August 9, 2007

Marjorie Schmidt ’08 Serves her Community during Summer Internships

Psychology and English double major works with adults with disorders and high school students

Marjorie Schmidt ’08 (Manahawkin, N.J.) has been very busy this summer. The psychology and English double major has taken two internships—in a high school guidance department and in a care program for adults with various disorders.

From the end of school in May through the second last week in June, Schmidt was an intern in the Westfield High School guidance department in Westfield, N.J., for three days a week. During the same time, and for the rest of the summer, she is interning two days a week at Preferred Behavioral Health of New Jersey in Lakewood.

“The specific program that I am working in is called PrimeTime and it is an adult partial care day program for adults with various disorders such as schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, and more,” notes Schmidt, whose internship with Preferred Behavioral Health is being is being supported by the Class of 2007 internship endowment fund.

In her current assignment, Schmidt is working along side the program’s case managers. Her duties include observing their interactions with the clients in their caseload and observing how they handle various situations. She assists with group sessions and even has led a few of the sessions. Schmidt also helps with the record keeping, such as filling out group notes at the end of each group session that detail focusing on what the session was about, who attended, and if there were any problems.

“My favorite part of the internship is actually interacting with and getting to know the clients,” she notes. “Each person comes from a different situation and is unique and it is really fun and interesting to get to know them and learn. I also enjoy being able to help them in any way that I can.”

While at Westfield High School, Schmidt learned the various functions and responsibilities of school counselors in a high school. In addition, she was able to observe conferences between counselors and their students with the students’ consent, including academic counseling and college counseling, as well as personal counseling. She also helped with sessions that the counselors had formed to reach out to various student populations.

“I was mostly there to observe and help out with various tasks so that I could get an overview of what it would be like to work as a counselor,” Schmidt adds. “I learned a program called NAVIANCE, which helps students with their college search as it basically helps match students with colleges that would be appropriate for them based on a variety of criteria. I also learned the student scheduling system called CIMPLE and gained experience in scheduling students for their fall classes. In addition, I learned how the role of the school counselor fits in with the grand scheme of things—coordinating with teachers, administrators, students, parents, etc.—in order to act in the best interest of the student in various situations.”

Schmidt believes the internships will help her during her senior year at Lafayette. Of particular note, she thinks her experience at Preferred Behavioral Health will be helpful when she takes her Abnormal Psychology course in the fall.

Looking further ahead, Schmidt plans to begin applying to grad school in the fall and, after graduation, begin work toward a master’s degree in counseling with a concentration in school counseling. Her career goals include earning certification as a licensed professional counselor so that she can begin her own practice and eventually going back to school for her Psy.D or Ed.D.

In addition to her academic work, Schmidt is a member of the Concert Choir, Cadence all-female a capella group, Alpha Phi sorority, and Psi Chi the psychology honors society. She also is a writing associate with the College Writing Program, has volunteered with Easton Hospital and Lehigh Valley Child Care, and has participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life multiple times.

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