What is your hometown?
I am from St. Charles, Missouri.
When did you graduate with your masters and what program did you graduate from?
I graduated from the Counseling Psychology doctoral program in July of 2019.
What first got you interested in counseling?
I grew up in a family that really valued community service, so I engaged in it as an extracurricular activity in high school and college. I wanted to help others, so while I was in college, I studied psychology. I wanted to be a counselor, but didn’t really know what that meant so I joined a community service residence life program where we worked with students on social development. After college I took two years off and worked in a variety of helping positions, including a year in an adolescent residential substance abuse program and then a year in community support services. I recognized the importance of treating the whole person, and I wanted the skillset to go beyond case management, so I pursued counseling psychology in graduate school.
Why did you choose to study at Ball State?
I did my masters at Mizzou and was encouraged to do a doctoral program. I ended up at Ball state because of the program’s emphasis on health psychology. Counseling psychology as a profession values prevention, early intervention, and strengths, which fits well with health psychology.
Can you talk to me about your current position?
I work in primary care mental health integration at the Veterans Affairs (VA) in Indianapolis. Our emphasis is on early intervention and population health. I work with folks as hand-offs from primary care providers and triage to either help them with short-term treatment in healthcare or to help manage chronic health conditions or health related problems.
Do you have any advice for current counseling students?
My best advice is to stick with what your passionate about and be curious about other areas, because you don’t know where you are going to end up. You need the passion in order to keep going because graduate degrees are difficult, and if you get too focused on one thing you may miss something else that you might really love.
How do you engage in self-care?
I try to do self-care in a lot of ways. Regular exercise is really important to me. I enjoy spending time with friends and family members, and reading for both professional development and pleasure. Also, in the last year I have been watching Bob Ross reruns and painting.
What is your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?
I don’t do well with binge watching, but I like to have “Veep” on in the background.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Japan because of the combination of history, culture, and technology.