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President's Blog

Developing a sense of community amongst students

This morning I returned to Los Angeles after a five week visit to our Chicago Campus. During my stay, I had the great pleasure of spending dedicated time with students and alumni. On June 19 and 25, I met with both Chicago and Online students & alumni over lunch; the luncheon outreach program has indeed reached new heights and continues to be a favorite! While together, we spent endless hours discussing personal journeys and ambitions, and developed connections that I know will last a lifetime.

These outreach luncheons additionally create the opportunity for students to develop community amongst themselves. For some, they are the beginning of relationships across programs through which students can seek and provide both academic and personal support.

For others, they represent a chance to learn about other specialty areas in psychology and related behavioral and health sciences—areas students grow curious about as they think forward toward the possibilities for interprofessional collaboration. For still others, it is such a joy to watch future business partnerships get discussed and plans for private practices emerge!

I learn a tremendous amount from our students! If I were to pass one thing along to them, it would be a reminder to take time out of their busy schedules to reflect upon their experiences, draw upon others for encouragement, and support and identify the many people around them that can be resources to help them move forward in their careers.