Bay Path Alumnae Link Undergrads to New Careers
From donations to Bay Path College programs to providing essential career advice, Bay Path alumni play great roles in the success of current Bay Path students, and it shows in Keri (Titcomb) Keane’s ’04 and Tamara Blake’s ’04 mentoring of Samantha Casey ’11 and Jennifer Martin ’11, respectively. Samantha and Jennifer, both majoring in psychology and pursuing a concentration in forensic psychology, recently participated in Bay Path’s Community-Based Co-operative Education in Psychology, and acquired a taste for psychology-related careers.
The program allows undergraduates the opportunity to apply for a co-op experience during the spring of their first year, and participate in a paid co-op during the fall semester during sophomore year. What makes the co-op experience exceptional for Samantha and Jennifer is that they were both hired by their respective sites following the successful completion of their co-ops. “This was an opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Samantha. “When I graduate from Bay Path, I will not only have my degree in psychology, but I will have several years of experience under my belt, giving me a leg-up on the competition.”
Samantha and Jennifer completed co-ops at the Mental Health Association (MHA) Young Adult Program and New Directions of North Central Connecticut, respectively and during an hour-long presentation last semester, Samantha and Jennifer shared insight to their experiences. Since neither Samantha nor Jennifer were at privilege to speak publicly of patients for whom they provided care, Samantha developed a case study of a simulated adolescent patient who refused medications, and had a history of manic episodes and auditory hallucinations, among other disorders. She applied the knowledge and training she received from her co-op experience to set patient goals, such as self-administration of medication and independent living skills. “Samantha is definitely eager to learn, and she demonstrates the clinical skills I would expect from a junior or a senior, not a sophomore,” said Keri, who was a forensic psychology major at Bay Path, and now serves as Program Supervisor for the Young Adult Program for the Mental Health Association. “She steps up to the plate when a challenge is present, and the consumers respond well to her. She handles crisis situations well, and is never afraid to give her opinion when warranted. We are ecstatic that she has joined us as a member of the Young Adult Program's staff.”
“The co-op was a profound experience for me,” said Samantha. “From the very first day, I was challenged and at times, compelled me to reconsider my major. But with each day, I learned more and more about psychology and ultimately, the experience solidified my decision to pursue a career in the field and help individuals gain control of their lives.”
Jennifer agreed. “I’m absolutely grateful for my experience with New Directions,” she said. “I learned much about the services offered at drug addiction treatment centers as well as preparing necessary paperwork ranging from subpoenas to insurance claims. It was a wonderful educational experience, and I’m thrilled to remain with the center and work with our clients as I continue my college education at Bay Path.”