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Applied Educational Psychology MS


Applied Educational Psychology

John is currently seeking his MS in educational psychology with the Applied Educational Psychology program. Originally from Knoxville, TN, he received his BS in education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He joined EPC in 2016. We asked him to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read his responses below.

Accomplishments
Current Occupation

Director of Operations
UT Conference Center
Knoxville, TN

I devote most of my time mentoring student workers; organizing sales, catering, and FOH staff; facilitate online learning for a culinary certificate program.

Personal Interests

Enjoy spending time with my wife (Lydia), my two dogs (Leo & Izzie), and pursuing a lifelong goal of visiting every NFL stadium. I enjoy spending time at church where I teach a Sunday school class and lead the choir.

Future/Vocational Goals

I would like to become a department head, an administrator, or maybe even do some teaching.

What sold you on this program?

The online component was a big key. The structure (night classes, 2 classes per semester) seemed very manageable to full-time employee.

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

Meeting the diverse group of people with different experiences and viewpoints. Group activities have been great, as well as class content. I am currently using, and even putting into practice, many things I have already learned in the program.


EPC Facebook page.

Karen Elizabeth Brinkley
Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

Ann Marie Cisney-Booth
PhD in Educational Psychology and Research – Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

Jaya Lyn Cookston
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Courtney Brooke Davis
MS in Counseling – School Counseling
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Whitney Suzanne Denton
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Nina Marie Ditommaso
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Ellyn Kelly Domanico
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Lauren Ridley Fraser
MS in Counseling – School Counseling
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Erin Rochelle Garty
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Marta Magdalena Goebel-Pietrasz
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Tiffany Hattley
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Kendall Bree Hauck
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Brittany Susan Hill
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Peter Lawrence Ignacio
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Caroline Marie Jaquett
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Savannah Rachel Ladage
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Emily Earlynn Lauer
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Rebekah Grace Livingston
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Sondra Marie LoRe
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Sherry Ann Marlow Ormsby
PhD in Educational Psychology and Research – Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

Sarah Ellen McMurray
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

James Ray Michel
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Maya Mingo
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Jonah Lee Ruddy
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Terilyn Chiemi Shigeno
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Kala Lane Taylor
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Victoria Gail Vanmarren
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Elizabeth Morgan Zeller
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

*If you are one of the graduates listed above and would like to have your photo added to our EPC Graduates Facebook album, then please email your picture to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu.

**If you were an Educational Psychology and Counseling student who graduated during this time frame, yet have unintentionally been omitted from this list, please send your name, degree, and major/concentration to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu. We will add you to the list after receiving this information from you and confirming your graduation status.


“It is extremely humbling to be Chair. Blount County is well known for its level of community/citizen engagement and its capacity for collaboration and cooperation. There is so much talent and so much heart in our community. United Way of Blount County is just one example of a community organization that thrives thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who give their talents and treasure in service to others.”

As Chair, what are you looking forward to this year?

Our board recently committed to two primary agenda items for 2017: (1) our continuing support behind another successful annual campaign and (2) the implementation of a pilot initiative (CLS Club) designed to increase the engagement of young professionals who work in Blount County with United Way of Blount County. The former objective takes care of today while the latter objective supports our future.

What makes the United Way of Blount County special?

That’s easy to answer – it’s the organization mission and all of the people involved!

United Way of Blount County advances the common good by supporting programs that help kids succeed, strengthen and support families, promote self-sufficiency, improve people’s health, and protect community well-being. We strongly believe that we can accomplish more than any single group can on its own. Our mantra is LIVE UNITED!

Last year, 256 organizations and 6,183 donors contributed $2,041,000. These campaign dollars are allocated to over 40 community based programs sponsored by 28 nonprofit, partner agencies.

And then there are all the people involved in one role or another. It starts with our extraordinary staff under the leadership of Jennifer Wackerhagen. We have wonderful board and committee members who are dedicated to excellence in governance, ethics, diversity, financial accountability, and transparency. From 2012-17, United Way of Blount County has received the highest 4-star rating for exceptional transparency and accountability from Charity Navigator.

Our partner agencies are equally dedicated to the quality of specific programs and services in support of their clients’ needs. They, too, are made up of very talented and committed people.

And the list can go on . . .

How did you become involved with the organization?

I worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for 30 years. As a quasi-federal agency, TVA participated in the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) which is similar to United Way. The TVA workforce was very engaged in this annual CFC campaign. As a senior manager, I felt it important to model support for the CFC so I was always personally involved.

Once I retired from TVA, it was a natural fit for me to become more involved in United Way of Blount County where I live. I made my interest known and started participating on allocation panels and the Community Impact Committee. Within a couple of years, I was invited to join the Board of Directors.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville sponsors an annual Community Chest campaign (yet another version of a United Way). I encourage faculty and staff to be engaged in this campaign and/or in their local United Way campaigns.


As the 2017 Chair, Hammon gave the closing remarks at the United Way of Blount County Annual Meeting on Friday, January 20. During this speech, she spoke of their initiative – the CLS Club.

The purpose of the CLS Club is to develop young professionals through engagement with United Way of Blount County and by connecting, leading, and serving in our community. We are using an employer-based club model. Arconic, Denso, and Clayton have committed to establishing clubs in their organizations during this pilot year.

Identified club members will participate in monthly lunch meetings throughout 2017. During these gatherings, we will orient them to United Way’s mission, partnerships, and processes for raising funds, allocating resources, and serving our community. To bring an experiential feature to their learning, each club is being allocated $5,000. They will go through their own mini process of vetting grants, allocating money, and monitoring outcomes. They will be encouraged to engage in our annual campaign in some manner of their choosing. Ultimately, we hope some of the club members will exercise more formal leadership in United Way of Blount County by participating on allocation panels, serving on committees, or joining our board.


EPC Facebook page.

Alyssa Michelle Adorati
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

John Lyman Ayers
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Rochelle Butler
PhD in Counselor Education

Lakita Renae Dawston
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Amanda Christine DeDiego
PhD in Counselor Education

Melisa Renee Donahue
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Brittany Harris Elkins
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Raven Kirby Gibson
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Emily Carter Gray
PhD in Educational Psychology and Research – Collaborative Learning

Melissa Ann Harness
PhD in Education – Learning Environments and Educational Studies

DeAnna Lynn Hawtin
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Shannon Rae Huffman Frias
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Lena Karin Logan
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Courtney Myers McInturff
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Stacy Lynn O’Connell
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Cory Lemont Parker
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Annalise Christine Romeiser
MS in Counseling – Rehabilitation Counseling

Roseanne Michele Sasso
PhD in Education – Instructional Technology

Emily Pendergrast Taylor
PhD in School Psychology

Jason Tyler
MS in Education – Instructional Technology

Christina Valiquette
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Dammika Lakmal Walpitage
PhD in Educational Psychology and Research – Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

Kevin Wayne Webster
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

David Austin Willis
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

*If you are one of the graduates listed above and would like to have your photo added to our EPC Graduates Facebook album, then please email your picture to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu.

**If you were an Educational Psychology and Counseling student who graduated during this time frame, yet have unintentionally been omitted from this list, please send your name, degree, and major/concentration to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu. We will add you to the list after receiving this information from you and confirming your graduation status.


Applied Educational Psychology

Lynda earned an MS in educational psychology with a concentration in the Applied Educational Psychology program in 2016. She is originally from, 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

Substitute Teacher
Knox County Schools
Knoxville, TN

I am excited to be back in the school system as a substitute teacher. I love working with the special education classes, especially. I am hoping that before long I secure a full-time position in the schools, but until then, I am grateful for the opportunity to meet new classes and visit new schools.

Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student

One of the most valuable accomplishments I had as a student, was that of personal growth. Every semester I wondered if I could do it. The inner whiner inside me moaned and groaned about yet another project or paper that seemed to be such an uphill battle. Each time, though, I completed the task. Two of the greatest accomplishments for me were the hardest two projects I had: writing a grant and writing a research proposal poster. I consider those two projects invaluable experiences and have often shared the know-how with friends in undergraduate programs.

Accomplishments since Graduating

For me, accomplishment is measured in how much I gain so that I can freely give it away. The EdPsych Online program offered me more than a degree. It provided me experiences that I can share with others, not just the experience of education and how we learn, but that we all CAN learn and advance. It would be hard for me to credit that as a personal accomplishment, so I will say it is a phenomenal attribute that I am so grateful to have so that I can better give back to the world. Almost regularly, it seems, I meet someone who says they wish they could go back to school. Each and every time, no matter what their age, I tell them that it is possible. When they hear my story and their eyes light up with hope, my heart soars with joy. I can’t do it for them, but if I help water the seed their soul has planted, then my personal goal is accomplished.

Personal Interests

I am a mom of six children ages 18-25. They are my hobby and my life. Well, okay, so is my dog, but don’t tell my kids that she ranks the same as they do! They already claim she is spoiled but I think they are jealous because she’s so pretty.
Someday, I’d like to skydive. I’d love to learn a foreign language. In my past, I have written a published novel and won some writing contests. Last year, I started modeling and taking on bit roles as an extra in TV shows and commercials. I am not sure I am very good at it, but it is fun, and I have met some incredibly nice people.

What was the most memorable experience during your time here?

In one class we played a game. The game involved three teams. We were to pick either an X or a Y with no further instructions. If all three teams selected the same letter, we each won a virtual dollar. I was chosen to be the letter picker on my team. My idea was to choose the same letter consistently, so a pattern established. I hoped the other teams would catch on and all three teams would win the dollar. Two rounds in and my team was in debt. Before the final round, both other team captains, unknowingly to each other, popped into our private room. Each told me to keep playing the same letter. My team agreed to continue to play the game as we were. On the final round, all three teams picked the same letter as I had been picking. When asked by the game orchestrator why the change happened the team captains said, “We wanted to get Lynda out of debt.” That was memorable and fun.

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

I think current and incoming students might benefit from knowing that even though this is an online program, a community can be established. Reach out to anyone you feel comfortable with, get an email address or phone number and text each other. Voice your fears and concerns and bond with people. I thoroughly enjoy knowing the people I met in this program. I am happy to hear from them and genuinely look forward to walking our graduation ceremony together. There is a spirit of community in the program, and while we are linked only through technology, that doesn’t diminish the value of making fantastic friends in the program.

How did your experiences as a student help you in your professional/personal life after graduation?

The degree hasn’t changed my life in a major way. However, it has strengthened my life in immeasurable ways. My courage to try achievements outside my comfort zone was bolster by my success in the program. I carry that courage every day as I embark on a new passage in my life. Having this degree has helped me remember that it is okay to start late in the game, so long as I start. As a student I was reminded how important it is to help one another, and how important it is to ask for help, too. This program and the people I have met while seeking the degree have enriched my personal life, and I am eternally grateful.

“When fatigue sets in, somewhere around the middle of the program, don’t quit! Reach out, talk to a classmate, just know that the program is doable and an experience that is worth the effort.”