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A Longstanding Alumni Tradition

September 1, 2012 — On June 20, the Behavioral Health Counseling department hosted 40 of its alumni at its 10th Annual Alumni Dinner. Music by guest flutist Lisamarie McGrath welcomed alumni into the room as they reunited with their classmates and professors at the catered dinner.

“The Alumni Dinner is such a unique opportunity for faculty and alumni to share what is happening in the industry, as well as introduce new things that are happening in the Department of Behavioral Health Counseling,” said Dr. Veronica Carey.

Fred Barber, this year’s keynote speaker and an alumnus of the Class of 2004, talked about what it takes to thrive in the field of behavioral healthcare. He addressed the Class of 2012, providing them with strategies that applied to both their job searches and graduate school applications. He was the first to receive an official department t-shirt, which will soon be available for student purchase.

During the event, alumni were invited to stand and share aspects of the BHC curriculum they use most often in their chosen professions, demonstrating that the coursework “satisfies varied behavioral health service delivery needs,” Dr. Carey explained.

In recognition of varied behavioral health system needs, the BHC department has a tradition at the annual dinner of awarding Certificates of Advanced Studies in specialty areas based upon individual students’ academic performances. The specific areas in which certificates are awarded include: Individual and Group Counseling, Addictions Counseling, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Child and Adolescent Support Services, Crisis Counseling Services, and Forensic Mental Health Services.

The Behavioral Health Counseling Department is unique in that it is the only one within the College of Nursing and Health Professions that has held a successful annual alumni reunion for ten years running. “It provides ongoing opportunities for graduates to continue networking with each other. We’re committed to developing professionalism and lifelong learning,” Dr. Ronald Comer said. The department’s dedication to professionalism and lifelong learning is evident not only in its curriculum but also by the way it continues to encourage alumni to network with and learn from one another years after they leave the program.

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