Community College Ph.D. – Richard Delmonico, ’77

Richard Delmonico, PhD

Dr. Richard Delmonico is a clinical neuro psychologist in northern California. He specializes in working with people with neurological disorders such as traumatic brain injuries. He’s proud of what he’s accomplished and equally proud of where he came from. “I often tell people I’m one of the few people you’ll ever meet with a doctoral degree who started at a community college.”

Delmonico grew up in Central New York and attended Liverpool High School where he admits he was a high average student who, “got lost in the middle of students who needed a lot of help and students at the very top.” When he graduated in 1975 he knew he wanted to go to college but didn’t know what he wanted to do.

Delmonico made the decision to come to OCC, and he knew right away it was the right choice. “When I graduated from high school I’m not sure I was ready for a four-year college. OCC gave me the opportunity to start taking college level courses, explore career possibilities and majors. My instructors were very interested in me and the other students. They were focused on building our confidence and abilities. It played a huge role in my development.”

Delmonico credits one person in particular with playing a critical role in his life: Father John Wagner, who was head of the Counseling Department at OCC. “He was so helpful to me. I owe him a lot. He helped me decide on a major, helped me begin looking at careers and helped me complete my applications for bachelor’s degree programs.”

Delmonico graduated from OCC in 1977 with a degree in humanities. The winter before he graduated was particularly harsh, and it drove him to apply to colleges in warm climates. One of those was the University of California, Davis, which is about 70 miles north of San Francisco. Delmonico was accepted and made the decision to go there sight unseen. Before attending UC Davis he had never been west of the Mississippi River.

Delmonico earned a degree in psychology from UC Davis, a master’s in clinical psychology from Connecticut College and a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri. Today he is chief of neuropsychology at the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, the regional lead for neuropsychology services for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and an associate clinical professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of California and the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Neurological Society.

Despite the years that have passed since his time at OCC and his numerous professional achievements, Delmonico remains appreciative of his time here and its impact on what he has become. “OCC started me on the path to my career. It helped me gain confidence in my academic abilities. I’m not sure I would have had the opportunities I had in life if not for OCC.”