Braxton Swanson (he/him/his) is a first-year doctoral student.

Where is your hometown?

I’m originally from a small town called Columbia, Mississippi, but lived in the neighboring town of Hattiesburg for several years before coming to Ball State.

Where did you obtain your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and what were your major(s)?

I received both my bachelor’s in psychology and my master’s in counseling psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

What first interested you in counseling psychology?

I think that it was my own experience with counseling in my younger years. I remember thinking “Wow. I’ve benefited and grown so much from this process. If I could pay it forward and do something similar for others in the future, what a gift that would be.”

Why did you choose Ball State?

The faculty members in our department are quite impressive. There’s an emphasis on diversity and social justice which resonates deeply with me. I felt that the faculty would serve as effective guiding lights for me in my academic journey and that the climate of the program would be comfortable, yet facilitative for professional growth.

What do you think of your experience at Ball State as a Doctoral student so far?

It’s been fabulous! It’s been busy for sure, but everyone has been so kind and warm that it’s made the adjustment smooth. I look forward to seeing what the next few years bring.

What are your research interests?

My primary interests include social justice, advocacy, intersectional identities and vocational issues related to diversity.

What are your future plans and career goals?

I have found that I adore teaching. I plan to work towards a career in academia to provide guidance for the next crop of psychologists and counselors. I also have an interest in using my research to influence policy.

What are a few of your favorite hobbies?

I love to go on drives with my husband and spend time with my family. Traveling is another passion of mine whenever the time is actually available!

What food could you not live without?

Lotus Biscoff cookies. Hands down. I’m very passionate about these. My husband has to hide them from me, or they will be gone before anyone can blink. Bonus points for Lotus Biscoff cookie butter! I should probably take a trip to the store after this…

What’s your favorite TV show currently?

Law and Order SVU. Always and forever.

What’s something about you that people would be surprised to know?

I have grapheme-color synesthesia.

How do you practice self-care?

Eating things that make me feel good, playing with my cat and spending time with loved ones.