1. What are you doing now?
I graduated from UT Knoxville with MS in Counseling in December 2009. I am currently employed at Centerstone in Springfield and Gallatin, TN. My title is an outpatient therapist, and I work with clients that range in age from 5 years-old to late 60’s or early 70’s. My future career goals are to finish my licensure requirements (to become a licensed professional counselor) and work with children full-time using play therapy and behavioral techniques.
2. How did UTM’s Psy Prog help achieve what you have become?
Fieldwork with Dr. Buckelew- Dr. Buckelew allowed me to participate in fieldwork at Cane Creek Rehabilitative Center. Dr. Buckelew taught me how to properly assess a client’s mental status and complete depression scales. I was able to gain real life experience and learn how to deal with challenges such as clients who become hostile during assessments, family members that aren’t comfortable having family members evaluated, and emotionally unstable clients.
ABA with Dr. Brown- Dr. Brown’s ABA class was probably my favorite class within the psychology department. His class helped confirm that I wanted to work with children and provided me with a new perspective in how to clinically treat a child. The techniques that I learned from his class still apply today and have provided me with an advantage within the field.
Research class with Dr. Mackewn- Dr. Mackewn taught one of the toughest classes that I took within the psychology department at UTM. I was able to gain a new perspective on how to be objective rather than subjective through that class. I gained a better understanding and developed better writing skills because of that class… I just was not aware of it until I went to grad school. Everybody I mentioned above played a role in preparing me for grad school and my future career. I was a member of Psi Chi and psychology Club. I participated in fieldwork with Dr. Buckelew and assessed client’s mental status at Cane Creek Rehabilitative Center.
We used an assessment called the Cognistat, and I also used a depression scale designed for geriatric clients. I volunteered at Dr. Brown’s clinic and the preschool on campus using ABA techniques. I also participated in a research project that was overseen by Dr. Merwin. I was president of Psi Chi and one of the officers for psychology Club that helped to organize Brain Awareness Week. I did not participate in opportunities through the city of Martin, but I did intern for two summers with Youth Villages (which was recommended to me by Dr. Merwin). I worked in a girl’s group home for adolescent females that were in state’s custody.
3. What advice would you give students who are interested in becoming UTM psychology majors?
The psychologyh department at UTM is amazing! The biggest advantages at UTM are that the classes are smaller and you will get to know the professors better than a larger university. Most of the people that I went to grad school with did not have the research skills, the knowledge of the DSM IV-TR, or the writing skills that I acquired through UTM. The professors get to know you better and are better able to assist you with your career goals.