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Students Celebrating Graduation University News

Women’s leadership pioneer, mental health care innovator and children’s mental health advocate among speakers at D.C. Campus Commencement

Final TCSPP 2017 commencement closes out year with enthusiasm and high expectations.

(Washington, D.C.) (NOVEMBER 06, 2017)– The October 27 Washington, D.C. Campus commencement ceremony was host to honorary degree recipient, Martha Farmer, founding and executive director of Leadership America; distinguished alumna Sonya Bruton, Psy.D., chief operating officer, CCI Health and Wellness; and student speaker, Rachel Altvater, Psy.D, postdoctoral resident at The Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education. The three dynamic and accomplished speakers each sought to inspire and enrich their audience of 103 new graduates and their more than 800 proud family members and friends.

At a ceremony that saw bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees conferred upon Washington, D.C. Campus and Online Campus students, Farmer, who as president of Martha Farmer & Associates from 2000-2009, consulted on the creation of several women’s leadership programs across the country, was given the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. A winner of the 2017 Leadership Woman of the Year Award, and a member of The Chicago School’s Board of Trustees, Farmer believes that, “the most authentic leader is the vulnerable leader.”

“Every difficult case, class, professor, externship, paper or research question had a purpose: to form you into a multifaceted key that will unlock the doors of change or lead you to the answer to someone’s problems,” advised Dr. Bruton, a 2016 graduate of the Washington, D.C. Campus’ Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and a mental health care innovator who while serving as a doctoral intern, introduced and launched 30-minute brief visits designed to foster the behavioral change needed to improve medical conditions.

Student speaker Dr. Rachel Altvater is also a graduate of the Clinical Psy.D. Program, and is passionate about serving children, adolescents, and families who have endured traumatic experiences. She received specialized training in both trauma work and play therapy and is presently a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and Registered Play Therapist. She reminded her fellow graduates of how lucky they were, “How fortunate are we to enter a profession where we can wake up each and every day and know that we are making an impact and truly changing lives significantly?”

“It was a thrilling day,” said Heather Sheets, Psy.D., Washington, D.C. Campus Dean. “I was honored to have such high-achieving professionals share their knowledge with our graduates, who are prepared to make their own marks on the world.”

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit university devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral health sciences with new programs in the health services. The Chicago School is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact. The institution serves more than 4,300 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego); and Washington, D.C., as well as through online programs. The Chicago School is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, (WSCUC), and its Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C. are accredited by the American Psychological Association. With more than 20 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology and behavioral health education.

Media Contact: Lisa Riley
[email protected]