Victoria Shivy, Ph.D.

Dr. Vicky Shivy

Associate Professor
Counseling Psychology
800 W Franklin, rm 107
(804) 828-0294

Associate Professor (tenured)
Ph.D. (1994), University at Albany, State University of New York 

Dr. Shivy is accepting applications from prospective graduate students for the 2018-19 school year.

Doctoral Program Affiliations

Primary: Counseling Psychology
Secondary: Social Psychology

Research Interests

I study the role work plays in peoples' lives: how people decide on which career and educational paths they’ll pursue, and how individuals respond to a range of career-related events and experiences, with a particular focus on the socioemotional aspects of employment. I also help traditionally underserved populations (first-generation college students, underrepresented minority students, people from lower SES backgrounds and those who have spent time in prison) enter, adjust to and thrive in the workplace. Sometimes I find myself at the intersection of vocational and health psychology, as in exploring how trauma can impact career choice and adjustment.

With colleagues at Virginia Tech, we are running a series of four studies on the impact of the Greener Pastures program, a vocationally-oriented intervention that pairs inmates at a Virginia correctional center with rescued thoroughbred horses. The ten-year reincarceration rate for Greener Pastures grads is less than 5%, compared with about 68% nationally and around 25% in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The subspecialty of vocational psychology is assessment- and measurement-oriented. Hence, assessment activities figure prominently in my research, teaching and practice. Work and career issues, as well, blend nicely with approaches seen in social, clinical and developmental psychology. With regard to clinical practice, I am trained as a generalist; however, my (small) current practice centers on career-related concerns. Finally, I love to teach–especially when I am able to offer students service learning and community engagement opportunities. For years I’ve taken undergraduate and graduate students outdoors and into the wild: that is, the James River Park System in Richmond, “A Little Bit of Wilderness in the Heart of the City,” where we help community partners and JRPS staff to preserve and promote the natural environment.

Select Publications

Shivy, V. A., Guion, D. B., Green, B. A., & Wingate, J. A. (in press). INTUIT: A career decision-making intervention for female offenders in reentry. Journal of Career Development.
Toussaint, L., Worthington, E. L. Jr., Van Tongeren, D. R., Hook, J. N. Berry, J. W., Shivy, V. A., Miller, A. J., & Davis, D. E. (in press). Forgiveness working: Forgiveness, health, and productivity in the workplace. American Journal of Health Promotion.
Zanardelli, G., Shivy, V. A., Perrone‐McGovern, K. M. (2016). Predicting behavioral career commitment of college students with attachment and separation relationships. Journal of Employment Counseling, 53, 162-173.

Recent Courses

  • Career Development and Occupational Mental Health, graduate level
  • Careers in the Biomedical Sciences, graduate level (MCV campus)
  • Experimental Methods in Psychology, undergraduate level
  • Careers in Psychology, undergraduate level

Recent Grants

Affordable Course Content Award

Amount: $5,000
Source: Virginia Commonwealth University
Period: 8/2017 – 8/2018

Pixie's Pen Pals: A Program for Virginia's Inmates 

Amount: $20,000
Period: 7/2011 – 6/2012


  • National Research Service Award, National Institute of Mental Health, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Psychology, Division of Quantitative Methods

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