Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Before coming to SPU, I realized that I wanted to work with war veterans after getting to know one of my co-workers who was a former Marine. Learning about his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affected his relationships motivated me to volunteer for Veterans Affairs and ultimately led me to pursue a career in psychology.
During my senior year in high school, I received a letter in the mail from SPU that prompted me to apply. But it wasn’t until the last minute that I actually did, without visiting campus. I was torn between a handful of schools, but in the end something told me that SPU was the right choice. God moved in my life, and, even though I didn’t know it at the time, there was definitely a bigger reason why I was supposed to attend SPU.
I was a little nervous about coming to SPU because of the fallout I’d had with my faith when I was in high school. I knew that faith was a large part of the community and I wasn’t sure I was going to fit in. After a few months, though, I realized I was free and even encouraged to explore what faith really meant to me. I learned that Christianity is much more than just attending church and also how I can apply my faith to my profession.
While attending SPU, I had the opportunity to be a part of the speech and debate team for three years. Additionally, I was a presenter for the department research conference for two years. Both of these experiences provided me with a wealth of knowledge and helped me cultivate multiple relationships.
After taking a number of psychology courses, I began to build some of my most important relationships with my professors. Dr. Kathleen Lustyk allowed me to be a research assistant and then later on a lab manager. Not only did those opportunities open many doors for me, but I knew that Dr. Lustyk cared for me personally as she encouraged me through my applications to graduate school. Other professors like Dr. Baine Craft upheld high expectations for me, which kept me accountable throughout my courses.
After I earn my master’s in social work, I’m considering joining the military to work at a hospital base in order to help veterans. The School of Psychology, Family, and Community provided me with invaluable experiences and relationships that continue to influence my decisions. I credit the faculty, staff, and my classmates for my past successes and my outlook toward future endeavors.