School Psychology and Counselor Education
- 2021, William & Mary, Master of Education, Clinical Mental Health and Addictions Counseling
- 2003, James Madison University, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Sociology
What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
After I received my undergraduate degree from James Madison University, I spent 15 years working a variety of sales jobs. In 2017, I decided to change career paths and started working at a local nonprofit drug and alcohol recovery program. This experience made me realize that I wanted to continue on this path and pursue a degree in counseling.
As a student pursuing a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health and Addictions Counseling, why did you choose this field?
My motivation to work in the substance use counseling field stems from my own personal experiences and struggles. My desire is to help those dealing with these issues experience the freedom I have been able to find through sustained recovery.
What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
My immediate goal after graduation is to get the necessary hours to become licensed as a counselor and obtain my certification in substance use counseling. I hope to continue to work in an inpatient substance use treatment facility and work towards a supervisory position. My long-term career goal is to become a clinical or executive director at a treatment facility.
Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
William & Mary's history of academic and professional excellence is well-known. The School of Education's Counselor Education program is known throughout the state and country for producing leaders within the field. I was specifically attracted to William & Mary because of the master of education program in Clinical Mental Health and Addictions counseling. This specialization fits perfectly with my career aspirations. Because the faculty are leaders within the field, I knew the wisdom, insight and professional guidance I would gain from their experience and mentorship would be invaluable.
What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
I think the most influential experience I have had within my program has been the relationships I have built with my classmates and professors over the last few years. The experiential nature of the counselor education program fosters a camaraderie within the student body that is unlike any program I have been involved with. Student's willingness to be vulnerable within the classroom creates a place where both personal and professional growth flourishes.