarities between music and language,” Gironda said. “Most aspects of how we perceive and understand music, both emotionally and cognitively, were interesting to me.”

As an undergraduate, he earned bachelor’s degrees in both music and psychology at Colgate University, but it was his coursework in applied psychology that led him to Pace’s APA-accredited PsyD program on the New York City campus.

Today, Gironda credits Pace with not only providing an academic curriculum that prepared him for his current work and practice, but also access to professors such as Richard Velayo, with whom he presented research at conferences sponsored by the American Psychological Society and Eastern Psychological Association.

His rigorous field placements were also a big part of the making of this dedicated professional.

Gironda worked as a school psychologist at the Pequannock Township School district in New Jersey, as well as with children and adults, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, at Hackensack University Medical Center and Morristown Memorial Hospital (now Morristown Medical Center).Although it was a challenge to balance the demands of graduate school with the expectations of fieldwork, it left him feeling confident about his abilities as a practicing psychologist.

“I felt there was an excellent balance between academic and real-world preparation through my Pace education,” Gironda said.

He currently works at Bartky HealthCare Center in Livingston, New Jersey, focusing on children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Recognized as a “Top Kids’ Doc” by NJ Family magazine, he sees patients with a range of issues, from anxiety and depression to adjustment after divorce and changing family situations, and has a special interest in working with individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

“The work can be hard, but it’s ultimately very meaningful when I can make a difference in an individual’s life,” Gironda said.