1. What are you doing now?
I am a graduate student at UTM and am pursuing my Master of Education degree with a concentration of Community Counseling (M.S. Ed). In order to be eligible for licensure, it is required to take 60 hours of counseling classes so that is what I am doing now. It is also a requirement to do 600 hours of an internship at a mental health facility. I am going to do my internship at a hospice facility, in which I will be doing a lot of grief counseling. Upon graduating (December 2011), I will continue my goal of becoming a licensed professional counselor. I would like to work with the geriatric population and their families. I also have a passion for individuals who have Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia and their caregivers.
2. How did UTM Psychology Program help you achieve what you have become?
I kind of always knew that I wanted to work in the counseling field as well as with older people, but Dr. Buckelew provided me a chance to shadow her work as a Clinical Psychologist at Cane Creek. After that experience I became 100% certain that I wanted to work with older adults and the geriatric population.
Dr. Michelle Merwin was an amazing teacher. I learned so much from taking her classes as well as just discussing with her my future plans. She let me know that whatever I decided to do, I had the ability and the desire to do it. She was the one person that I felt comfortable with talking about what I wanted to do after college. She not only became my favorite professor, but she also became a good advisor and friend.
3. What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming UTM psychology majors?
Get to know your professors! You never know which professor will inspire and encourage you to do great things in your life after college. Not only are they a benefit for you in helping you get into graduate school, but they have so much experience and advice for you that will enable you to succeed in whatever you choose to do.
I would also advise others to get as much experience as you can. It does not matter if it is paid or volunteer work, but get your foot in the door. I would have been much better off if I had done more of that.