Nawar is a first-year BA-to-PhD student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.
Where is your hometown?
Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Where did you obtain your bachelor’s degrees, and what were your major(s)?
My bachelor’s was from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. My degree was a bachelor’s in psychology with a concentration in sociology. I got a master’s of science in Education in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
What first interested you in counseling psychology?
I became interested in counseling psychology when I started working with victims of domestic and sexual violence in Kuwait through a nonprofit organization I was managing. Through that I became a crisis manager and learned about the effects of one-on-one counseling. I decided to pursue counseling psychology so I could have a bigger and better impact on individuals in my community.
Why did you choose Ball State?
I chose Ball State because of the research that is being done in the department. More specifically, research being done by Dr. Hutchison and Dr. Gerstein. Out of all of the other programs, this department was the most inclusive and did not just preach social justice—they actually practiced it. The training here is 50/50 research to clinical work, and a lot of the other programs were mostly research. I wanted the training to be an effective practitioner.
What are your research interests?
My research interests include evidence-based and trauma-informed therapeutic methods that are culturally competent and sensitive in the Arab world, specifically for victims of gender-based violence.
What are your future plans and career goals?
I hope to continue with my social activism and advocacy work, but using counseling techniques and theories. I hope to practice as a therapist and I also want to work on research in Kuwait.
What is one lesson you have learned as a graduate student?
I’ve learned how to be more critical and inquisitive when reading articles. It is important not to believe everything you read just because someone else said it. Reading critically helps me explore my own values, challenges myself, and helps me challenge other researchers in the field.
What are a few of your favorite hobbies?
I really enjoy weight lifting, spinning, and working out. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and having a nice meal. I also enjoy painting.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I have had the privilege of being able to travel a lot, so I would say my next destination would probably be Brazil because I have not been to South America yet.
What is your favorite show to binge watch?
How do you practice self-care?
I take intentional breaks depending on my schedule—whether it is for ten minutes or ten days. I also do things that have nothing to do with my to-do list.