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2017 graduate profile: Brian Kooyman Ph.D. '17

  • Counselor educator:
    Counselor educator:  Brian Kooyman is graduating with his Ph.D. in counselor education.  
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In his time at William & Mary, Brian Kooyman’s impact has been felt in nearly every corner of the School of Education. With leadership positions within the New Horizons Family Counseling Center and Project Empower, assistantships in the STEM Education Alliance and Center for Gifted Education, and collaborative research projects that crossed disciplines and engaged fellow students and faculty members alike, Kooyman has been a vibrant strand in the school’s community for the past three years.  

Prior to pursuing his doctorate in counselor education, Kooyman oversaw a mental health services program providing counseling to American expatriates in Moscow, Russsia. He chose William & Mary because it offered a small and committed faculty willing to mentor him in becoming a counselor educator. “This one-to-one mentoring has been critical to my success as a student and has helped me to become an active scholar and professional clinician,” said Kooyman.  

William & Mary’s reputation for rigorous scholarship and academic excellence was an attraction for Kooyman, but he admits it also provided the biggest challenge in completing his degree. “Intensive course-loads, service opportunities, faculty and student-driven research, and expectations for leadership push students to be their very best,” he said. “Personally, the most challenging part of this degree was that demand for excellence.”  

Victoria Foster, professor of counselor education, affirms that Kooyman has met and exceeded those high standards. “Brian exemplifies the best qualities of an emerging counselor educator,” she said. “With an established research agenda, exceptional teaching experience and comprehensive clinical skills, he will be a valuable asset to any counselor education program.”  

Each year at the School of Education's diploma ceremony, one doctoral student is selected for the Dean's Award for Excellence, which recognizes academic and professional excellence as well as outstanding citizenship. This year, Kooyman took home the honor.

When asked for a defining experience during his time at William & Mary, Kooyman points to his work with the New Horizons Family Counseling Center, which offers free counseling services to community families. “My service to the center has allowed me to act as a clinician in my local community,” he said. “That experience was more than professionally enriching, it was personally satisfying and gave my research and pedagogy a pointed focus.”  

Kooyman is considering both faculty positions and opportunities in community health organizations and clinics as his next step. “Whatever I choose, I hope to be a professional, ethical, and scholarly counselor educator dedicated to the growth of the counseling field and the improvement of mental health in my local community.”