Klover Phillips ’24 Combines Passion for Psychology and Criminal Justice at Iona University

Phillips is advancing personal and professional goals for a well-rounded Iona experience

Student Success

Iona University professors are deeply committed to enriching the lives of their students, which is evident in the Iona story of Klover Phillips ’24. 

They first declared their major in psychology, but shortly after taking a course with Dr. Paul O’Connell decided to study criminal justice, too.

Now in their senior year, Phillips is passionate about seeking to understand and help others in their professional life, and their Iona experience is helping them reach those goals. 

“Dr. O’Connell really sparked my interest in the subject,” said the Bronx native. “Dr. O’Connell is by far my favorite professor because of his personal passion and dedication to his work, family and faith in me.” 

Phillips is also gaining hands-on experience at LacherLaw—an opportunity they gained through an Iona alumna—and deepening their aspirations to one day become a lawyer. 

A holistic college experience is also important for Phillips to advance personal goals outside the classroom. 

Through their involvement on campus as a resident assistant, member of the BSU Dance Club, Fashion Club and W.I.S.E. (West Indian Student Establishment), Phillips has formed strong friendships that will last a lifetime. 

“The tight-knit community made it easier for me to come out of my shell,” they said. 

We talked recently with Phillips to learn more about their Iona journey. Please enjoy!

Name: Klover Phillips
Graduation Year: 2024
Majors: Psychology, Criminal Justice 
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: The Bronx
High School: Cardinal Spellman High School

Why did you decide to attend Iona?
The small campus made it easier for me to get to know people and make friends. The tight-knit community made it easier for me to come out of my shell. The excitement before sporting events also made me feel compelled to come here and support.

What interests you most about your chosen course of study?
I’ve always been passionate about seeking to understand and help people. My first major is Psychology, which helps me to understand various reasons for one’s behaviors and intentions. My second major is criminal justice which wasn’t my original plan, but my first criminal justice professor Dr. Paul O’Connell really sparked my interest in the subject. His influence, personal experiences in the criminal justice industry and my passion for helping others all inspired me to declare criminal justice as my major. Sociology came later but, it was also very impactful on my studies. Sociology gives more of an environmental and individualized approach to why people behave in the ways they do.

Have you interned anywhere? 
I’m currently interning at LacherLaw in New Rochelle. I credit an Iona alumna, Chloe Quinn Sotomayor, for the opportunity to intern there since she did so herself. I enjoy how kind, patient, and understanding my boss is.

Tell us about your plans for the future. In what ways has Iona prepared you for the next step you will be taking?
I’m hoping to become a criminal psychologist or lawyer in the future. Iona has prepared me for the next step by introducing me to key concepts and ideas all while making it even more interesting for me to pursue.

Is there a faculty or staff member who has made a positive impact on your future that you would like to mention?
My fellow RAs have made a positive impact on me. Since becoming a resident assistant, they have taught me the value of teamwork. Despite joining residential life later in the year, I feel right at home with them. 

In terms of faculty members, Dr. O’Connell is by far my favorite professor because of his personal passion and dedication to his work and family and faith in me to continue to be great.

What clubs, organizations or service projects are you involved with beyond the classroom?
I am a member of BSU, W.I.S.E, Fashion Club and a Resident Assistant.