Meet Our Students

 

Graduating Class of 2022

Kinsey Baughman

 

 Kinsey Baughman

Hello, my name is Kinsey Baughman, and I'm from Summerville, SC. I  went to Clemson University where I received my B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology. After my undergrad degree I worked in a group home of the rehabilitation of juvenile sex offenders for a little under a year. I have always been interested in the field of Psychology. I chose Valdosta State to continue my studies because of their appreciation for diversity, as well as their focus on hands on learning in the clinic. Upon completion of this program, I hope to become a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and maybe pursue a Ph.D.

Brown_Derrielle Derrielle Brown

Greetings! My name iDerrielle Monet’ BrownIwas born in Tallahassee, Florida, and raised in south Georgia. obtainedmy bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Spanishfrom Georgia Southern University in May 2019. It was while attending GSU that I realized my career's work consists of becoming a collegiate level educator and researcher, as well as an agent for change and relational freedom within underserved communities. After researching the various educational paths that would be most beneficial to my goalssettled on the MFT program. fell in love with the program’s emphasis on diversity, their relational/systemic theoretical orientation, as well as the opportunities the MFT staff provides for hands-on-training. This degree will not only yield me greater understandingexperience, and a licensure in the therapy professioniwill also prepare me for my doctoral studies.

Carrington_Amber Amber Carrington

Hello, My name Amber Carrington. I am originally from Loganville Georgia, and I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Valdosta State University. I always knew growing up that I wanted to help people in some way for my career. I decided in high school I wanted to pursue a career in psychology. While earning my undergraduate degree, I researched different career paths that interested me. I was very intrigued by Marriage and Family Therapy. My senior year of my undergraduate degree, I got accepted to complete an internship at the Marriage and Family Therapy program here at VSU. I was blown away by the welcoming environment, the hands-on clinical opportunities, and the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge in therapeutic ideals, and how to apply them to my career. I hope one day to open my private practice and to work with children and families. I cannot wait for the opportunity to learn and grow in this Marriage and Family Ththerapy program.   

Clark_Meylon Meylon Clark

Greetings, my name is Meylon Tillman Clark, and I am from Columbus, GA. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Columbus State University (CSU). I first learned of the VSU MFT program through one of my psychology professors who also provided information about the program. I got excited and applied to become a Summer intern. The internship program allowed me the opportunity to interact with members of a consultation team. This collaboration between therapists, on behalf of their clients, made the program even more attractive. I am thrilled the VSU MFT program was my first choice and I am proud to be one of its students.

Dasher_Taylor Taylor Dasher

Peace and blessings! My name is Taylor Dasher and I graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a minor in African American Studies in May of 2020. I was born and raised in Valdosta, Georgia, so I am pretty much familiar with this area. I picked the Marriage and Family Therapy program because I want to simply help people. By doing this, I want to help improve the communication barriers that may cause conflicts and frictions within the family unit. This method may help lead to a more positive and better functioning family environment. To achieve this goal, I will not only focus on the individual but also focus on the causes surrounding the issue. My ultimate goal is to obtain my license and eventually start my own private practice.

Evans_Asia Asia Evans

Hello, my name is Asia Evans, I am from Bronx, New York and I graduated from Valdosta State University in 2019 with a Bachelor in Sociology & Anthropology. VSU’s MFT program interested me because I knew I wanted to become a therapist and it was closer to home than other universities. I noticed how friendly and open the students as well as the professors are about us getting to know each other in case we ever need help. I’ve always felt the need to help people and that is why I have stuck in the customer service and human service fields. I am excited for what the VSU MFT Program has planned for me and I can’t wait to delve into therapy. 

Golden_Jasmine Jasmine Golden

Hello everyone, my name is Jasmine Golden! I am from Columbus, GA, and I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in African American Studies from Valdosta State University in May 2020. I interned for VSU’s MFT Program during my senior year since I knew I wanted to be a therapist. When I interned, I saw how friendly all the faculty is and how much hands-on experience you got as a MFT student. I researched other schools and programs, and VSU’s stood out the most to me. I have a passion for helping others, especially children. I know this program will enhance my learning and lead me to be the best therapist I can be. I hope to have my own practice one day so that I can give back to my community. I’m so glad I chose the VSU program, and I am excited about this new journey.   

Haas_Rebecca Rebecca Haas

Hi, my name is Rebecca Haas. I am from the small town of Jesup. I started my undergraduate degree right after high school but was unsure of what I wantedI decided I needed time to think of my future. I took a year off from school to do research and shadow different professions. I still did not know what I wanted until my friends suggested psychologyI started at CCGA in Brunswick, GGeorgiaAs my junior year was approaching, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree in therapy. The Marriage and Family Therapy Program is what brought me to Valdosta. The hands-on work and the acceptance of diversity pulled me in! I transferred schools and finished my undergraduate degree her at V-State! I am more excited every day I walk into the Family Works clinic to be the person that you can trust and allow me the pleasure to learn who you are. 

Knutson_Rebecca Rebecca Knutson

 

Violeta Lucas Violeta Lucas

Hello! My name is Violeta and I am originally from Bulgaria. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, I decided to move to the United Kingdom to gain life experience and continue my education. In 2017 I completed my Postgraduate diploma in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Leeds Beckett University. While I studied, I held two internships where I acquired valuable experience in working with survivors of sexual abuse and mental health. During this time, I met my husband who was stationed in England and following my graduation, we received orders to Moody AFB. Having the desire to continue my educational and personal growth, I found that the VSU MFT program was the best fit for me. What attracted me to the program was the strong emphasis on diversity and hands-on experience in the FamilyWorks Clinic. I believe learning a new approach to counseling would strengthen my knowledge, and develop my therapeutic skills. After graduating, I would like to work with diverse and foreign families offering bilingual therapy. I also would like to continue working with survivals of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Morgan_Andre Andre Morgan Jr.

Hello, my name is Andre Morgan Jr.  I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am thankful to have grown up in such a resilient, compassionate, and loving community. Everyone I came across instilled a sense of service in my spirit, which serves to shape and inform a lot of the work I participate in today.  I graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2018 with a B.A. in Communication Studies. After receiving my degree, I began working for an education-based non-profit whose mission was to provide academic and social-emotional support to K-8th students. My experience was life-changing; additionally, it gave me perspective on advocating for people's varying and wide-ranging needs. It is ironic that before I ever thought of therapy as a career, I was doing therapy in my everyday life. The best decision I made was applying to the Marriage and Family Therapy program here at Valdosta. I love and enjoy the openness of my cohort and professors. All concepts and ideas we engage with are just as relevant and applicable to life outside the classroom On my first visit to the FamilyWorks clinic, and having the opportunity to listen to a class discussion, I knew this was the place to continue my professional and personal journey. I am genuinely excited to see where this path leads me. 

 Katelyn NolesNoles_Katelyn

Hi there! My name is Katelyn Noles. I am from Valdosta and received my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Florida in 2019 (Go Gators!). I was drawn to the MFT program after taking a gap year after undergrad. As cliché as it sounds, I knew I wanted to help people. However, I didn't’t quite know how I wanted to do that until I connected with the MFT program here at VSU. I was immediately drawn in by the care, wisdom, and openness of the professors and students and knew this program was the perfect fit for me! I have always had a passion for working with children, and am very much looking forward to honing my active listening skills to not only help the child, but their family as well. I am ecstatic about this field already, and am looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead!  

Proctor_Nija Nija Proctor

Greetings, my name is Nija Proctor. I was born in Georgia, but raised in a small town called Madison, FL. My family and I moved to Crystal River, FL for a few years, but we eventually ended up back in Madison. I graduated Saint Leo University with a BS in Psychology in May of 2017. I have always had the passion of being willing to help another out; to me your problem becomes my problem. Therefore, I chose to attain more education on understanding, helping, listening and being a supporter to another.

I chose the VSU MFT program because it will help me enhance my skills on helping others and teach me the different theories and techniques needed to assist someone. The program offers hands on training in the therapy room and heavily educates students on the ethical ways of working with clients. Within this program, my objective is to gain an understanding on how to perform therapeutic assistance and learn methods of working with diverse clients. I know the program's training will only advance the skills that I think are naturally embedded in me.

With this training, I will provide upmost assistance on working with others. I look forward to my journey on becoming an MFT.

Scott_Andrea Andrea Scott

Hello! My name is Andrea Scott. I am originally from Quitman, GA. I received a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing from VSU in 2003. My passion and love for people and their health led me back to VSU 17 years later  to focus on their mental health as well. After researching VSU’s MFT Program, I was certain Marriage & Family Therapy is where I need to be.  The hands on approach through the Family Works Clinic solidified my choice in therapeutic training. I have future aspirations to also utilize my training in the spiritual realm of helping & healing families!

Kelly Sheaks Kelly Sheaks

My name is Kelly M. Sheaks. I am from South Carolina. After serving ten years in the Air Force, I received my Associate of Science Degree in Psychology from Georgia Military College. I followed up by attending Valdosta State University and obtaining my Undergraduate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I chose Interdisciplinary Studies because it allowed me to work in a primary area of study, in conjunction with two Secondary areas of study. This afforded me the opportunity to explore all three of my major interests. After earning my Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a primary focus on Sociology, and a secondary focus on psychology, and Women and Gender Studies, I was attracted to the warm learning environment I witnessed while touring VSU’s Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program. I know after serving people on a much larger scale in the Air Force, I now want to serve people on a much more personal level, and I am excited to start this new chapter of my life.

Sloan_Danielle Danielle Sloan

Hi, my name is Danielle Sloan and I’m from Macedonia, Ohio. I graduated from the University of Mount Union in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Art. After graduating, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so took a year off and worked at a daycare. During that year I realized I wanted to become a therapist. I found out about the field of Mmarriage and Ffamily Ttherapy from one of my professors at Mount Union, took a class on it, and loved it! What drew me to VSU is the student-run clinic and the hands-on training they provide, as well as the emphasis on diversity. After completion of this program I hope to become a licensed marriage and family therapist and possibly have my own private practice one day.  

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 Glenn Veal 

Hello, my name is Glenn GG” Veal. I am from Hampton, GA and received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology from Valdosta State University. After looking into other programs, schools, and career opportunities, I decided the VSU MFT program would help me grow the most. I appreciate that the program has an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and provides hands-on training with clients. The students and professors are very accepting anyone who walks in the clinic. I have a love for working with others and hope to gain the skills needed to become a licensed MFT here in Georgia. I am excited to be on this journey and cannot wait to see what the future hold in the VSU MFT program! 

 

Graduating Class of 2023

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Dekedra Brown

Hi! My name is Dekedra Brown but I go by Mia and I am from a small town called Sandersville, Georgia. I started off at Savannah State majoring in social work, but I eventually transferred. I obtained my BS in sociology and anthropology right here on the campus of Valdosta State University in May of 2021.  I always had a passion to become a helper when people weren’t really able to help themselves or just needed help in general. It wasn’t until I saw a movie, a lady was working hard to become an MFT, that I somehow knew that was going to be my way of helping people. I was only in the 7th grade at the time. I had family members who went to VSU, so I started my research on the school early and knew that I would end up there somehow. Now I am here at VSU’s MFT Program coming right out of undergrad. I am so excited to be here and to be a part of such a diverse group of individuals. I’m really excited about the hands-on aspect of the program and learning new things that will better me for my clients in my future career as a LMFT. I can’t wait to see what this program has in store! 

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Khaliya Bynum

Hello, my name is Khaliya Bynum, and I am from Atlanta, Georgia. I graduated with my B.A. in psychology, minoring in business administration at Albany State University. I found the MFT Program here at Valdosta State University by researching schools that can help me obtain my license in marriage and family therapy. I am overjoyed to have been accepted into the MFT Program. I am the first generation in my family to major in the field of psychology and to take an interest in an MFT master’s program. I am a role model for the future generation in my family. I’m looking forward to gaining experiences and hope to open my own practice working with families and marital challenges. I am blessed to be a part of a program such as this and plan on achieving my goals. 

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Markia Carr

Hey y’all, my name is Markia. I was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia. In May 2021, I received a Bachelor's of Arts in psychology from Agnes Scott College. I always knew that I wanted to work with kids in some capacity, so initially I thought that I would become a school counselor or a school psychologist. However, it wasn't until after researching and learning about the high prevalence of domestic violence in often overlooked and marginalized communities, that I became passionate about finding ways to advocate and help domestic violence survivors, which led me to want to work with couples and families. I decided to attend Valdosta State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program, because of the program's hands-on training and the program’s mission statement which showed me that the program is dedicated to community service and diversity. I believe this aligns with my personal goals to serve clients from diverse backgrounds. In the future, I hope to open up my own practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist.

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Yovani Carranza

Hello, my name is Yovani. I am from Moultrie, GA. I recently graduated from Valdosta State University with a B.S. in psychology in May 2020. I took a gap year after graduation and was working at the Migrant Farmworkers Clinic in Lake Park. I came across the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at VSU because of the yearly health fair event that is held for farmworkers. I had the opportunity to observe how therapists interacted with the clients and suddenly, I was intrigued. My goal in the future is to become licensed in Georgia and open a private practice in my hometown. I aspire to help anyone so that everyone can live a healthy and stable life.

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Kiara Carson

Greetings! My name is Kiara Carson and I am from Orangeburg, South Carolina. I am a recent graduate of Brevard College with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, and a minor in pre-law. I came across Valdosta State University's Marriage and Family Therapy Program during my sophomore year in high school. It was the experiential learning through the student-run clinic that drew me into this program. I have a passion for the inner workings of relationships and talking with people. In pursuing my studies, I hope that this approach will strengthen my knowledge of the family dynamic. I am excited to see how this program challenges and prepares me before pursuing a law degree and molds me for my career as a family court judge. 

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Elizabeth Cherry

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Cherry, and I am from Atlanta, GA. I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.S in psychology. Although I knew I wanted to be a mental health counselor at the age of 15, I had to take a break after graduation to research graduate programs. I chose to continue my education at VSU because of the emphasis on community outreach and the support that facility gives students to succeed in the program. My goal is to help anyone struggling in life with marital/relationship conflicts and mental health.  I have no doubt that VSU’s MFT program will help me reach that goal.

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Margaret Cosper

Hi, my name is Margaret Cosper and I was born and raised right here in Valdosta, GA. I recently earned my BFA in dance at Valdosta State and I am thrilled to work towards my Master’s of Science in marriage and family therapy at VSU, too. It was through teaching dance that I discovered my love of working with children and my calling of becoming a marriage and family therapist. After researching the program here and learning of its hands-on training approach and emphasis on diversity and inclusion, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I am so excited to implement my passion for helping others into my work throughout this program and I look forward to the journey ahead.  

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Laurelle Davis

Hello! My name is Laurelle Davis. I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Florida. I earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in criminal justice, from the illustrious Florida Memorial University in May 2018. I continued my studies by earning a Master of Arts degree in forensic psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in February 2020. During my time at FDU, I had an internship that allowed me to teach social-emotional skills to grade school children. This internship made me realize that I wanted to connect with my patients more than the forensic field allowed. COVID-19 forced me to slow down for a year and allowed me to reevaluate what I wanted to do in my career moving forward. I realized that I love working with not only children but the nuclear family as a whole. I chose Valdosta State University to pursue this path because of their commitment to diverse thinking and hands-on training. Upon completion of this program, I hope to become a licensed therapist working with children and their families, both clinically and forensically. 

 

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Terri Funk

Hello. My name is Terri Funk. I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1991 with a B.S. in home economics. Shortly after graduation, my husband and I moved to Tifton, GA to help with his family’s pizza restaurant. The restaurant is now 47 years old and belongs to my husband. I like to say that I married him for his garlic bread. It is that good! Since moving here, I have worked in the interior design field and the restaurant business. I chose to leave the workforce when I had children. I have homeschooled my three children since 2006, but now this has come to an end as my last child has graduated. Presently, my children are either out of college, in college, or considering college. While they believe that I taught them, the truth is that they taught me. I was challenged to always know a bit more than they knew. These three inquisitive, thought-provoking children/students shaped me into someone who enjoys learning. I especially enjoy hearing new ideas that have the potential to stretch me beyond my comfort zone. I have found that teenagers are quite qualified to do this. Becoming a marriage and family therapist is a goal I have had since the early 2000’s.  I wish to become a sex therapist as well. I am thrilled to be a part of VSU’s MFT Program. As I sit in class and as I am working as a GA, I find myself saying quietly, “I can’t believe I am here. This is a good day.

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Carolina Gleaton

Hi there! My name is Carolina Gleaton! I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, and this past spring, I graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor's in psychology and a minor in child development. All of my life, friends, family, and sometimes even strangers would lean on me for advice or support through their hardships. So, when I was looking into future careers, therapy was a natural choice! I had no idea that the realm of marriage and family therapy existed until I sat down with one of my professors during undergrad and he encouraged me to do some research of my own about it. From that point forward, I knew that this was exactly what I wanted to pursue! When applying to different programs, VSU was the only program that felt like home rather than a place to get an education and leave. I also knew that all of the opportunities for hands-on learning and application would help to shape and refine my skills in a way that other programs could not. My goal is to eventually become a licensed MFT and start my own practice. In the meantime, my aspirations are to simply allow others to be heard and to enjoy every moment of my time here at VSU!

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Drew Gutierrez

Hello! My name is Drew Gutierrez. I am from the far away land of Salt Lake City, Utah. I recently graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. in human development and family studies and a minor in mental health awareness & advocacy. Over the course of my undergraduate degree, I interviewed many mental health professionals, trying to discover what career would be right for me. During this time, I worked with teenage boys at a local residential treatment center. These boys primarily struggled with substance abuse and mental health issues. Through the clinical experiences I was able to have with these boys, I felt that pursuing a degree in marriage and family therapy was right for me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be studying out-of-state here at VSU! I was drawn to this program because of the heavy focus that is placed on systemic thinking and the development of clinical skills. My interests outside of academics include hiking, backpacking, traveling, trying new foods, and above all, spending time with my incredible wife.

Rendi Harrison

Hello, my name is Rendi Harrison. I am originally from Bainbridge, GA. I graduated from VSU with a bachelor’s in sociology and minor in psychology. When thinking of a master’s program, I wanted to find something where I could help people, including children. I then heard about the MFT Program and was completely intrigued. I hope to one day open up my own practice down the road! 

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Kali Hendricks

Hi! My name is Kali Hendricks and I was born and raised here in Valdosta, GA. I graduated from Valdosta State University in 2016, with my Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Spanish for Professionals Certificate. My original plan for graduate school was to pursue my doctorate in clinical psychology with a focus in anxiety and depression disorders, however life happened. I decided to stay here in Valdosta to be with my family and took the time to think about what I wanted to do with my B.A. 

I first heard about the Marriage and Family Therapy Program through my older brother who also attended the program. I did not know that the program existed or what it was about. I made the decision to pursue therapy for my mental health issues and stumbled upon the Family Works Clinic. I fell in love with the way the budding therapists talked to me, listened to my problems, and helped me arrive at possible solutions. When the chance to apply for the program arose, I did and got accepted.

I have always known that I wanted to help people through therapy. I thought that the only way was through a clinical psychological approach, e.g. through medication, CBT, etc. Looking at the background of the MFT Program and its systemic approach, as well as experiencing the therapy firsthand, I now know that there are multiple ways to approach a problem and assist others in solving problems. I am excited to learn more about the theories and history behind marriage and family therapy so that I can be a well-read, well-taught therapist and live my dream of serving those who need it.

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Caroline Hughes

Hello! My name is Caroline Hughes. I am from Valdosta, GA, and I attended Auburn University for my undergraduate program and received a B.A. in psychology. During my time at Auburn, I got to experience both the research and practitioner sides of the field of psychology, and I found that I have a passion for working with people directly. I feel that VSU’s MFT Program will best prepare me to work with diverse populations. My goal is to become a licensed MFT, to work in the Lowndes County area, and be able to give back to my community. 

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Olivia Johnson

Hi, my name is Olivia Johnson. I was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Stockbridge, Georgia, which has become home ever since. I received my B.S in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of West Georgia. Throughout my whole life, I have always seen myself doing therapy, helping people help themselves for the better. Valdosta State's MFT Program resonated with me because it values inclusion and offers a hands-on curriculum. I know this program will help me be the best therapist I can be, and it will help expand my mind to understand how to further heal the world. I am excited to be on this journey to fulfill the needs of those who need my help, become a licensed marriage and family therapist, and build my practice.

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Faith Jones

Hello, my name is Faith Jones, I am originally from Buffalo, New York. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in women's studies at the University of West Georgia this past summer of 2021. Fresh out of undergrad, I started the MFT program because I was drawn to its nurturing environment. This program offers the flexibility, patience, and care aspiring therapists need to start out in the field. My goal is to graduate and help minority families obtain therapy and promote healthy relationships within households. I want to be able to break generational curses that families can't always do on their own. I am excited for the knowledge and growth I will obtain through VSU. 

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Nolan King

Hi, my name is Nolan King. I am from Thomasville, GA. After high school, I spent two years doing service work in several countries in South America. I developed a love of different cultures and people. After returning home, I studied history at Valdosta State. While at Valdosta State, I became fascinated with world religions, philosophies, and unique viewpoints. After graduating, I worked in my family's business for 10 years. During that time, I helped support my wife through undergraduate and graduate programs. We also homeschooled our 4 children. Although I was not in a formal academic setting during those years, I continued to explore new ideas in history, science, and religion from home. My wife is now a teacher at the school that my children attend, and I have the privilege of returning to college. I chose to pursue marriage and family therapy because I have found that the most fulfilling aspect of my life has been to make deep connections with people. 

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Morgan Nauman

Hello! My name is Morgan Nauman. I am from Reno, Nevada, where I got my bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. I am very passionate about people and knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something that allowed me to help people in some capacity. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized I could do that through counseling. I found the idea of counseling very interesting because I often found myself asking a lot of "why" questions about people. Why do people act how they do? Why does society perceive people in different ways? This line of questioning is what ultimately led me down the path of psychology and led to the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Valdosta State. I hope to own a private practice one day, providing counseling to struggling families, particularly children. 

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Gabrielle Perez

Hello! My name is Gabrielle Perez (I go by Gabbie). I am originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, although I’ve lived in Atlanta for the past 15 years. I received a BA in psychology from Emory University in 2009, and recently completed a master’s in humanistic and transpersonal psychology at the University of West Georgia in 2020. In the ten years or so between undergrad and my first master’s, although I knew I wanted to go into the field of counseling, I really grappled with how I could participate in the field in a way that felt both true and authentic to who I am as a person, and true to the values I hold dear in therapeutic relationships with clients. My first master’s was a theoretical/academic degree that did not lead to clinical licensure, however, it exposed me to ideas and perspectives in counseling that draw on human strengths, taking a positive and non-pathologizing approach to working with clients that deeply resonates with me. Several of my classmates mentioned Valdosta State’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program as one that shared many of the same therapeutic perspectives, so I decided to look into VSU’s program, and I instantly fell in love with it. I love that I can receive a clinical education in an environment where professors and students alike are truly kind, supportive, and collaborative, and that we receive hands-on training in our clinic from day one. The emphasis on diversity and the training in systemic thinking we receive allows us to work with clients holistically, which I think is truly beautiful, in addition to being the only truly ethical way to engage in therapy. My ultimate goal is to work in private practice in Atlanta, using the knowledge I’ve gained from both of my master’s degrees to offer therapy that integrates spiritual and contemplative modalities such as mindfulness with my clinical training.

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Olivia Rose

Hello, my name is Olivia Rose and I am from St. Mary's, Georgia. I graduated from Valdosta State University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in sociology, and now I am currently a graduate student in VSU's Marriage and Family Therapy Program. I was drawn to the program through the internship I did with them during undergrad - this is where I realized that the style of teaching and the therapeutic techniques used in the classroom and clinic resonated with me. Further, the students and faculty are remarkable, and I couldn't be happier to join them on this journey. I hope to one day learn the art of marriage and family therapy and use it to positively impact as many people as I can. I can't wait to see how this next chapter in my life unfolds! 

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Bianca Simmons

Hi everyone! My name is Bianca Simmons, and I am from Leavenworth, KS. I graduated from University of Kansas and received a BGS in psychology with a minor in sociology in 2020. My journey to MFT has been anything but traditional. I have known since high school that I wanted to be a therapist. I have always had deep empathy for the folks around me who were struggling and needed a listening ear. When I began college, I attended Oklahoma State University and majored in studio art with the goal to become an art therapist. By the end of the year, I switched gears and decided to move back to Kansas, transfer to KU and change my major to psychology. I learned more about marriage and family therapy through my best friend Kimberlee Fields who graduated from VSU’s MFT Program in 2017. After she informed me about how supportive, diverse, and hands-on the program was, I decided after extensive research that this program was a perfect fit for me. After I graduate, I plan on pursuing a Psy.D. in marriage and family therapy or clinical psychology. My research interests include body image and eating disorders, improving mental health treatment accessibility in Black communities and healing from racial trauma. I want my life’s work as a therapist to consist of destigmatizing mental illness and advocating for populations that deserve the resources necessary to heal and thrive. 

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Brandon Turner

My name is Brandon Turner, I am a 33-year-old Canadian/American from Toronto Canada. I moved to North Carolina in 1996. I am both a northerner and southerner, having lived in the far north and south, as well as having American parents from both northern and southern states. I am an introvert and at times can be a little shy. I am also an avid reader and I prefer to sit and read in quiet rather than watch T.V. or play with my phone. I am very passionate about meditation and yoga and have been practicing the two since childhood, for almost 25 years. I have always been fascinated with ancient civilizations, culture, religion, philosophy, and human history. I did my undergraduate program at Valdosta State University and received a B.A. in philosophy and religious studies with a final GPA of 3.49. My overall goal with my education is to be a licensed clinical therapist specializing in at risk youths and their families. 

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Johnathon Voss

Hello, my name is Johnathon Voss, and I'm from Cartersville, GA. I went to Georgia Southern University where I received my B.S. in justice studies. After my undergrad degree, I worked in business and law enforcement. I am currently a licensed realtor with six years of experience. The ability to serve others began my walk toward becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist. I decided on Valdosta State University to continue my studies because the program is accredited (COAMFTE), and because we are able to gain experience at the FamilyWorks Clinic. Upon completion of this program, I plan to become a licensed marriage and family therapist and write at least two books.

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Shea Walker

As a life-long resident of Valdosta, attending VSU for my undergraduate studies was a natural choice. In 2002, I finished my four years; however, in 2017 I went back to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies.  

I’ve been a local entrepreneur, owning a small one-woman business in the real estate community.  Helping people, through guiding them with possibly their largest financial purchase, has been rewarding.  When considering a career change, I felt led to marriage and family therapy.  VSU offers so much for the budding therapist, and I feel honored to be a part of this program.  

Once fully licensed, my hope is to ultimately own my own practice, using the MFT training to specifically work with addiction, children’s behavioral conduct, and couples counseling.  

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Mackenzie Waters

Hello, my name is Mackenzie Waters, and I am from Newnan, Georgia. I received my Bachelor of Science in sociology from the University of West Georgia. I wanted to be a therapist since I was young, but I was not sure what type of therapy I wanted to go into. I found my love for families during undergrad and decided on marriage and family therapy. I love how involved the program is at Valdosta State University, and that is why I decided to apply here. I am very excited about these next two years and the prospect of becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist in the future!

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Ty’Keria White

I am Ty'Keria White, a first year Marriage & Family Intern. I was born and raised in Valdosta, GA. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in psychology at Valdosta State University, and figured there was no other place than home to continue my education. I am the first generation in my immediate family to be obtaining my master's. I believe that therapy is a part of my purpose, and hope that I can fulfill that by being a part of this program. I am extremely excited to be beginning this new venture, and hope to find an immense amount of success, not only with the program but in life. 

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Ethan Williams

Hello, hello! My name is Ethan Williams, and I am from Newnan, GA, "The City of Homes." I realized during high school that I wanted to do something in the field of therapy or mental health. I received my B.S. in psychology from the University of West GA, and during those years, I came to realize the importance of relationships in mental health. I realized that I desired to go into an MFT program. In my search, I came across VSU’s MFT Program. The program’s practicum, where students simultaneously learn and serve the community through FamilyWorks, made VSU a top choice. On top of that, the systems approach fell wonderfully in line with my desire to do therapy using an approach that values the influence of all relationships on mental health. I look forward to expanding not only my knowledge and skill set, but, most importantly, my ability to be with others in a way that is personal and helpful.