Meet some of our current students!
Hometown: Tampa, FL
I chose the Counseling Psychology program at WVU because I want to enhance my competency
in working with clients in a therapeutic setting and continue developing my skills
as a researcher. The Counseling Psychology program at WVU does a great job at integrating
hands-on training and research. In addition, my interview for this program allowed
me to see how welcoming faculty and students are in this program and I am excited
to begin the Counseling Psychology program at WVU this fall. My career goals
include counseling adults and children with anxiety disorders and eating disorders
in an outpatient setting, while establishing my own private practice. I would also
like to work with athletes suffering from eating disorders.My research interests
include: (1) Examining how the coach-athlete relationship affects various aspects
of an athlete’s life; (2) Examining how athletes and non-athletes may differ regarding
body image and weight-related attitudes/behaviors; and (3) Examining the interpersonal
and environmental factors that may be associated with unhealthy weight loss behaviors
in athletes and non-athletes.
Mary Burkhart Polk
Hometown: Hallowell, ME
I was first drawn to the Counseling Psychology program at WVU when I learned of the
flexibility given to students in regards to their research interests. I was excited
to learn that students are not required to "match" with a specific faculty member
and the program follows a cohort model. I also appreciated the first year in the
program being focused on course work and ensuring the cohort is ready to start
practicums. Upon meeting the faculty and students in the program, I immediately
felt welcomed. Everyone I met was prepared to help answer any questions I had and
provide any information they thought I may need. My career goals include running
my own private practice specializing in providing holistic care, as well as training
therapy dogs for use in the private practice and community. I also hope to create
outreach programs designed provide enriched learning experiences and counseling
to undeserved populations, specifically local schools. My current research interests
include the effects of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on levels of discrimination
and openness to diversity. I am also interested in the growing research on animal
assisted therapy. Specifically the use of therapy dogs with children diagnosed
with a learning disability.
Hometown: Parkersburg, WV
West Virginia University has always been home to me. I grew up singing the fight
song to my little brother (who is now an incoming freshman at WVU!) I knew this
program was right for me from the moment I met the students who were already admitted.
I found that the faculty, staff, and students honored my experience and welcomed
me on my journey to making a difference in West Virginia. Something that I
have learned about careers is that you are allowed to change them! Right now I
foresee myself working with the adolescent and young adult population of West Virginia.
I am extremely interested in college access and mental health issues concerning
collegiate students. Eventually I would love to be able to make a systemic difference
in the way universities approach and treat mental health concerns of their students. I
am currently interested in researching factors contributing to resiliency and success
in college for first generation college students in West Virginia.
Hometown: Suttons Bay, MI
I chose the counseling psychology program at WVU because of my experiences at interview day. Faculty, staff, and students welcomed applicants wholeheartedly and exemplified the supportive and friendly environment in our department. Students then went above and beyond to answer questions and to share their experiences in the program, making themselves available by phone and email in the weeks to follow. It was these early relationships that made me feel immediately connected to WVU. Another factor in my decision was the opportunity to live in Morgantown and join the WVU campus community. As an outdoor recreation enthusiast and avid sports fan, I have the opportunity to explore Wild and Wonderful West Virginia and sing Country Roads following a victory with 65,000 of my fellow Mountaineers. WVU is the perfect place for me to learn, and have fun doing it. My career goals include working as a staff psychologist at a university counselor center. I aspire to work with college students and student-athletes in the areas of psychological assessment and cognitive enhancement. My research interests include the psychometric quality of standardized measures of ADHD in adult populations. The aim of my dissertation is to validate an assessment of attentional functioning and to provide empirical support for a neurocognitive model of attention.
Hometown: Dublin, OH
I chose the counseling psychology program at West Virginia University for a variety of reasons. However, the program’s commitment to their students, and the importance the program places on the values of counseling psychology (e.g., strengths-based, developmental, and multicultural approaches) serve as major reasons for attending. Furthermore, the program offered a balanced approach to both research and practice. The curriculum and faculty have helped me to better understand myself, both personally, and as a future counseling psychologist. Finally, the program has also aided me in the development of my theoretical orientation as a therapist, which serves as an integral part of my career identity. My career goals include working as a supervising psychologist and executive director for a non-profit mental health services organization. My research interests include examining levels of hope, along with parent-child relationship quality, and their potential association with youth trauma symptom severity.
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
I had heard a lot of good things about the program from my advisor of my masters
program, (a WVU Counseling Psychology alum), and was encouraged to apply. After
meeting with the current students of the program, I found them to be welcoming
and helpful; especially during the interview process. They were open and honest
about the experiences and how they compared to their expectations before beginning
the program. Additionally, the faculty’s commitment to tailoring my time in the
program to fit my career and academic needs made choosing WVU one of the easiest
decisions I’ve made concerning my career. Ultimately, I would like to teach.
But before making my way to academia, I would like to work in a community-based
setting helping underserved populations. I also hope to use research to help inform
my practice and develop culturally appropriate modalities of treatment. I have
found that it was much easier for me to learn new information from professors who
were genuinely interested in the information they were teaching and had contributed
to the area in some fashion. I hope to use my passion to shift the negative views
of mental health often expressed by minorities while also inspiring future students. My
research interests include: the effects of racism, gender discrimination, anxiety
and stress management, cross-cultural psychology, intersections in identity, and
Hometown: Thomason, GA
I chose the WVU Counseling Psychology program because I felt the faculty provided the individual attention I desired. The program at WVU allows students to pursue their own interests and encourages students to think critically about issues facing the field of psychology. My goal immediately after internship is to work at a large university in the Southeast, enabling me to work with individuals who are at an important time in their development. Long term, I would like to join a private practice which will allow me have a diverse schedule through both assessment and therapy. My main research interest is non-pharmacological treatments for ADHD based on growing concerns surrounding stimulant abuse. I hope to continue this line of research after I graduate and incorporate it in my own practice as a professional.
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
I chose WVU because I felt the program would provide me with comprehensive training both inside and outside the classroom. I also appreciated the warm and welcoming atmosphere when I interviewed. Upon graduation, I would like to become a licensed psychologist in a college counseling center. I would also like to volunteer with the Red Cross to provide support for first responders during times of crisis. My research interests include Military psychology and college student counseling.
Hometown: Terra Haute, IN
I chose the Counseling Psychology program at WVU for many reasons. The program offered
training opportunities and experiences that aligned with my career goals. Additionally,
the students made me feel at home. The program had a collaborative, supportive
atmosphere, which was something that I valued when looking for a doctoral program.
My career goal is to work as a psychologist in a correctional setting. I also hope
to be involved in advocacy, and community outreach work during my career. My
research interests include correctional officer perceptions of offenders with
mental illness, the intersection of crime, poverty, and education, and dementia
Hometown: Uncasville, CT
I chose the Counseling Psychology program at WVU because of the cohort model. It
really fosters a community atmosphere and everyone, fellow students and faculty,
are incredibly supportive. My career goals are twofold. I would like to be
a clinician at a college counseling center and be an adjunct professor for a psychology
department as well. I am interested in researching collegiate athletes, psychological
resilience and have just recently developed an interest in career counseling and
Hometown: Tujunga, CA
One of the reasons I chose WVU's counseling psychology program was because of the
environment that was created throughout the application and interview process.
Being from California, I knew West Virginia was going to be a long way from home,
but the program was definitely worth applying for. At the interviews, the faculty
made me feel very comfortable, the students made me feel welcome, and the department
as a whole made me feel as if I belonged there. This sense of community hasn't
dissipated since I began the program in 2015, and the supportive environment continues
to foster growth, curiosity, and achievement in the students. After obtaining
my degree, I plan to be employed at a university counseling center providing individual
and group counseling to college students while also growing the outreach programming
for the clinical resources on campus. I have interest in opening a private practice
later in my career that focuses on a holistic sense of wellness, providing counseling
services, psychiatric services, physical therapy and massage, and alternative healing
programs. I am interested in researching the relationship between mindfulness
and self-compassion, specifically in regard to their effect on self-efficacy and
perceived competence in counseling psychology trainees. I am passionate about strength-based
models and enjoy incorporating mindfulness approaches in my clinical work.
Hometown: Annapolis, MD
I chose the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at WVU because of the warm and inviting atmosphere fostered by the faculty and students in the program. I was excited by the programs of research being conducted here and was impressed by the varied and unique practicum opportunities offered in this area including the ability to work with rural populations, children, adults, college students, and at hospitals, universities, community centers, and VAs. In addition, as an avid lover of the outdoors I was drawn by West Virginia's numerous offerings of outdoor pursuits such as hiking, skiing, whitewater rafting and paddling, and more. I hope to pursue a position conducting research and teaching at as a tenure-track faculty member at a university. I am also interested in pursuing a position at a college or university counseling center. My research interests include multiculturalism, diversity, social justice, and positive psychological principals such as post-traumatic growth and forgiveness.
Hometown: Poplar Bluff, MO
I chose the Counseling Psychology program at WVU because it presented the best opportunity
for me to not only broaden my education, but also expand into different settings
in which my skills and knowledge would be put to use. The program allowed myself
to further develop my practical experience and also encouraged the development
of my research skills to benefit the field and my future therapeutic practice.
My career goals include practicing in a general hospital for the treatment of presenting
pathology. Other career goals would be practicing the assessment of clients for
presenting clinical pathology under the the federal government. My research
interests currently include the contributing factors to drug relapse as well as
methods to prevent relapse by measuring self compassion and self efficacy.
Hometown: Falls Church, VA
Many factors informed my decision to attend West Virginia University for my Ph.D.
in Counseling Psychology. Location and finances were considerations, but what
truly solidified my choice was my experience on interview day. The department
seemed to create the optimal holding environment for the personal and professional
development of its students. As a current fourth year, I can say that I have
not been disappointed. I have felt the perfect balance of support and independence
within the program. But most importantly, I have received the necessary empowerment
to excel as a psychologist.
Hometown: Glenville, WV
I chose Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University because of their dedication
to researching provider competencies and curriculum development aimed at serving
the Veteran population. Although accreditation and reputability of the faculty
were key elements in my selection process, their focus on social justice and
multiculturalism were significant contributing factors for me attending school
in the mountain state. As a native West Virginian and Veteran of the United States
Marine Corps, the importance of culture among both populations are important
strengths and challenges for mental health providers, and West Virginia University
does an outstanding job of illuminating and addressing the needs of both. Finally,
the counseling psychology program's match rate with American Psychological Association
approved sites is impeccable in recent years, with many students matching within
Veteran Health Administration facilities. I sought a program that would train
me to become a culturally competent psychologist in my home state, that knew
what I needed, and ensured that I was as good a match for them as they were for
me, I found West Virginia University. My career goal is to become a staff psychologist
with the Department of Veteran Affairs. My research interest include moral injury
and combat trauma.