Recent Posts

Dr. Susan Powell

Posted on January 09,2014 by rio32013

Hey blog readers! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while, the end of the semester was super busy! I’ll be adding a few of the blogs I’ve been working on over the break, but I’ll start first with a couple of interviews I did in the last month or two. First is the interview I had with one of MSPP’s most celebrated professors, Susan Powell, PhD, with whom I took Diversity and Difference this last semester.

So let's start early. What made you decide to pursue your PhD in Counseling Psychology?

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Independent Coffee Houses

Posted on November 15,2013 by rio32013

I have a hard time studying at home. More often than not, I get to my room, put my backpack down, and fall into bed for a nap. Other times, I hear my roommates hanging out and have the dire urge to socialize to make up for all of the studying I do in the course of a week. To avoid this, I try to get work done at school. This is usually productive, but the problem there is that I know too many people around campus to stay focused on an assignment. Plus, if I consistently go to school for the sole purpose of writing a paper, the walk from the parking lot to our otherwise beautiful facilities begins to feel like the hobbit's ominous approach up to Mt. Doom.

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Posted on November 05,2013 by rio32013

I'm doing pretty well this semester. I've got solid grades in my classes, keeping up with my side work for my jobs, and learning a lot at my practicum sites. That being said, life as a grad school can be hectic. If a good GPA, working at a practicum, and keeping up with a job on top of everything are all priorities, things can be REALLY hectic. MSPP stresses self-care in orientation, and in weekly practice when I'm in school. Taking care of yourself is instrumental if you want to succeed in a high-stress environment, but often doing so is much easier said than done.

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Jail Guitar Doors

Posted on October 29,2013 by rio32013

This weekend, I had the opportunity to travel back to my alma mater, Georgetown, to do research on musical rehabilitation of prison inmates. Along with having an amazing time and seeing friends and colleagues, I went to a symposium and master class on social justice and the performing arts. The event was geared toward film and music’s application in the prison system. As a musician and student in the forensic program, this might just be the coolest subject I can think of.

Wayne Kramer

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Comin' Home (sorta)

Posted on October 24,2013 by rio32013

One of the best things about living in a city like Boston is the ease with which you can go to other major cities on the East Coast. I’m going to be taking advantage of this a bit this semester. I’m finalizing my plans to spend Thanksgiving in New York, and this weekend, I am going on a trip to Washington, DC to do research on musical therapy of prison inmates (how cool is that???). I love Texas, but realistically, making trips to other cities is pretty difficult back home. Drives from Austin to El Paso regularly take about eight hours - if you drive fast and don’t take breaks - and going to Dallas or Houston takes even longer.

Getting to New York from here is considerably easier. Thanksgiving is going to be exciting for me because I have never been to New York City. I have friends who have convincing me to check out the big city since I moved to DC for college. It’s also really accessible by driving or via train or bus from Boston (you can find tickets for five bucks between the two cities!). DC is only… ok, so DC isn’t that close to Boston. But it’s definitely easier to get there from Boston than from Texas (hence, why this is my first return to the hilltop since graduating two years ago). I’m going to be taking the train this time around, but I did consider driving.

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Why Dogs are Awesome (and why we should be more like them)

Posted on October 19,2013 by rio32013

I am a dog person. I am so much of a dog person that I can’t even understand why anyone wouldn’t be. Most importantly, I think that dogs have a lot to teach us about how to be better humans. But for those of you who still need convincing, I have come up with a small assortment of reasons to bring you over to the “bark” side (I should mention that I love terrible puns).

Dogs have great perspective

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Gimme Shelter

Posted on October 15,2013 by rio32013

Wednesday, I started my practicum with the Veteran’s Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill. VNOC is a non-profit organization which helps homeless veterans find housing and reintegrate back into society. Some of the veterans served have spent a large part of their lives in and out of shelters, while others are younger veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

The goals for the program are the same for both of these groups. First, VNOC provides them with a place to live at one of their centers (apartment-style rooms in houses) and reteach the veterans necessary to keep a house running smoothly (keeping their rooms/shared areas clean). Simultaneously, the program helps the veterans find tools and resources to find their own long-term housing. Most of the residents stay with VNOC for about one year before moving on to their own long-term housing. During the duration of the program, VNOC helps the veterans deal with physical and mental health issues through the VA. This is where I will be primarily helping out.

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Scary Decisions

Posted on October 10,2013 by rio32013

Big life decisions can be scary, especially when you make them on short notice. I moved up to Massachusetts from West Texas a little over a month ago, and – to be honest – I was completely terrified of the idea of the idea of moving 2,000 miles away from home when I found out that I was accepted at MSPP. If you had asked me what I expected to be doing in October 2013 just a few months ago, I probably would have told you that I’d be working in El Paso and “getting ready” for grad school in 2014.

Thanks to MSPP’s rolling admissions, I had the opportunity to apply to a school late into the summer and was accepted into an excellent program that is already changing my life. The MSPP faculty is simply amazing, and my advisor has constantly been available to help in this process. In the span of a week, I was able to take care of everything from admissions, to registration, to financial aid, all without ever feeling like anything was out of my reach. Part of me still doesn’t understand how everything got taken care of, but it did. Now I’m doing well in my classes, and nothing about what I’m doing feels “scary,” or even intimidating.

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From Austin to Boston

Posted on October 06,2013 by rio32013

Howdy ya’ll!

I’m Bobby from El Paso, Texas. I am a first year student in MSPP’s Forensic and Counseling program, and absolutely love the school and what it stands for. A quick summary of me: born and raised in Texas, I played music all through high school and ended up going to Georgetown University for my undergraduate studies. I double majored in Music and Psychology while at Georgetown, then moved to Austin for two years. While there, I managed a restaurant and played in a garage band. After two years of not becoming a rock star, I had the opportunity to hang out with my infant godson in Nebraska for a couple of months and realized that it was time that I applied for graduate school and started working towards a career in my field of study, which is how I ended up at MSPP (more on that in my next post).

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