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Union Celebrates Black History Month

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To the Incredible Union Institute & University Community,

Throughout the month of February, in recognition of the nationwide celebration of Black History Month, Union Institute & University is offering a broad range of activities showcasing African Americans, many of them Union alumni. We urge you to take advantage of some of the activities ,and learn more about their insights, experience, and impact.

While some events are based here in at our Cincinnati headquarters, others are vignettes/videos available online from wherever and whenever you care to view them.

 

Friday, February 8, 6-8 PM:

Freedom Talks Lecture Series – “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Enslaved; The Underground Railroad in American History and Culture”

Presenter: Dr. Prince Brown, Professor Emeritus, NKU.

Dr. Brown is co-author of “The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the United States,” and is currently collecting data to create a database of enslaved persons who ran away between 1640 and 1862.
This presentation is the first in a series of four events co-sponsored with  ASALH, the Association for the Study of African
American Life and History.
Friday, February 15, Time TBA:

Kathryne Gardette: A Presentation on Adinkra Symbols in Art

Artistic, logistic,and civic renaissance woman, Kathryne Gardette, creates designs that incorporate adinkras, the Ghanaian philosophical writing symbols representing the philosophy and vision of everyday life.

By fusing folk art traditions from Ghana and America, she creates a cultural expression that is uniquely African American.

Friday, February 22, Time TBA:

Concert and Discussion of Clarence Rufus J. Rivers

Union alumnus, Clarence Rufus J. Rivers, Ph.D. 1978, was the first African American priest in Cincinnati, and is considered the father of Black Catholic liturgy and the dean of Black liturgists, combining Catholic worship with traditional African-American music.

He wrote several books on music and spirituality. His music was used at the first official American mass in English after the Second Vatican Council in 1963.

Additionally, you can visit our social media platforms (@myunionedu) and YouTube channel to take advantage of our video series Perspectives: Black History and the Union Community. Featured in the series are:

Cecil Thomas
Union alumnus (BS, Criminal Justice Management)
Ohio State Senator, 9th District, former member of Cincinnati City Council, past executive director of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, 27-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department
Jill P. Meyer
President & Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, with 4000 member businesses, with a commitment to model inclusion and regional thinking
Union alumnus (Ph.D., concentration in Peace Studies)
Director Emeritus , Peace and Justice Programs
Xavier University
Chaplain , Christian Life Communities in Cincinnati,
Coordinator of Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions, promoting peaceful and democratic solutions to world issues
 
Union Institute & University Trustee
Chief Marketing Officer , Champion Petfoods
Trustee/Advisory Council member for Women Helping Women, Hoxworth Blood Center, Mason City School District
Alumnus, BS in Organizational Leadership
Senior Director, Member Relations
Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber
Chief Executive Officer , Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber
Former Ohio State Senator , 9th District, Minority Leader
Founder and owner of Sesh Communications

Showcasing the talent and vision of so many people, many of whom are Union alumni, is part of Union’s legacy of transforming lives and communities. We encourage your engagement and your feedback. Get involved and be sure to visit our Facebook page and let us know how you are enjoying the events and offerings.

With warm regards,

Karen Schuster Webb, Ph.D.
President

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Union Leaders – Dr. Glenn Kendall

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Dr. Glenn Kendall
Founder and Executive Director of Youthaven Public Ecovillage, Inc.

Union Institute & University’s historical commitment to ethical and creative leadership and the insights gained over the past 50 years as a leader in adult learning is the inspiration for the monthly series, Union Leaders.

This month’s Union Leader is Dr. Glenn Kendall. Dr. Kendall founded Youthaven Public Ecovillage, Inc. based on his UI&U Ph.D. study, “Understanding effective models of group care: enhancing group home services for homeless, abused, and runaway children.” This new group care model is for residential and non-residential foster care, homeless, and vulnerable youths. The innovative model is a public ecovillage, which means that the organization will expand the traditional group home model to include an edible landscape, an organic urban farming-to-plate program, and renewable and sustainable energy systems. Another central feature is an entrepreneurial and job development program (a modest business incubator). The Youthaven Board wants to offer something new and exciting in the field of group home services to residential and non-residential foster care, homeless, and vulnerable youths. Learn how Dr. Kendall has used his leadership skills to help children in the Q & A below.

Q: How do you define leadership?
A: I define leadership as the ability to establish a meaningful and sustainable relationship (you can say a type of sacred contract) among staff, clients, and stakeholders. Staff must dynamically involve stakeholders so that both serve as the guardians of the mission benefiting children most in need. Many people may think of leading in front; however, followership demonstrates that effective leadership is a synergistic and accountable process dynamically involving leaders and followers. All stakeholders must harmoniously work together to achieve the vision of the organization that lifts the hopes among some of the most traumatized children in our society.

Q: When did you first feel that you were a leader? What was the experience?
A: 
My leadership journey began when I was working for the Job Corps Program in Brooklyn, New York. One day I went to the center director and explained that staff needed more time to effectuate the desired evaluation results of corps members, or at least slow down the rate to early termination from the Center. In my judgment, the center director approved the dismissals of far too many Job Corps members who needed safe bedding; job training, placement, and G.E.D.; and a secure program to learn to become responsible adults. I said to myself, if given a chance, I will provide future adolescents opportunities to become successful adults without the burden of unwarranted early terminations.

Q: Share an example of how you have put leadership in action.
A: Founding Youthaven Public Ecovillage, Inc. is an example of putting leadership into action. I want to use an evidence-based model to change the paradigm for group homes, which focuses on respecting clients, expanding their horizons through enriched programs, and connecting their lives to the importance about nature. Young people can learn how to live in an ecological type of program or community, and thereby grow to better care for each other, our immediate environment, and the residence of nature–trees, animals, etc. Although funding and money are clearly necessary, on the global and local scales, money is less important when compared to having clean water, clean air, and healthy produce, the required elements needed to sustain all life. One example to put this type of leadership in action is to incorporate the use of solar panels, greenhouses, and edible landscapes on all our sites. Furthermore, Cincinnati has one of the highest percentages of children in poverty in the nation and a large number of former foster care and homeless children in the Ohio prison system. Foster care and homeless adolescents are much more susceptible to be incarcerated than other adolescents living in the general population. We have to find better ways to help vulnerable youths; a public ecovillage may be one solution.

Q: What leader do you admire most and why?
A: 
There are many leaders that I admire. A partial list includes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandala, Michael Moore, and political commentator Rachel Maddow. However, it is difficult to pick only one. But four leaders rise to the top for me. They are:

  1. President Obama: The first African-American President who won two terms of office.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: He kept the union together and created a model for abolishing slavery.
  3. Shirley Anita Chisholm: The first African American woman elected to Congress (representing Brooklyn, New York) and to run for the President of the United States during the Democratic primary during the 1970’s.
  4. Katherine Coleman Gable Johnson: A NASA mathematician. She was directly responsible for the safe trajectory and return landing for astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She did it without the use of computers. Without the calculation this African-American genius and the Black women who worked for the NASA, the space program would have significantly been impeded.

Q: What is your favorite inspiring leadership quote?
A: 
The quote closest to my heart is one articulated by Martin Luther Kings, Jr., but the original author is no doubt Unitarian minister Theodore Parker addressing slavery in (and even outside) the United States during the 19th century: Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.


About Dr. Glenn Kendall

Glenn Kendall, Ph.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of Youthaven Public Ecovillage, Inc. His passion has always been to help children and teens who are most in need of safe and caring homes. Throughout his thirty-five years of public service, he only worked for three employers. The last two were the City of New York as its Head Start Contract Manager to ensure mandated compliance affecting services for 12,000 children, and ten years later with the National Park Services, which included working as the Residential Supervisor and Clinical Director of a Job Corps Program in Brooklyn New York for 225 young people.

Dr. Kendall attended four graduate schools. He qualified for a Master’s from Teachers College, Columbia University. Later, he earned three degrees: A Master’s in Humane Education from Cambridge College, a Master’s in Theological Studies from Drew University, and a Ph.D. from Union Institute & University. All of his studies were designed to improve the group home model for homeless, abused, and foster care youths. He was a nominee for the UI&U Marvin B. Sussman Doctoral Award.

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Union Institute & University and Ivy Tech Community College Announce New Transfer Agreement

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It’s Official. Union Institute & University and Ivy Tech Community College sign transfer agreement making it seamless to complete a bachelor’s degree at UI&U. Left to right, Dr. Nelson E. Soto, Union Provost, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Dr. Karen Schuster Webb, President, Union Institute & University, Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President, Ivy Tech Community College, Dr. Kara Monroe, Ivy Tech Provost.

Union Institute & University and Ivy Tech Community College have formed a partnership to provide a seamless and cost-effective pathway from an associate degree at Ivy Tech to a bachelor’s degree at UI&U.

“It is a privilege to join with Ivy Tech in serving communities across Indiana to provide a career pathway to a bachelor’s degree at UI&U and continue both of our goals to provide a world-class education to students,” said Dr. Karen Schuster Webb, President of Union Institute & University. Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President of Ivy Tech Community College, also welcomes the collaboration. “We empower our students to achieve their career goals. This is another opportunity to fulfill those aspirations.”

“Ivy Tech Community College graduates who transfer into UI&U undergraduate programs will receive a scholarship of $100 discount per credit hour for the first 30 credit hours of registration up to $3,000. Members of Phi Theta Kappa will receive an additional first semester $500 scholarship. UI&U offers all Title IV federal financial aid, State of Ohio grants for private university students as well as several university scholarships,” said Sonya M. Fultz, UI&U Director, Academic Partnerships and Innovation and former chair of the Southwestern Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) Articulation and Transfer Committee. “In addition, transfer students receive all UI&U academic services that include program advising, writing and math tutoring services, 100% online library, and career services.”

Fultz expands on Union’s commitment to meet students regardless of where they live and work.

“Transfer agreement partnerships are another example of Union’s commitment to meet students where they are in their educational career. UI&U is rapidly expanding its transfer partnerships with community colleges. New partnership agreements include Cuyahoga Community College, Southern State and other that will be signed in the next few weeks.”

Read more about UI&U’s articulation agreements with regionally accredited colleges and universities by clicking here.

What is the earnings potential between an associate and a bachelor degree?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says it best. “In terms of dollars, education makes sense. Median weekly earnings in 2017 for those with the highest levels of educational attainment—doctoral and professional degrees—were more than triple those with the lowest level, less than a high school diploma. And workers with at least a bachelor’s degree earned more than the $907 median weekly earnings for all workers.” (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Union is a nationwide university with academic centers in Florida, Ohio and California. UI&U serves a diverse population of students as an institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  The university is proud to have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS) with more than 25% of undergraduate students being Hispanic adult learners at UI&U.

Today is the day to start your career at Union. Click below to learn more.

Salute to Veterans – This veteran is pursuing a social work degree

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Veteran James Terrell
James Terrell

November is an opportune time to salute our veterans. Meet James Terrell, a student in the Union Social Work undergraduate program.  James chose to attend Union because of the flexibility of the classes and the Veterans in Union program. Learn more about James in the Q & A below.

QWhat do you plan to do with your degree?
A: I plan to continue my education with eventual employment with the Veterans Administration.

Q: What led you to this program?
A
:
I met a Union representative at a veteran’s job fair and I thought this is what I want to pursue.

Q: Why did you choose Union for your studies?
AThe online flexibility and veterans assistance with funding the classes made Union my choice.

Q: If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?
A: Go to college and choose your friends more wisely.

Q: Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?
A: I’ve had several teachers and military mentors who encouraged me to excel.

Union is proud to be a Yellow Ribbon university. We understand the unique needs of our veteran students and provide exceptional one-to-one guidance and various financial services just for you. Click below to learn more.

National Hispanic Heritage Month – Spotlight on Dr. Rand Oliver

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Dr. Rand Oliver

National Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportune time to shine the spotlight on Dr. Rand Oliver, National Dean of UI&U. His grandmother’s family hailed from Spain and he is proud of his Hispanic heritage. Rand’s great grandfather, Charles Francisco, was a lawyer and judge in Wisconsin. In addition to his duties at UI&U, Rand serves as Vice President of the Dayton, Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Union serves a more than 25% undergraduate Hispanic adult learner population and is the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division.

Q. What excites you about being a part of higher education?

A. I am a lifelong learner. I inherited the fervor for adult higher education by watching my parents complete their educations. My father graduated from university in 1987 with his BBA. A year later I received my MBA from the same school. My father was career military and my siblings and I watched him study his correspondence courses at night at the kitchen table when he was home. He was always taking classes. My mother was the same way. She went to work in the cafeteria after my youngest sister started elementary school. She was the “cafeteria lady”. She took classes and worked her way up to manager of a school and ultimately to food service director for a school district in Texas. She also taught her colleagues through an area college program. I had excellent role models that believe in higher education.

Q. What attracted you to become part of the Union family?

A. Our students come to us with passion to make change. Union teaches truth. Union’s message to educate adults is one I respect. I am also excited to be part of Union president Dr. Karen Schuster Webb’s vision to create new opportunities for students, faculty, staff, the communities we serve, and to seek new opportunities to serve throughout the world.

Q. What surprises people about you?

A. I am truly an introvert, while being seen as enthusiastic and action oriented. I re-charge my batteries through my reading, art, family activities, and home projects.

Q. If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

A. I am in the best job. I get to be around incredible people doing meaningful work changing lives for the good. How awesome is that?

Q. What is your favorite quote?

A. Fredrick Douglas said he wasn’t free until he could read. Education frees. I am also an admirer of Dr. Seuss, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Q. What is your favorite book, and why?

A. I am an avid reader, sometimes as many as five books in a week and couldn’t choose a favorite book. But I have an office full of good to great ones. Come by and borrow a book.

Explore the academic program that helps you move ahead in your career today!

A Special Hooding Ceremony

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It’s not every day that your mother hoods you for graduation, but that is what Gustav A. Otto will experience at national commencement on October 6, 2018 when Gus graduates with a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a major in Ethical & Creative Leadership. The Ph.D. candidate’s mother, Dr. Sharon E. Trekell, just happens to be a Union Ph.D. alumna.

Both were attracted to Union for its interdisciplinary program and commitment to social justice.

“Mom suggested that I look at Union because I was having little success in finding what I wanted in a graduate program,” said Gus, former professor of practice at National Defense University, Distinguished Chair for Defense Intelligence at Army University, and adjunct for the National Intelligence University. After retiring from the United States Air Force Reserves, in consultation with his wife, he knew it was time to pursue his Ph.D. “I was also impressed with the focus on social justice. I always say, I came to Union for the curriculum, but stayed for the culture of social justice.”

Gus’s mother, Dr. Trekell, a professor of psychology, and founder and director of Inner Well Institute, echoes that sentiment. “Gus and I share the quest to improve lives. I enjoyed the diversity and background of my committee. I also remember the deep and profound learning I experienced at Union.”
Sharon has been healing society for 50 years. Gus is just starting that path. “My journey is just beginning. I hope I can be a paradigm of healing through the understanding of diversity and equality,” said Gus. “I see my mom in that trail.”

Their advice to Union students is to follow their passion and don’t procrastinate. Get it done!

What will it be like for mother to watch her son graduate? “The thrill of a lifetime. I have always been incredibly proud of Gus as a son and a scholar. I don’t think I will be able to keep from crying.”

Gus says he will cry. “Commencement is a cry worthy event.”

Follow your passion towards lifelong learning!

2018 National Commencement Welcomes Dr. Cynthia Cherrey

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Union Institute & University National Commencement is Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Netherlands Plaza in downtown Cincinnati.

Graduating together is a son and mother, a married couple, a father hooding his son, and a mother hooding her son.

Union Ph.D. alumna Dr. Sharon E. Trekell will hood her son Gustav A. Otto and experience the joy of watching him follow her path with a Ph.D. “This is the thrill of a lifetime. I have always been incredibly proud of Gus as a son and a scholar. I don’t think I will be able to keep from crying.”

Married couple Antwan and Daniel McKenzie-Plez encouraged each other when the educational journey became stressful. “We found a strength and balance together that galvanized us forward,” said Daniel.

Dr. Cynthia Cherrey is the keynote. She is the president and CEO of the International Leadership Association (ILA), a global organization for people who practice, study and teach leadership. Her interests and research explore new ways to live, work, and lead in a knowledge-driven, interdependent world. Recently she participated in a podcast series for Voice America’s business channel on global leadership with Maureen Metcalf, host of Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations. A sought-after advisor, Cynthia serves on the editorial boards of Asian Women and the President’s Advisory Group at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a Fellow at the World Business Academy, a Royal Society of the Arts Fellow, a former senior fellow at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship.

Degrees will be bestowed in the following areas: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Doctor of Psychology with a major in Clinical Psychology.

Union is sought after by adults because of its adult delivery model: Specialized distance-learning programs that combine online and classroom coursework with high-touch faculty attention, designed for students regardless of where they live and work. Union also has a long history of serving diverse populations: Minorities (44 percent), women (55 percent), and an older, adult population (average age of 37) and interweaves social justice in its curriculum.

Find your new career path today!

Leadership Spotlight – At 64, James Blake McHenry Follows His Passion

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Blake McHenry

Spotlight: Leadership Spotlight on James Blake McHenry (B.S. Business Management 2012 and current student in the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling major.

Title/Profession: Professional coach and clinical counselor trainee

Union Institute & University’s historical commitment to ethical and creative leadership and the insights gained over the past 50 years as a leader in adult learning is the inspiration for the monthly series, Union Leaders.

This month James Blake McHenry shares his leadership insights. Blake is a Union alumni and current student who says he started his career backward. After 30 plus years in corporate America as a sales and human resources executive, he decided at the age of 55 that he wanted to be a life coach and counselor. He came back to Union and enrolled in the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling major. He is now in his internship phase and graduates in the spring of 2019 at the age of 64. This spotlight completes our focus on the passion and purpose of the students and faculty in Union’s CMHC and Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling – Graduate Certificate programs for National Recovery Month.

Q. How do you define leadership?

A. Leadership is the ability to lead teams to develop results. You know you are doing a good job when the team members model the leader’s behavior. That development differentiates a leader.

Q. Share an example of how you’ve put leadership in action.

A. I always looked for the potential in others, almost before they could see potential in themselves. I wanted to know the aspirations of the people who worked for me. Many times, I gave the chance for new opportunities to people who were not deemed manager material and I watched them flourish.

Q. What leader do you admire most and why?

A. I admire many leaders. In my professional life, I admire Mark King, former CEO at TaylorMade Golf Company. Mark is a remarkable person and leader who told us to enjoy the tough days as well as the bad days because there is always opportunity.

On a global scale, I admire Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi.

Q. What is your favorite inspiring leadership quote?

A. My personal mantra is to make meaningful contributions daily.

Q. When did you first feel that you were a leader? What was the experience?

A. When I was head of sales, I had a series of moments when I realized this is a tough job. There is so much complexity in the job. I thought WOW. Yet, I knew I could do the job.

Combine your passion and purpose to help others.

National Hispanic Heritage Month – Spotlight on Ana Elisa Baratta

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Dr. Ana Baratta

Spotlight: Dr. Ana Elisa Baratta

Title/Profession: Learning Specialist Coordinator Rinella Learning Center’s Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program at Miami University and student in the Union M.A. with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC).

Union is proud to serve a more than 25% undergraduate Hispanic adult learner population and to be the only university in Ohio designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division.

This celebration is an opportune time to shine the spotlight on Dr. Ana Elisa Baratta. Ana is a native of El Salvador and a licensed psychologist in El Salvador. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology with a minor in Counseling from Indiana University in 2003 and 2012 respectively.

Ana is enrolled at Union to follow her dream to help individuals recover and sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders? Find out more in the Q&A below.

Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?

A. My degree will allow me to reach three goals. 1. To work in the Latino community counseling in Spanish. 2. Create mental health awareness programs for schools and other entities. 3. Work in private practice.

Q. What led you to this program?

A. I was led to this program because of Union’s commitment to social justice. Every course includes a social justice component. Also, the personalized study that Union offers can’t be matched.

Q. Why did you choose Union for your studies?

A. Union has been a godsend. I am a wife, mother, and fulltime employee. Only Union respected my many commitments and understood I had to have flexibility with my courses.

Q. If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?

A. Don’t worry about what other people think.

Q. Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

A. My parents never went to college but they instilled in me the importance of education. They supported all of my dreams. My husband has always been very supportive and understanding.

If you have a deep desire to help individuals recover and sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders, enroll today in the M.A. with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and/or Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling – Graduate Certificate Program.

A Life of Purpose

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Amy Stenger-Sullivan

Spotlight: Union Alumna Amy Stenger-Sullivan M.A., L.P.C.

Title/Profession: Affiliated Faculty, Union Institute & University, Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice at Restoring Hope Counseling and Coaching, Inc.

Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Amy Stenger-Sullivan is living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment through her commitment to help individuals recover and sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. September is also National Recovery Month and offers the opportunity to highlight the passion and purpose of the students, alumni and faculty in the M.A. with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling – Graduate Certificate.

Learn why Amy says her job fills her heart in the Q & A below.

Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

A. Earning my master’s degree at this stage of my life while working full time in a job, which required travel, was a big feat for me! I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Professionally, I am grateful to be working at a job that fills my heart and contributes to the well-being of others. My advisor and professors at Union supported and encouraged me, which has led to an increase in my confidence. I am forever grateful for that.

Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

A. I admire the commitment of my professors and Union’s support of the nontraditional learner.

Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

A. Take advantage of everything Union has to offer. Union gathers wonderful people together, both educators and learners, to advance all.

Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

A. I am grateful I get to live what I feel is my life’s purpose: to listen to another with deep compassion. This seems to open up a space for them to begin their healing journey in earnest. I’m glad I listened to that little nudge to make a career shift in the half time of my life.

Q. What is your passion away from work?

A. Spending time with my family, kayaking, cooking and reading.

Today is the day to discover a career as a professional counselor. A Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is within your reach.