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Stacy O’Connell


Rehabilitation Counseling

Stacy is currently seeking her MS in Rehabilitation Counseling with a Deafness Focus. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana she received her BA in psychology at Clark University and came to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2015. We asked her to reflect on some of her past and current experiences. Read her responses below.


Current Occupation

Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services in Lafayette, LA

I work with Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing consumers who are interested in finding or maintaining employment. I assist with finding an appropriate employment goal, evaluating assistive technology needs, and ensuring that the consumer is successful in their chosen field. A lot of what I do is advocating for my clients and also teaching them to advocate for themselves.

hikingPersonal Interests

I work full time and am a graduate student, so my hobbies are not getting much of my attention right now! When I do take a break, I like to go camping, hiking, or kayaking with my partner. I also love to hand quilt and am a member of the Lafayette Modern Quilt Guild. I love hand piecing and quilting because it is relaxing and meditative-a nice contrast to grad school.

Future/Vocational Goals

After earning my master’s degree, I plan to continue my work at Louisiana Rehabilitation Services. I love my job and am thrilled that I am learning more skills and obtaining more knowledge to better assist my clients.

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

I’ve only just begun my program here, but the most challenging part is finding time to be a full-time student while working full time. The most rewarding aspect has been the people I have met. We spent a week on campus and I was able to personally meet my professors and advisor. I also spent the week with my classmates—that was invaluable! I consider many of them my friends and we are already planning a reunion trip.

What sold you on this program/university?

I researched a few schools that offered this program and emailed them requesting more information. I was contacted almost immediately by Wayne Mulkey, program coordinator. He talked to me for a long time and was so kind and encouraging. I never even applied to the other schools – I knew I wanted to go to UT Knoxville!