A moment of transformation in the life of Natalie (Linda) Richman Winters ’59, Ed.D., occurred on the campus of SUNY Oswego.
“I had a learning disability, in a time when no one knew what a learning disability was,” Winters said. “As a result, I was average-to- low in performance in academics in high school. I had decided that I needed to drop out and figure out what to do with my life.”
It was a counselor at Christopher Columbus High School in The Bronx, N.Y., who convinced Winters she should attend SUNY Oswego.
Her parents couldn’t make the trip to bring her to college, so she caught a ride with the father of the assigned roommate she was meeting for the first time, and arrived on campus with suitcase in hand.
“I was astonished by this gorgeous place on the lake,” she said. “I really started to think, ‘who am I capable of being?’”
Winters now answers her own question with a list of accomplishments that include school counselor, private practice psychologist, lecturer, composer, artist and playwright. Following her years at SUNY Oswego, she went on to earn a doctorate in psychology from Rutgers University, opened a private practice and became a national and international consultant and trainer of psychodrama for universities ranging from Princeton to Oxford.
Winters, who lives in Cary, N.C., has been a featured guest on numerous radio and television programs, and hosted her own cable program, “Psychology in Action” in Princeton, N.J., for years.
She has received numerous awards for her work, including the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama Lifetime Achievement Award.
Today, Winters still runs a weekly training group for psychodrama and is instrumental in a grief retreat program for adolescents. She spends time with her family, paints and writes. She has co-written a play with her husband, Al.
“We named our play Pitfalls and Promises, and the title captures how easily I could have fallen into a pitfall,” Winters said. “But Oswego promised me I could be something, if I put myself to it. Oswego convinced me I could. So I did. My high school counselor’s insistence that I go to college at Oswego ended up being the best thing anyone could have done for me.”