MSPP MIlitary Community
This group consists of family, friends and loved ones of military members, veterans, active service members, students in the Military and Veterans Psychology Program, and those interested in joining the service post-graduation. The group provides mentorship and support for one another to cope with the deployment of a loved one, work through the demands of graduate level work, contemplate major career decisions, and deal with other life stressors. The MSPP Military Community also provides community service, advocacy and psycho-education to veterans, service members, and military families throughout Massachusetts.
Coy Pemberton is a student in the MA in Counseling Psychology and Primary Care program. He has been serving in the Army for over 14 years now; four of those on active duty and the remaining in the Army Reserves. Coy has held many positions in that time, though currently he is a Reserve Drill Sergeant. Coy shares, "Much of my desire to be a mental health clinician came from my military experience; as I have seen first-hand the terrible effects of trauma and I have seen the need for more competent and experienced clinicians. While I have always had an interest in the field of Psychology, witnessing the unseen wounds related to conflict solidified my resolve to pursue mental health as a career." Coy is completing his practicum working with Veterans at Chelsea Soldiers Home. He shares, "I cannot say enough about how this hands-on experience has benefited me. Not only has it broadened my perspective on working with military personnel and their families, it has greatly increased my cultural competence.
Stacey Hayes is a 2nd year part-time student in MSPP's Forensic and Counseling Psychology program. Stacey served in the U.S. Army from 1988-2000. She originally joined the U.S. National Guard as an enlisted person. Upon undergraduate enrollment at Boston University she joined its Army ROTC program while simultaneously serving in the U.S. Army Reserves. In May, 1992, Stacey was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and served as a platoon leader with the 383rd Military Intelligence unit stationed out of Fort Devens, MA until 1996. Stacey became interested in psychology while attending Suffolk University Law School when she participated in a domestic violence internship. She chose MSPP for her studies because of its flexible, online blended program and because it's one of the only programs with a forensics concentration. Her career goal is to earn a doctoral degree so that she can work with military veterans in a VA setting as well as children/adolescents who are either involved in the juvenile justice system and/or are victims of trauma-related events.
Miriam Kolko is a student in the MA in Counseling Psychology program and part of our "Military-Connected" community. She shares, "I am honored to be married to a Maritime Law Enforcement Officer in the U.S Coast Guard Reserve. In addition, my father-in-law is an OIF veteran, and has recently retired after 30 plus years in the Army National Guard."
When she enrolled at MSPP, she was looking for a cohort that could understand her experience as a military spouse. MSPP became the ideal place to explore and foster this dynamic. As a result of these desires, the Military Community group was developed. This group is a place where veterans, family members, and those who are interested in learning more about the unique military experience can come together and support each other.
"While my interest in veterans and their families was sparked during my college career, my time at MSPP and my experience as a military spouse has only furthered my interest in working with this unique population." A component of her field internship involves working with military families coping with trauma. Miriam shares, "My future goal is to continue to work with veterans and their families because when a service member deploys so does their family."
Rob Chester is a 2nd year student in the Clinical PsyD program. He is currently working in the Substance Abuse Residential Rehab Treatment Program (SARRTP) at the Boston VA. His rank is 2LT, second lieutenant, O-1. In addition to his academics, Rob serves as a Health Services Officer at Hanscom Air Force Base in the National Guard as part of a four-person behavioral health team, consisting of a psychologist (the only psychologist in the Mass National Guard, NGMA), two social workers and Rob. The team participates in many PHAs (periodic health assessments) checking on the mental health of soldiers, pre- post- and between deployments. Anytime an NGMA unit returns from a deployment the team provides mental health services at the demobilization (DEMOB) site. Last spring, when several NGMA units were activated to provide support for survivors of the tornadoes in western Massachusetts, the behavioral health team visited the area and spoke with several soldiers and civilians about their concerns. This summer Rob went to a DEMOB site at Camp Atterbury, IN, for two weeks with the NGMA behavioral health team and provided behavioral health support for civilian mental health workers assessing an NGMA infantry battalion returning from Afghanistan.
Trey served in the army from 2003 to 2006 in a combat unit. After realizing that many of his new military “family” had issues involving things that they had seen in combat and how that not only affected them but also the entire unit, he decided to pursue psychology . When it came time to re-enlist, he entered the reserves in order to pursue a psychology graduate education with the goal of returning to the military full time to serve one day as a military psychologist.
Evan Bick is a first year student in the Clinical PsyD program Evan Bick joined the US Army after graduating from college in 2006. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in January 2007, and after infantry training was stationed at Fort Riley, KS. He deployed to Baghdad as an infantry platoon leader and assistant battalion operations officer from 9/08 to 9/09. Currently Evan serves in the Massachusetts Army National Guard as an Officer Candidate School Instructor. His major interest in psychology is working with veterans. Currently, he is completing his field placement requirement at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.
Eli was a 1st LT when he left active duty in the Army, serving from 2003 to 2006. He is currently a 4th year student and is considering working with active duty personnel or veterans in the future.