Meet Our Students


 Class of 2018

Latrisha AkinsLatrisha Akins

Howdy! My name is Latrisha Y. Akins, and I am a native of St. Petersburg, Florida. I obtained my  B.A. in criminal justice from VSU. Ultimately, my passion for helping others is what led me to the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at VSU. After careful review of the program's diversity and structure, I was eager to learn about the different approaches that are used to help individuals and families. I am confident that this program will not only help me identify and reflect on my learning process, but it will also teach me various strategies and techniques needed to help others. I am thrilled to be apart of such an excellent hands-on program. Upon completion of the program, my desire is to pursue a doctoral degree, while working as a clinician.

Ellory BishopEllory Bishop

Hello! My name is Ellory Bishop. I am originally from Rome, GA, and I'm the oldest of five kids! During my undergraduate studies, I bounced around between anthropology, psychology, women's studies, and comparative literature before finally planting my feet in sociology. I received my B.S. in Sociology from the University of West Georgia in 2014. I came across Marriage and Family Therapy while searching for a therapeutic orientation that aligned with my relational, sociological understanding of the world. I chose VSU's Marriage and Family Therapy program because of it's philosophy on diversity, the culture of support within the program, and the unparalleled hands-on clinical training that the program offers. The students and faculty have been incredibly supportive, and I couldn't have asked for a better environment in which to practice and learn. After graduation, I plan on seeking licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I would like to specialize in sex therapy, gender based issues, and sexual abuse. Thanks for taking the time to read about me! I am thrilled to be at Valdosta State University, and I'm so looking forward to my time in the MFT program. 

Michelle BrooksMichelle Brooks

Greetings, I am Michelle C. Brooks. I graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. For years, I’ve had the pleasure of working as a health reporter. With a desire to also become a therapist and knowing accomplished graduates of the program, I applied to Valdosta State University’s esteemed Marriage and Family Therapy program. I’m thrilled to be a part of a program that fits with my therapeutic philosophy. After graduating, I plan to work as both a Marriage and Family Therapist and a health reporter using my therapeutic knowledge to inform. My husband and I have been married for 22 years, and have three precious children: a daughter and two sons.

Jo-Anna BrownJo-Anna Brown

Hello, my name is Jo-Anna Brown, and I am from Hazlehurst, GA. I received my bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in sociology from Valdosta State University in May 2016. After attending Valdosta State for four years, I began to see it as more of a home and knew I wanted to continue my education here. Upon learning about the Marriage and Family Therapy program through an in-class presentation from second-year students, I knew this was the program for me. Initially, what caught my attention was the student-run clinic on campus. I knew this would allow me to get hands-on experience with clients. Healthy families create a healthy society, and knowing that I can help families who are not just statistics, but real people, excites me.


Vanesha BrownVanesha Brown

Hello, my name is Vanesha Brown. I grew up in Augusta, Georgia; however, most of my family is from Charleston, SC. I obtained my undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, from Mercer University in Macon, GA.  After a much needed academic hiatus, I began considering, as well as visiting, various Marriage & Family Therapy programs. I elected to become a part of the program at Valdosta State University because of the warm and inviting learning environment, the affordability of the program, and the hands-on experience students receive from working in the clinic. I am anxious and excited to see what this program holds for me, and I would ultimately like to become a licensed MFT after completing this program.


Issy BurnhamIsadora Burnham 

Hello, my name is Isadora (Issy) Burnham. I graduated from VSU with a B.S. in Psychology. I toured the MFT Program and FamilyWorks Clinic in 2013 and found it appealing. I was also able to sit in on a class taught by Dr. Laughlin. It was exciting to hear about the second-year students' case loads. The faculty members are great! They are passionate about therapy and making sure students succeed in becoming great therapists. The family-like atmosphere is immediately evident, and I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree with such a great group of people. After I graduate, I hope to obtain licensure in Georgia and begin building a client load in my hometown. I am hopeful that I will one day own, or co-own, a successful private practice. I am excited to see where this journey takes me. If you are interested, be prepared to open your mind to a world you never knew existed (in a good way).


Callie BuchananCallie Buchanan

Hello, my name is Callie Buchanan. I attended Valdosta State University for my undergraduate degree and obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. I then went on to teach fourth grade at Highland Christian Academy, a local private school, and at Quitman Elementary, a public school in Brooks County. Throughout my time teaching, I noticed many powerful factors outside the realm of academics that affected the success of my students, such as, family life and socio-economic status. As I yearned for ways to help my students more, I discovered the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at VSU. I fell in love with the program's systemic and relational ideals and realized that these could extend within the school system. I hope to obtain my Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and instruct perspective teachers at the university level in hopes to employ methods of systemic theory within the classroom. 

Alyssa CalderonAlyssa Calderon 

My name is Alyssa Calderon, and I'm from Queens, New York. I received my bachelor's degree in Music Industry from York College of Pennsylvania with a minor in film studies. When applying to graduate programs, VSU stood out to me for many reasons. The description of the program was unlike any other program I had researched. I knew, from researching and visiting FamilyWorks and the MFT program, that VSU would offer me an education and training no other program could. I am overwhelmingly excited about all that I will learn and put into practice here at VSU, and I look forward to the journey of becoming a therapist!

Kristen CarneyKristen Carney

Hey there! My name is Kristen Carney, and I was raised in Crystal River, FL. I graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I chose the Marriage and Family Therapy program at VSU for several reasons. This program stood out to me because of it's emphasis on and appreciation for diversity. The program also houses the FamilyWorks clinic, which is an incredible asset to both me, an aspiring therapist, and the program. At FamilyWorks, interns are given the opportunity to get hands-on clinical experience. After my visit to Valdosta, and the FamilyWorks clinic, I knew that VSU was the school for me.

Courtney ChaneyAyana Chaney

My name is Ayana Chaney, and I am from Hinesville, GA. I received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Georgia. From there, I took time off from school to work for a nonprofit Historical Society in downtown Savannah. I was able to gain experience working with children, and I discovered that this was a great passion of mine. I hope to one day run a clinic that caters to the needs of families with children of special needs. I chose this MFT program because I want to gain a higher skill set that will allow me to facilitate positive change in family relationships. My goal is to become an influential and successful therapist, and I believe the VSU MFT program will help me achieve this.

Sarah CoxSarah Cox

Hi! My name is Sarah Cox, and I’m from Homerville, GA. I graduated from Valdosta State in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. While I am biased towards VSU, I chose their Marriage and Family Therapy program because of it’s emphasis on multiple perspectives and diversity. I come from a very diverse family, so acceptance of others from various backgrounds is something I value immensely. For many years of my life I suffered with mental health issues, therefore I understand the daily struggles that can be caused from such matters. For this reason, I want to help other people that are going through difficult times and be able to do for them what my therapist did for me. Mental health is my passion, which is why I feel very fortunate to be a part of this Marriage and Family Therapy program. I am looking forward to the next few years in the program and learning the skills necessary to become an effective, successful therapist.

Emily DowEmily Dow

My name is Emily Dow, and I am from Southgate, Michigan. I moved to Valdosta three years ago because my husband is in the military, and his orders are here! I transferred from the University of Michigan to Valdosta State University, where I finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I became interested in the Marriage and Family Therapy program because of it's hands on clinic and specific approach to therapy. I hope to receive my license to practice upon graduating. I do not have a specific clientele I am hoping to work with just yet! 

 Celeste HouedCeleste Houed

Hello! I'm Celeste Houed, and I am from Moultrie, GA. I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.S. in Psychology. What interested me in the MFT Program at Valdosta State University was the student-run clinic and the supportive faculty. I especially look forward to working with families and children upon licensure.

Paige ForshayPaige Forshay

Hello! My name is Paige Forshay, and I am excited about joining the VSU Marriage and Family Therapy program. I am returning to graduate school after earning my M.F.A. in visual arts from Florida State University some time ago. Having lived most of my life in Tallahassee, I recently moved to Thomasville, and I am enjoying the slower pace and beauty of the town. I am an active artist and member of the Thomasville Artist Collective, and I believe clients can learn about themselves through their creative endeavors. Drawing, poetry, and music, among other things, are all vehicles for self-exploration and expression, which are integral elements to therapy and change. In earning a B.A. in Anthropology, I also cultivated interests in how different cultures and ethnic groups navigate family and individual issues. This is most evident given the context of their native cultures with respect to both push and pull factors and cognitive and culture dissonance. Maintaining one’s cultural identity is important, along with understanding the foundations of cultural pressures and differences. After graduation, I hope to work in private practice and utilize my diverse experiences. In my free time, I enjoy making art, cooking, and renovating my 1901 Victorian house. However, most of all, I enjoy spending time with my daughter, my partner, and his two sons. 

 Leticia HillLeticia Hill

Greetings! I am Air Force veteran Leticia M. Hill, and I am a native of Valdosta, Georgia. I'm a divorced parent of three precocious children ages 5, 7 and 9. I graduated from Valdosta State University in 2006 with a B.S. in Business Management. I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit; therefore, I felt a degree in business was appropriate. However, since childhood, my desire has always been to help the disadvantaged, neglected, and hurting people in this world. Despite the many trials I have endured, I have maintained this desire to help others. Thus, I took a leap of faith, applied to graduate school, and was blessed to receive an acceptance letter from the Marriage and Family Therapy program. Upon obtaining my master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, I hope to pursue a doctorate with emphasis in Christian Counseling and/or counseling in the area of trauma and crisis. My goal is to utilize both my business acumen and MFT degree to establish my own counseling center within the community. My intention for this is to service all individuals in need with a focus on the underprivileged and veterans. 

Samuel Holly Samuel Holly

Hello, I’m Sam! I graduated in May 2016 from the University of North Georgia with a bachelor's degree in Human Services Delivery & Administration. I chose to pursue a master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy because I desire to help individuals, parents, and children overcome their circumstances in hopes that they will have the opportunity to thrive and live enjoyable lives.

 Natalia KuzminaNatalia Kuzmina

Natalia Kuzmina is a first year Marriage and Family Therapy student intern from Russia. In 2010, she graduated from Irkutsk State University studying psychology, and in 2013 she received a master’s degree in pedagogy. Before coming to Valdosta State University, Natalia worked as a psychologist with kindergartners for 8 years. A struggle for her was the lack of knowledge in the sphere of Marriage and Family Therapy, which prevented her from providing effective help to parents and children. She came to the FamilyWorks Clinic in fall 2016 through her participation with the Fulbright Program. The strongest scientific interest of Natalia is harmonization of relationships between parents and children. Upon completion of her master’s degree in MFT, Natalia plans to return to Russia and continue her work as a psychologist with kindergartners.

Ashley LongsworthAshley Longsworth

Hey! My name is Ashley Marie Longsworth, and I am from the beautiful country of Belize. I recently graduated from Florida International University where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I was instantly attracted to the program at VSU for its access to hands on learning through the FamilyWorks Clinic. My decision was further cemented by the program’s enthusiasm towards diversity, which I believe is an important factor in shaping the world’s future therapists. My hopes are that through this program, I will be able to develop the skills needed to be an effective family therapist and to find my own therapeutic voice. While I do plan to take the licensure exam and gain further experience in the US, my ultimate goal is to return home to share, teach, and practice the skills that I have learned in this program. I also hope to contribute to the continued development of therapy related programs in my country.

Brittney LumpkinBrittney Lumpkin

Hello, I am Brittney T. Lumpkin, born and raised in Georgia. More specifically, I am from Woodville, GA (Greene County) where every street is named after a tree! After completing my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Armstrong State University, formally Armstrong Atlantic State University, in May of 2015, and graduating as a member of Psi Chi, I elected to take a year off. Soon after, I quickly realized I needed to go back to school. Being that Valdosta State University’s MFT program does not restrict their students to one way of practicing therapy heightened interest. The fully functional student and faculty operated counseling center drew me in. Additionally, the close vicinity and community outreach programs for service members had me hooked. I aspire to be a Marriage and Family Therapist for military families, with a focus on adolescence. I strongly believe that Valdosta State University’s M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy program will help me achieve that goal.


Brianna McCarthyBrianna McCarthy

My name is Brianna McCarthy, and I am a Valdosta State Alumni. Here, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication with an emphasis on general speech. I was inspired to join this program after attending counseling on campus. My therapist inspired me to become the same guiding light in someone else's life as she was in mine. After the completion of my master’s degree, I hope to work towards obtaining a business license, so I can open a family clinic in the Metro Atlanta area. I am excited to begin this beautiful journey of self-discovery, as well as learning what my style of therapy will be!


Allison McFatterAllison McFatter

Hello! My name is Allison McFatter, and I am a born and raised Texan from the city of Lake Jackson. I received my undergraduate degree in Arkansas at Harding University. In the fall semester of my sophomore year, I left American soil for the first time to study in Austral-Asia. I traveled through five countries, one of which was Thailand. It was in Bangkok that I first became aware of the worldwide phenomenon of human trafficking. Further research revealed the complexities – political and cultural – of fighting this social injustice. I was surprised to find that little help is available to the thirty million victims today. These thirty million victims are the reasons why I want to practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I chose VSU’s MFT program because it provides students with hands-on experience through running the FamilyWorks clinic. Additionally, this program teaches from a systemic/contextual perspective and considers the significance of culture – an important component for my interests in human trafficking within different cultures. My goals after graduate school are to be dually licensed in both Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Counseling. I also hope to become involved with a program focused on providing a safe environment for victims/survivors of sex-trafficking. I am looking forward to Valdosta’s MFT program equipping me with the skills and knowledge necessary for me to be an effective, capable therapist. 


 Wendy McLoonWendy McLoon

Hello! My name is Wendy McLoon, and I am from Bainbridge, GA. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Valdosta State University in 2014. After graduating with my Bachelors, I was unsure of the direction I wanted to go. However, when I found the Marriage and Family Therapy program here at VSU, I instantly knew this was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I thoroughly enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families. In facilitating change, I attempt to create a space where useful and meaningful conversations can take place. The VSU Marriage and Family Therapy program has allowed me to learn in a supportive setting where I have been able to flourish as I work to develop my own therapeutic style. After graduating with my Masters in MFT in summer of 2018, I plan to work in a private clinical setting.  


 Kim MulkeyKim Mulkey

Hi there! My name is Kim Mulkey, and I am originally from Covington, GA. However, I spent the last four years at Georgia College & State University where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in criminal justice. I chose Valdosta State’s MFT program because of the hands on training received within the classroom, the experiences learned through the student-run clinic, and the tremendous support given from other students and faculty. Additionally, I admired the faculty’s investment in creating individual, unique therapists within each of us. I am thoroughly excited to be starting this program alongside other amazing future therapists with the guidance of such talented faculty!

 Kamayla PerryKamayla Perry

My name is Kamayla Perry, and I am from Atlanta, GA. I graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. I decided to continue my education further at VSU through the MFT program because of how close the professors work alongside the students. I was/am very impressed with how the program is hands on and let's students begin training within a clinical environment. Not only do I learn about being a therapist, but I receive real training and experience through practicing in the clinic! Upon finishing the program, I know I will be fully prepared as a therapist to help others in need.

 Paul PetersonPaul Peterson

My name is Paul Peterson, and I'm from Bella Vista, Arkansas. I graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah in 2015 with a B.A. in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. During my studies, I took a break for a mission program for my church, which lead me to Finland for two years. This first peaked my interest in a helping profession. For the past year, I have been working at Kaizen Academy, a group home for boys with sexual behavior problems, and ScenicView Academy, a school for adults with autism. Valdosta State's program interested me because of its faculty, FamilyWorks Clinic, and teaching philosophy. I am still deciding where I'd like to end up professionally, but right now I love couples therapy, and I am considering a PhD.

Lyrica Solomon Lyrica Solomon

My name is Lyrica Solomon, I am from the little city of Cartersville, Georgia. I graduated from the University of West Georgia in 2016 with a B.S. in Sociology. I have always had a deep passion for helping others in any capacity. However, it wasn’t until I volunteered at 4 C’s Summer Camp that I narrowed down my focus to exactly how I wanted to be of service to others. The camp opened my eyes to the families of that community, and I wanted to help the families with the issues that arose in their lives. I came across Valdosta State University’s Marriage and Family Program by doing a little research in the family therapy field, and I loved it right away. The hands-on experience that I receive in this program is phenomenal, and I plan on continuing my professional journey by going into private practice with a concentration on couples.

Cindy Urrutia Cindy Urrutia

My name is Cindy Urrutia, and I am originally from Dacula, Georgia. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Lee University. After thoroughly researching schools, I came across Valdosta. I was later encouraged by my advisor to consider this program. From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew I had found my new home. I was blown away by the full access students have to the clinic, the advanced equipment for students to view cases, and the overall atmosphere where students and faculty are truly passionate about therapy. I am thrilled to be a part of the family here and would encourage anyone to attend!



 Class of 2019

EB Emma Becker    

Hi there! My name is Emma Becker. I'm originally from Batavia, Illinois, but my family recently moved to Newnan, Georgia. I received my bachelors in Psychology from Gallaudet University in May 2016. Upon graduating, I went on to work for a Crisis Stabilization Unit. Soon after, I realized I wanted to return to graduate school for Marriage and Family Therapy, and I was recommended to visit Valdosta State University. I chose this program due to its emphasis on diversity, the student run clinic and the systematic approach. Upon completion of the program, my goal is to get my license in Georgia and work with clients who have disabilities. 

 Daniel DeMersseman DD

Daniel DeMersseman here. Nice to meet you. I was born in Valdosta, and before I knew it, I had a degree from Valdosta State. I received my undergraduate degree in English, but I always knew I’d be back. After touring Family Works, and feeling so at home, I knew I had to be a part of the Marriage & Family Therapy Program. I don’t know what the future has for me after graduation, but if it involves you, I’ve got plenty to look forward to.

 Alyssa HedrickAH

Hello, my name is Alyssa Hedrick, and I am from South Florida. I graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida in 2016 with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology and a minor in Behavioral Healthcare. I was inspired to join the Marriage and Family Therapy program after much research of different programs around the country. Valdosta State’s program is one of a kind with its hands on learning, a collaborative faculty team, and community outreach experiences. My ultimate goal after earning my M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy would be to return to the University of South Florida and start an MFT program and clinic there to assist the Tampa-Metro community.

 Samantha Kiley SM

Hello there! My name is Sami Kiley, and I am so excited to be a student in Valdosta State's Marriage Family Therapy program! I have lived in Moultrie, GA for the past 20 years, and I am a VSU alumna with a B.A. in Psychology. I love MFT because the passion to help others is very evident in the atmosphere of this program. It is unique to have access to a university-run clinic that offers hands on experience through practicum for students and the benefits of a consultation team for clients. I feel very at home with this program, and I plan on continuing my journey after graduation by obtaining licensure in therapy. I am still deciding the population I would like to work with. Uniquely, this program will helps guide students by helping them find their own therapeutic voice. I am honored to be a part of this program, and I would encourage anyone with a desire to learn therapy from a relational and systemic perspective to apply as well!

 Kayleigh Lane KL

Hello, my name is Kayleigh Lane, and I'm from Americus, GA. I went to Georgia Southwestern State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Education. Before going to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I considered teaching. I love children and people, and I wanted to work closer with them. However, I discovered that becoming an educator wasn't the way I wanted to continue. This led me to the VSU Marriage and Family Therapy program! After completing the program, I hope to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and maybe open up my own private practice one day!

 Kemisha Martin  KM

My name is Kemisha, and I graduated with a bachelor of science from VSU. In my free time, I love to sing and spend time with family. Valdosta State’s MTF program is so diverse, and I think that is the best thing about it. I have always wanted to be a therapist, and to be able to train under the professors at VSU is an amazing opportunity. Post-graduation, I hope to work at a private practice here in Valdosta. 

 JPJessi Pollard

I am so thankful and excited to be a part of the MFT program here at Valdosta State. I graduated from Point University with a B.S. in Child and Youth Development in 2014. I then worked for a campus ministry there for three years. While being with college students every day during those years, I had the great opportunity to learn about their stories, backgrounds and families. I became passionate about these stories and found that Marriage and Family Therapy was something that I was interested in. I visited VSU's program, and fell in love with the hospitable environment it provided for learning and therapy. The FamilyWorks Clinic is a foundation for healing, and I'm so thrilled that I get to participate in this beautiful movement. 

 Shauni RedfernSR

Shauni Redfearn is a graduate of the Fine Arts program at Valdosta State. She learned of FamilyWorks’ services through an outreach presentation given in one of her Art History classes, and she decided to check them out. She was impressed by their dedication and the genuine care they provided. It was then when she realized she wanted to pursue Marriage and Family Therapy as a career for herself. Being that her art had been very self-reflective and focused on mental health, it seemed like a perfect transition and compliment for her existing skillset. Upon completion of the MFT program, she hopes to own a private practice where she can implement her artistic background with her clients therapeutically, if they desire. 

 Kristina RobinsonKR

Hello! My name is Kristina Robinson, and I am from Charlotte, NC. I graduated from Appalachian State University with bachelor degrees in Psychology and Sociology. I took a gap year off from school to work with AmeriCorps in Maryland. Here, I worked with wounded, ill, and injured veterans medically separating from the military. What stood out to me when applying to graduate programs was that Valdosta had the hands on experience and close proximity of military support programs. As of right now, I plan to work with military families because they dedicate their lives to protecting us, and their families face unique challenges as a result. My approach to therapy is one that takes into account the societal factors that influence people and their situations. I eventually plan to have my own practice, consisting of other professionals, to provide total case management to clients. I look forward to my journey here alongside other bright individuals!

 Emily SandsES

Hi! My name is Emily Sands. I was born and raised in Valdosta, and I am excited to return home to study Marriage and Family Therapy at Valdosta State. I graduated in the spring of 2017 from the University of Georgia where I majored in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. I was drawn to VSU's program because of its collaborative nature, the opportunity for students to gain clinical experience, and the overall therapeutic philosophy. 

 Artianna SingletonAS

Hi! My name is Artianna, and I'm from Valdosta, GA. I graduated from the University of Georgia in the fall of 2016 with my B.S in Family and Consumer Science majoring in Human Development and Family Science. I chose VSU's Marriage and Family Therapy program because I feel it coincides with my beliefs and values of therapy. Diversity and respect are very important aspects to me, and I love how this program offers an environment to support those aspects for individuals seeking and providing help services. I am super excited to see how this program influences my life and helps me grow as a therapist!

 Jenna SneadsJS

Hi! My name is Jenna Sneads, and I am from Sneads, Florida. I graduated in the spring of 2017 from Florida State University where I earned a B.S. in Family and Child Sciences. Along with this, I obtained a minor in Sociology and studied an area of concentration in science. I chose this MFT program because from the beginning I felt most comfortable here. Upon graduating, I hope work with at-risk youth. I believe the hands on experience provided by VSU’s MFT program will provide me with the tools to become a successful therapist.

 Akelia ThomasAT

Hello, my name is Akelia Thomas, hailing from the beautiful island St. Thomas, USVI. I received my bachelors in Psychology from Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, FL. After researching numerous graduate schools, I stumbled across Valdosta State University, and I was quite intrigued by their Marriage and Family Therapy program. The program fits my personal needs in regards to looking for a professional development and an institution that is able to prepare me for my career. I was impressed with the program offering hands-on experience, the emphasis on diversity, and the great relationship between the faculty and the students. Upon completion of the program, I plan to obtain a licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy with the sole purpose to open my own practice back home in the Virgin Islands.

 Priscilla ThomasPT

Greetings! My name is Priscilla Thomas. As a Valdosta State undergraduate student, I studied psychology. I was introduced to the Marriage and Family Therapy program’s high credentials through the psychology faculty. After visiting the FamilyWorks clinic during an open house, I was warmly welcomed by the humble staff and students. As I gained more insight concerning the provided courses and preparatory clinic experience, I was further convinced that I should apply to the program. Based on my past and current careers, I have developed a genuine passion to help care for and support the welfare of people. I possess a drive to encompass a higher perspective and more relational lens in viewing the world. With this drive, I am very excited about learning, in full, the vast perspectives of the multi-dimensional systemic and relational theories. After completing the program, I look forward to a professional career at a community mental health center to help provide resources, encouragement, and compassion to the people within their community.    

 Christi Vann CV

My name is Christi Vann, and I am from Cincinnati Ohio. I earned a bachelor's degree in Business in Administration from Thomas More College, in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.  I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and ten amazing children and stepchildren.  I have had a successful career in management, but my passion has always been people.  When searching for a graduate program, I was attracted to Valdosta State University's Marriage and Family Therapy program due to their emphasis on relational thinking and diversity.  I am excited for the unique opportunity to work with professors and other therapists in the FamilyWorks Clinic, where I will learn the skills to assists individuals, couples, and families in bringing about positive change in their relationships. 

 KWKayla Waters

Hello everyone! My name is Kayla Waters, and I am from Baxley, Georgia. I graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2015. After graduation, I knew that I wanted to return to VSU to obtain a master’s degree. When learning more about the MFT program, I was instantly compelled to apply. Since beginning this journey, I have loved every second of it. The staff, students, and environment of the program is one that invites you in and gives you a sense of belonging. I know that this program is where I am meant to be, and I look forward to expanding my academic and professional career.

 Chelsea Webb CW

My name is Chelsea Webb, and I hail from Fairview Heights, IL. I completed my undergraduate studies at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL where I received my B.S in Psychology. I chose Valdosta State to continue my studies because of their appreciation for diversity, as well as, their focus on hands on learning through practicum. Upon completion of the program, I hope to go into private practice and improve the familial relationships of minority groups and low income families back home in Illinois.

 Megan WillardMW

Hi, my name is Megan Willard. I was raised throughout the south, and my family currently lives outside of Athens, GA. I received my bachelor's degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. While there, I took a class on family theories, one of the theories studied was General Systems Theory. Because of this class, I decided to pursue MFT. VSU's family works clinic and the hands on supervised experience drew me to this program. I also really liked VSU's views on diversity. Plus, VSU is close to home. So here I am. After I graduate, I want to become licensed and work with a variety of families to help people improve their relationships.


 Shantel Williams SW

Hello, my name is Shantel E. Williams, and I am from Savannah, GA. I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Valdosta State University in May 2017. After graduating, I knew I didn’t want to take a break in my education nor did I want to stray too far from home. So, through research, I learned about the Marriage and Family Therapy program and knew that this was the program for me. I loved the program’s emphasis on diversity and the hands-on training gained through the student-run clinic. Upon completion of this program, I hope to take the skills learned to become a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and specialize in helping those from the LGBTQA+ community.  


 MWMonica Woodard

Hello, my name is Monica Woodard. I am from the Middle Georgia (Dodge County) area. I transferred from Middle Georgia State University to Valdosta State University where I received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Growing up, I always had a passion to help others and to assist them with whatever they were going through. Before I made the transfer to VSU's beautiful campus, I heard and read wonderful things about the Marriage and Family Therapy program. After taking a tour of the Family Works Clinic, I knew this was the program for me. Post-graduation, my intent is to primarily focus on children in my own Private Practice.

 JW Janice Wright

Hi, my name is Janice. I am from Detroit, Michigan, and I was raised in Valdosta, Georgia. I attended Clark Atlanta University, but I received my B.S. in psychology, with an African American studies minor from Valdosta State University. I have always wanted to be a therapist, so Valdosta State University’s Marriage and Family therapy program was an ideal choice for me. The faculty and students are diverse and create a lovely learning environment. I look forward to working with everyone on the path to earning my master’s degree.

 Anna YarbroughAY

My name is Anna Elyse Yarbrough, and I grew up mostly in Greensboro, North Carolina. I started my undergraduate studies as a biology major with the intention of going to veterinary school. After working as a veterinary technician through college, I realized it was not quite the right fit for me. Halfway through college, I changed my major to sociology because it helped re-shape the way I thought about the world and life. At the time, I was still very passionate about working with animals, so I pursued a degree in Zoo Animal Management. I worked at several nature centers and zoos, caring for animals and teaching environmental education for the next few years, but there was a void in my heart that I needed to fill. I did some soul-searching and discovered that becoming a therapist made perfect sense for me. Now that I am part of the MFT program here in Valdosta, and I am so glad I made this decision! I am excited to learn, grow, and help people have happier relationships with themselves and their loved ones.