2018 EPC Student Orientation

EPC Student Orientation 2018. When: Tuesday, August 21. Where: Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) Building on 1914 Andy Holt Avenue. The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling (EPC) is hosting a group orientation session with free pizza and drinks for incoming and current students, faculty, and staff. Many individual programs will also have breakout orientation sessions on the same day. Please see the schedule below. Schedule of EPC Orientation Sessions: Counselor Education 2 to 4pm in HPER 232, Learning Environments and Educational Studies 3 to 4pm in HPER 243, School Psychology 1 to 4pm in HPER 239, EPC Group Orientation 4:15 to 5:30pm in HPER 235/239, Adult Learning 5:30 to 7:30pm in HPER 239, Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling 5:30 to 6:30pm in HPER 232, Evaluation Statistics and Measurement 5:30 to 7:30pm in HPER 243, Instructional Technology 5:30 to 7:30pm in HPER 235

RSVP to EPC’s Facebook event!

Contact Parking and Transit Services for information about parking.

Be sure to check out UT’s interactive map for directions, but the image below shows where orientation session will be held in relation to our departmental offices.


2018-19 EPC Fellowship & Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the 2018-19 fellowship and scholarship recipients from the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling!

Zach Budesa  Counselor Education
– J. Wallace & Katie Dean Graduate Fellowship

Sam Burmester Learning Environments & Educational Studies
– J. Wallace & Katie Dean Graduate Fellowship

Kristin Fowler  School Psychology
– J. Wallace & Katie Dean Graduate Fellowship

Ben Gaertner  School Counseling
– Eugene & Mary Sue Akins Graduate Fellowship

Rachel Geren  Clinical Mental Health Counseling
– Charles Lowell Thompson Fellowship

Patricia Higgins  Adult Learning
– Travis Hawk Fellowship

Jennifer Hightower  Counselor Education
– Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence

Baileigh Kirkpatrick  School Psychology
– Mary Phipps Shepherd Graduate Fellowship

Sarah Lucchesi  School Counseling
– Eugene & Mary Sue Akins Graduate Fellowship

Brenda Murphy  Learning Environments & Educational Studies
– Travis Hawk Fellowship

Christina Peterson  Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement
– Travis Hawk Fellowship

Ashley Scheyder  School Counseling
– Helen Carter Murray Scholarship

Arden Szepe  Counselor Education
– Dr. Stephen Lee Alderton Graduate Fellowship

Shelby Wright  School Psychology
– Dr. Richard Yoakley Fellowship

L. Marinn Pierce

Alumni Spotlight: L. Marinn Pierce
Counselor Education

Marinn earned a PhD with the Counselor Education program in 2010. She is originally from Bristol, TN and currently lives in Rock Hill, SC. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Current Occupation

Associate Professor & Program Director
Counseling & Development Program
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC

I have the privilege of coordinating the day-to-day operations of our programs in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling in addition to teaching, research, and supervision. I teach courses in ethics, addictions counseling, crisis and trauma counseling, and multicultural counseling. I also see a small caseload of clients at our on-site clinic where I specialize somatic trauma-focused approaches.

Accomplishments since Graduating

I currently am serving as the President-Elect of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC). This organization is near and dear to my heart, and I found a “professional home” among its membership. It is an honor to be asked to serve ASERVIC in this capacity.

Personal Interests

I am learning to garden a bit, and I love hiking, singing, live music, spending time with friends and family, reading, playing with my dogs, and of course Tennessee athletics. Go Vols!

Accomplishments Earned as a Student
  • President (April 2008 – April 2009). Chi Sigma Iota. Upsilon Theta Chapter. University of Tennessee.
  • Member. (2009-2010). Awards Committee. Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education.
  • Member (2008-2010). Awards Selection Committee. Chi Sigma Iota International.
  • Empty Plate Coordinator (September 2006 – May 2009). Multicultural Interest Network; Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.
  • Member (October 2006 – March 2007). Graduate Student Steering Committee, Association for Creativity in Counseling.
  • Graduate Student Representative (July 2006 – June 2007). Tennessee Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development.
  • Public Relations Chair (July 2006 – June 2007). Tennessee Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development.
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student. (2009). Upsilon Theta Chapter, Chi Sigma Iota.
  • Donald Hood Student Research Grant. (Spring 2009). Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education.
  • Outstanding Student. (Spring 2008). University of Tennessee.
  • Multi-Level School Counselor of the Year. (2006). Tennessee Counseling Association.
  • Outstanding Mental Health Counselor of the Year. (2006). Smoky Mountain Counseling Association.
What was the most memorable experience at UT?

I had some amazing peers in my cohort. Despite the challenges of our academic lives, we found ways to have fun, celebrate accomplishments and milestones, and enjoy professional conferences.

What would you tell an incoming/current student?

It can be easy in graduate school to get caught up in the academic work and lose sight of the fact that you are at the flagship institution for the University of Tennessee system. Take advantage of all it has to offer including exploring exciting areas for your cognate and specialization as well as all the athletic and cultural events.

Did you end up where you thought you would?

Definitely not! When Shawn Spurgeon, associate professor, first approached me in my master’s program about pursuing a doctorate, I responded with a vehement, “No,” but I love teaching and supervision! Learning and pursuing those skills made me a better clinician, and it is a true to joy to get to train future professional counselors.

“The faculty in the Counselor Education program are some of the best in the country. It is my privilege to be able to call them mentors, colleagues, and friends.”

Spurgeon Wins ACA Counselor Educator Advocacy Award


Shawn Spurgeon, associate professor, received the 2018 American Counseling Association (ACA) Counselor Educator Advocacy Award.


This award recognizes a counselor educator for work in fostering an awareness of, and expertise in, advocacy among counseling students.

ACA believes it is vital to the continued health and wellbeing of the counseling profession that its members become interested and engaged in advocacy and the policymaking process, and fell comfortable and effective in doing so.


Jian Su

Learning Environments &
Educational Studies

Jian earned a PhD in education with the Learning Environments and Educational Studies program in 2016. She is originally from Wuhan in the Hubei province of the People’s Republic of China and currently lives in Knoxville, TN. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Current Occupation

Instructional Design Specialist
Office of Information Technology (OIT)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

As an instructional designer and developer, I work closely with faculty to create instructional materials, courses, and curricula within traditional and online learning environments. I also develop and deliver training and workshop sessions on instructional strategies and current technologies and software for students, staff, and faculty for both face-to-face and online teaching environments. In addition, I provide leadership for implementing strategies to incorporate emerging and OIT-supported technologies into teaching and learning.

Accomplishments since Graduating


  • Waugh, M., & Su, J. (2016). Student perceptions of a successful online collaborative learning community. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 14(1), 1-16.
  • Waugh, M., & Su, J. (2015). Online instructional program design: One size may not fit the needs of all. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 16(1), 1-10.
  • Waugh, M., & Su, J. (2014). Student persistence and attrition in an online M.S. program: Implications for program design. International Journal on E-Learning, 13(1), 101-121.
Accomplishments Earned as a Student

Travis Hawk Fellowship
–  For outstanding academic credentials and success in academic journey; August 2011 –  July 2012

Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, Statistics, & Measurement
–  Certificate obtained in Fall 2013

Personal Interests

I am from China. I love traveling and back in the day was a college backpacker. I have lived in three continents across the world (Asia, Europe, and North America).

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, and music. Karaoke is one of my favorite things to do with friends. I also spend time at the gym, working out, a couple of times every week.

What do you think was the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

I greatly appreciate the guidance and support from my awesome advisor and mentor, Michael Waugh, my committee members, Barbara Thayer-Bacon, Schuyler Huck, and Blanche O’Bannon, and all of the great faculty members and colleagues in the department. This program taught me so much and fully prepared me for a successful career in the instructional design field.

What was the most memorable experience?

My most memorable experience during the program was the great feeling of belonging among my peers. I learned a lot through collaborating with different groups of peers. We shared conference trips and enjoyed stress-relief social gatherings together. It was such a valuable experience to have gone through the journey with a group of scholars bonding with one another.

What would you tell an incoming/current student in the program/department?

The programs in EPC have so much to offer. My advice is to set academic goals at the early stage and grab the wonderful opportunities for learning and professional growth along your journey in the program.

“Looking back, I feel fortunate to have made the right choice to have joined this wonderful program. I graduated with some most cherished memories in my life. Now, I am so happy to be back and become a proud member of the UT campus again.”

Blueford Wins CE&S Editorial Fellow

Jillian Blueford, PhD candidate in the Counselor Education program, was selected as a 2018-19 Counselor Education and Supervision (CE&S) Editorial Fellow.


“I sought out this role because I see a benefit of engagement and networking. I recognize that the Counselor Education field is comprised of individuals in a variety of academic settings participating in several capacities who are enhancing our communities and how we educate future professional counselors. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and interact in this broader community and learn all that I can from others.”

Blueford first heard of this opportunity when Everett Painter (’17) was accepted as a fellow last year. As part of the application process, she had to choose potential mentors and explain why she wanted to work with them. To accomplish this task, she worked with Casey Barrio Minton, professor, who is currently on the CE&S Editorial Board to learn about the other board members and who she would best align with. She was paired with with Daniel Gutierrez, assistant professor at William and Mary. Blueford said, “he has research interests in strength-based interventions and the influences of spirituality on mental health and wellness. He is also an alum of the University of Central Florida like I am, so I look forward to working with a fellow Knight. ”

The idea of working on the other side of the publication process and improving her skills as a writer and future reviewer appealed to Blueford. She will attend orientation the last week of June and then officially begin reviewing journal submissions with her mentor.

Amber Giffin

Applied Educational Psychology

Amber is currently seeking her MS in educational psychology with the Applied Educational Psychology program. Originally from Knoxville, TN, she graduated with her AA in English at Harper College in 2011 and a BA in indigenous studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 2013. She joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and EPC in 2017. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.



  • June 2017, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference, Institutional Accountability: The Academy’s Role in Preventing Campus Sexual Assault
  • October 2017, AAACE, Institutional Accountability: The Institution’s Role in Preventing sexual Assault on University Campuses
  • June 2018, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference, Campus Sexual Assault: It’s Everyone’s Problem
  • June 2018, AERC, Theorizing Best Practices for Preventing Sexual Assaults in Higher Education: Adult Educators’ Perspectives
  • November 2018, AAACE, There’s an App for That: Using Technology to Combat Campus Sexual Assault


  • June 2017, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference Proceedings, Institutional Accountability: The Academy’s Role in Preventing Campus Sexual Assault
  • June 2018, AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference Proceedings, Campus Sexual Assault: It’s Everyone’s Problem
  • June 2018, AERC Conference Proceedings, Theorizing Best Practices for Preventing Sexual Assaults in Higher Education: Adult Educators’ Perspectives, http://newprairiepress.org/aerc/2018/papers/35/

Significant roles

  • Student Advisory Council member for the Center for Health Education and Wellness
  • President of It’s On Us, UT Knoxville Chapter
  • Steering Committee member for the AERC Bullying, Incivility, and Violence in Adult, Higher, Continuing, and Professional Education Pre-Conference

Current Occupation

Title IX Office
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

I am working with the Title IX Coordinator to create a research group to help inform and improve sexual assault policies, prevention, and survivor resources on the UT systems’ campuses.

Personal Interests

In my spare time I enjoy writing and playing music and reading and writing fiction. I also volunteer at the East Tennessee Historical Society and various animal rescue organizations. I love live music, video games, museums, art galleries, and traveling.

Future/Vocational Goals

I am applying to educational psychology and research PhD major in hopes of earning my doctorate and going on to become a college professor.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

I would tell an incoming student that this is a fantastic program, full of supportive co-learners and faculty. The faculty really take the time to get to know the students and they help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. The professors in this department really care about their students, and it shows in everything they do. They love to share their knowledge, so don’t be shy about asking questions! A unique thing about this master’s program is that it offers conference funding, and the professors support your research initiatives, so take advantage of those opportunities. Also, keep a journal about the theories, theorists, and main topics of each class. That will help you when it comes time to do your comps.

What do you think has been the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

The most rewarding thing about this program has been the opportunity to work with this community of scholars and to present my research at several international conferences. I’ve met fantastic people in this program. The students and professors are just extremely supportive and amazing to work with.

The summer semesters are the most challenging aspect of this program. These semesters are so short that the information is crammed into your head at an alarming rate. The classes are extremely long because each semester only lasts five weeks. It’s really overwhelming, and after my first summer semester experience, I didn’t feel like I learned much. However, after things slowed down in the fall, and my mind had time to process all of the information it had been fed over the two condensed semesters, I found that I had learned a lot during that brief time period. My advice to new students who start in the summer or are experiencing their first summer semester is to hang in there. It will get better, and you are retaining more than you realize!

Morrow Co-Authors National Report

Jennifer Ann Morrow, associate professor, co-authored a national report titled The Assessment Profession in Higher Education: Addressing the Varied Professional Development Needs of Practitioners.

Jennifer Ann Morrow“I am very grateful for the support of my UT and AALHE colleagues who encourage my passion for teaching and engaging in quality higher education assessment work. I look forward to continued collaboration with my students and colleagues in this important area.”

The report was released by the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) and Watermark. The organizations stated a mission to work collaboratively in striving to develop resources that help assessment practitioners and institutions advance the practice of meaningful assessment, provide opportunities for assessment professionals to connect, as well as conduct and share research on current assessment practices and results.

AALHE and Watermark explained the report provides insights into several area of assessment including:

  • practitioners’ perceptions of assessment
  • the roles/positions and activities conducted by assessment practitioners
  • practitioners’ professional development needs

The report authors – Laura Ariovich, Conna Bral, Patricia Gregg, Matthew Gulliford, and Jennifer Ann Morrow – provided practical recommendations for institutions and professional organizations to better support assessment practitioners, particularly in the area of professional development.

  • Collaborative sharing across institutions and assessment personnel should be examined as a viable method for supporting the work of assessment practitioners.
  • Professional associations, individual institutions, and consortia should offer professional development opportunities in a wide variety of delivery methods to meet the varied needs of practitioners.
  • Topics addressed in professional development offerings must include both assessment tasks, such as conducting data collection and analysis activities, and more complex assessment work, such as creating assessment cultures and facilitating change in higher education organizations.

“We see a real alignment in our organizations to advance the practice of assessment and help institutions use better data to improve student learning and institutional outcomes – an area that is of critical and growing importance to the future of higher education,” said Monica Stitt-Bergh, AALHE President. “We share the belief that this collaboration has been mutually beneficial for our organizations and higher education more broadly.”

“We have a great deal of respect for AALHE, its researchers, and the leadership it provides for the higher education community,” said Kevin Michielsen, CEO of Watermark. “This study underscores our commitment to supporting and empowering higher education with the kind of information and insight needed to drive decision making that ultimately improves student and institutional outcomes.”

Founded in 2009, the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education is a non-profit professional association for assessment practitioners at colleges, universities, and higher education support organizations. It serves the needs of those in higher education for whom assessment is a tool to help them understand learning and develop processes for improving it. AALHE provides resources and a forum to support assessment practitioners’ professional development and the research, documentation, open discussion of issues, strategies, policies, and processes associated with the use of assessment to improve student learning and institutional effectiveness in fostering student success. For more information and to become a member, visit www.aalhe.org.

About Watermark™
Watermark’s mission is to put better data into the hands of administrators, educators, and learners everywhere in order to empower them to connect information and gain insights into learning which will drive meaningful improvements. Through its innovative educational intelligence platform, Watermark supports institutions in developing an intentional approach to learning and development based on data they can trust.

Counselor Education Students Place First in ACA Competition

Counselor Education’s first-year doctoral cohort – Kertesha Riley, Wes Allen, Jessica Marzi, and Gerald Spangler – placed first in the American Counseling Association (ACA) Graduate Student Ethics Competition.

The ACA Ethics Committee explains this competition allows graduate students to critically analyze a scenario and create an appropriate decision-making plan to respond to the ethical dilemma.

Read below to learn about their experiences throughout this competition.

CE Cohort Accepting ACA ethics award

Kertesha Riley

What was it like working with your cohort?
The competition started early fall semester, so we still were new as a cohort and new to the program. Looking back, there were times I second guessed our decision – wondering if it was naïve of us to take on this challenge while adjusting to our first year as doctoral students! Early on, we each had strong opinions about what we should be considering in the case and solutions to the prompt, and that caused some interesting debates throughout the six weeks of the competition. In the end though, I think it helped us learn more about each other’s personalities, our (growing) counselor educator identities, and even our working styles. Ultimately, I believe that helped us connect in ways we may missed if we had not done something like this.

How did it feel to win this award?
When we were first notified, we were definitely excited about the news! However, I don’t think we understood the gravity of the announcement until word reached our department. Our team was the first team from UT Knoxville to place first in the competition! The congratulations we received from faculty and other students was like icing on the cake after all of the hard work we put into the competition. Also, with me being a part-time student, it made me feel like I was truly a part of the program now.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
When we first signed up for the competition, I said “we better at least get first” LOL It was joke (sort of!), but I believe that statement ended up motivating us throughout the competition. It was tough, but I really appreciated the perspectives and commitment each of my cohort members brought to the team, and I believe that’s what helped us secure first place!

Wes Allen

Wes Allen

What was it like working with your cohort?
It was exciting, and challenging at the same time. I appreciated that we felt comfortable enough to challenge each other, and were able to do so in a way that ultimately brought us much closer together.

How did it feel to win this award?
I was relieved that all our our hard word was really worth something. I don’t think much of it sank in until our professors explained to us what an honor it was to be selected.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
I’d like my teammates and cohort members to know that even without the win I think they are exceptional people, counselors, and scholars.

Jessica Marzi

What was it like working with your cohort?
It was good yet hard because we were trying to coordinate schedules, which feels even harder when everyone is a doc student. The nice part was collaborating together and seeing each other in a different capacity from class.

How did it feel to win this award?
It was extremely satisfying because UT Knoxville hasn’t won it before, and we felt we were able to contribute something that shows the strength of the program.

Gerald Spangler

Gerald Spangler

What was it like working with your cohort?
I enjoyed working with our team because of the flexibility we displayed. This competition was our first project together, but outside of that, we all had, and still have, different personal and academic requirements and timelines. However, each member’s personal flexibility allowed us to work past those considerations and focus on the competition. Collectively as a group, I thought that flexibility allowed us to bring a wide range of views, experiences, and ideas to the table.

How did it feel to win this award?
It felt great to win this award and I am proud of what we accomplished as a team. There are a lot of great ways to describe this experience, but I had a chance to see individual leadership and team-oriented qualities shine during this process. It also feels pretty good realizing that I was a member of a team of future professionals headed to the counselor education field.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
I am proud of my cohort and glad that I was given an opportunity to learn through and with them during our time together. They are solid professionals and I look forward to future projects and challenging opportunities.

CE cohort ACA ethics competition pic

School Psychology Students Matched with APA-Accredited Internships

Five School Psychology PhD candidates – Kendall B. Hauck , Pete Ignacio, Maya Mingo, Kala Taylor, and Victoria VanMaaren – were matched with APA-accredited internships.

To become a licensed psychologist, all school psychology doctoral students must have completed an internship. Internships accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) are highly sought out, yet a large number of applicants go unmatched. In 2018, over ten percent of applicants were not matched with an APA-accredited internship.

Read below to see where each of the five will be interning and their experiences of the process.

Kendall B. Hauck
Tennessee Internship Consortium
Sweetwater City Schools

What was the application process like?
The application process was somewhat complex because I had to be really diligent and organized in order to keep up with all of my clinical hours, school-based hours, and specific demographic information of the clients that I saw/with whom I worked. Thankfully, our program set us up to be successful by devoting an entire class to preparing us for the application process. Also, from day one of the program to year four, we were regularly encouraged to diligently track our hours so that we would be ready.

How do you feel about being matched?
I’m happy and thankful, because one of my career goals is to become a licensed psychologist. We were also strongly encouraged to complete our internship year at an APA-accredited internship

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
I will act as a school psychologist at my internship site. I view this as “on-the-job training,” since I want to eventually work in a school district in Tennessee. I also find it very comforting that I will have a lot of supervision at this site.

How do you feel about staying in Tennessee?
I fell in love with Tennessee after spending so many years in this state. Also, I am planning to settle down in Nashville since that is where my fiancé is working.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I think that this will be a good opportunity for me. I look forward to applying the skills that I have learned so far in a new setting that resembles the kind of work that I want to do once I complete my internship.

Pete Ignacio
Tennessee Internship Consortium
Anderson County School District

What was the application process like?
The application process was stressful and complicated. There were a lot of details to go through, and a ton of deadlines to meet. However, Merilee McCurdy, associate professor, teaches a course where we completed every step of the way together as a cohort.  The course was incredibly helpful and I can’t imagine being in a program without that support.

How do you feel about being matched?
It feels great. Being matched with an APA-accredited internship gives us the most amount of options as we start our careers. Completeing a non-APA internship wouldn’t be taking full advantage of the program here at UT.

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
I’ll be doing assessment and consultation at an elementary school. There’s a big need for behavioral consultation both for specific students and classrooms, as well as school and district wide interventions.

How do you feel about staying in Tennessee?
I feel great about staying in Tennessee. Knoxville has really grown on me and I’m looking forward to staying a little bit longer. Plus, my wife has a job here with UT so staying local so she could keep her job was a big priority.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m really excited, a good friend of mine is currently at the site I’ll be at come the fall, so we can have a really well coordinated hand-off. I think it’ll be a great opportunity to continue working on some projects that were started last year, and to go in my own direction as well.

Maya Mingo

Maya Mingo
Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium
Tangipahoa Parish School System



What was the application process like?
The application process was a real rollercoaster drop! It required a lot of organization and detail, but was also very fun and anxiety inducing! Considering all that was required, I felt that Merilee McCurdy’s, associate professor, timeline and oversight made getting all the required materials in order a lot less stressful. However, traveling to different states and catching multiple flights during the winter months certainly can take a toll on your nerves! Overall, I enjoyed traveling to new places, meeting new people, and learning that our program had truly prepared me to succeed during this process.

How do you feel about being matched?
I am delighted and overjoyed to be matched with an APA-accredited internship site. Not only that, but I was also matched with my top choice! It doesn’t get much better than that! During the application and interview process, it’s so easy to psych yourself out and start fearing that you won’t match anywhere at all. In the end, though, everything worked out perfectly for me, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome!

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
During my internship year in Louisiana, I will in many ways serve in the traditional role of a school psychologist at three different schools. As such, I will serve as a member of a Pupil Appraisal Team. My roles on this team will include administering assessments to determine eligibility for special education services, providing psychological services for students whose IEPs require them, assisting with behavioral interventions, and attending collaboration and consultation meetings with multidisciplinary teams within the schools.

How do you feel about moving to Louisiana?
I’m ecstatic to have been matched to an internship site in Louisiana! Especially because I had already lived there for 12 years before attending grad school at UT. I have so many great friends and so much support already available to me in that area that I can’t imagine a better place to be able to bring closure to this final leg of my doctoral journey.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m just looking forward to building upon the great foundation of knowledge that has already been imparted to me by my professors and supervisors at the University of Tennessee. I hope to make them proud and to serve as a positive reflection of our School Psychology program.

Kala Taylor

Kala Taylor
Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology
Boys Town Behavioral Health Clinic



What was the application process like?
It was just like applying to graduate school, lots of paperwork!

How do you feel about being matched?
Very happy, it will also make the licensure process much easier!

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
My placement is in the Boys Town Residential Track, so most of my time will be spent conducting individual and family therapy with youth with a wide variety of referral concerns. I will also be facilitating group therapy and providing consultation to Boys Town staff.

How do you feel about moving to Nebraska?
Both nervous and excited. Omaha is a neat city; I’m excited about the opportunity to explore a new place and grateful I get to return home to Knoxville after my year there.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I am thankful to have matched with an internship that will allow me to expand my clinical skills. Additionally, I am so grateful for the strong training I received through UT, and the amazing mentors who encouraged me and helped me to achieve my goals.

Victoria Vanmaaren

Victoria VanMaaren
Tennessee Internship Consortium
Lenoir City Schools



What was the application process like?
Applying and interviewing for internships was definitely stressful when combined with a busy year – despite the stress, though, I felt incredibly supported by our faculty as well as my cohort. I always had someone to talk to about any detail of the process and I can’t say enough about everyone’s support!

How do you feel about being matched?
It feels incredible! Throughout my time at UT, I have always had matching with an APA-accredited internship and becoming a licensed psychologist as a goal, and it feels great to be one step closer.

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
I will have a traditional school-based placement, which involves completing initial evaluations and re-evaluations for special education services and consulting with teachers and other school staff.

How do you feel about staying in Tennessee?
I have absolutely fallen in love with Knoxville during my time here, and I’m overjoyed to be staying here. I can’t imagine going through this process anywhere else with anyone else!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m excited to get started! Also I’d like to give a shout out to everyone who has supported me through this journey – I couldn’t have done it without any of you! Let the journey begin!