May 27, 2024
Susan Baraczay

As a mother of three young daughters, Susan Baraczay was initially worried about the prospect of attending classes to pursue her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Having recently moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan, she found solace in the warm reception from both peers and professors, easing her concerns. 

“For a week leading up to my first class, I found it difficult to sleep as I worried about how the teachers would behave and whether I would receive the support I needed,” she said. “Stepping into my first two classes, I soon discovered that I was not alone in my journey. Faculty members and fellow students alike extended their encouragement and assistance, alleviating my initial apprehensions.” 

According to her professors, Baraczay was a dedicated student, completing assignments on time and contributing to the classroom environment. Her enthusiasm resonated with many, including Sergei Samborsky, a psychology lecturer. 

“She showed exceptional leadership in her research team and helped many students from other teams,” Samborsky said. “Susan became a true inspiration for the entire class.” 

Baraczay acknowledged the University community for creating a strong sense of community and embracing diversity, which not only made her feel at ease but also opened doors for career advancement. Her time at Stan State inspired her to pursue a profession dedicated to supporting children with autism. 

“I aspire to pursue a career in special education or applied behavior analysis,” Baraczay said. “I will focus specifically on supporting and advocating for children with autism, I believe that every child deserves access to quality education, and I aim to become an advocate for neurodiversity in education to empower children with autism to reach their full potential.” 

Baraczay intends to stay within the Stanislaus County community, where she aims to serve, support and assist local youth and residents. 

“I plan to collaborate with local organizations, schools and healthcare providers to develop and implement inclusive support services for individuals with autism. By advocating for greater awareness, I seek to create a more inclusive environment where individuals with autism can thrive and contribute meaningfully to our community.” 

#StanGrad File


Susan Baraczay 




Bachelor of Science in Psychology 

What memories stand out most from your time at Stanislaus State?

“One of the most memorable aspects of my time at Stanislaus State revolves around the transition into my first classes. As a mother of three beautiful girls, I juggled the responsibilities of family life alongside my academic pursuits. Initially, the prospect of attending classes filled me with stress and anxiety. I gradually realized that Stanislaus State fostered a welcoming and supportive environment for all its members. Over time, as I immersed myself in the vibrant academic atmosphere of Stanislaus State, my stress dissipated.

“Reflecting on my time at Stanislaus State, these memories stand out as a testament to the resilience and camaraderie that define the University experience. It was here that I not only pursued my academic aspirations, but also found a supportive community that enabled me to thrive personally and professionally.” 

Which faculty or staff member had the greatest impact on you, and why?

“I cannot single out just one faculty member; all psychology faculty members at Stanislaus State had a profound impact on me during my time there. They not only demonstrated exceptional expertise in their field but also displayed genuine care and dedication towards their students’ success. 

“Their passion for teaching was palpable in every lecture, and they consistently encouraged us to push our boundaries and strive for excellence. They took the time to mentor me, offering valuable guidance and insights that extended beyond the classroom. Their encouragement and belief in my abilities bolstered my confidence and motivated me to pursue my goals relentlessly.” 

What advice would you give to current and future students?

“By participating in campus activities, joining clubs and organizations and engaging in community service initiatives, students can enhance their college experience and develop a sense of belonging. The University celebrates diversity and inclusivity, providing opportunities for students to interact with individuals from various backgrounds and cultures, enriching their education and broadening their worldview. Students are encouraged to explore their passions, prioritize their well-being, and stay connected with the community, laying the foundation for success in college and beyond.” 

Note: This article is part of the StanGrad series highlighting Stanislaus State students who are part of the Class of 2024. Read more StanGrad profiles.