Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Adjunct Professor
Lesley University, Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy
Pine Manor College, Double Major in Psychology and Visual Arts
Silver Lake Regional High School, Kingston, MA
Life After Graduation
Devon received a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy from Lesley University and is currently enrolled in Lesley’s doctoral program for Expressive Therapies. She has “worked with developmentally disabled adults for ten years and gradually transitioned into working with adults, families, and teenagers with more mental health problems. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) for the state of Massachusetts and am working toward art therapy credentialing at this time while in the expressive therapies doctoral program at Lesley University. I am also a clinician at a Starr residential program where DCF places teens who are taken away from their homes for safety or behavioral reasons. I am also an adjunct psychology professor at Pine Manor. I have continued to paint, show, and sell art since graduating from Pine Manor.” Devon recently displayed her art work in an exhibit at Pine Manor’s Hess Gallery.
In the future Devon would “love to open up some type of clinic or facility that focusses on the use of expressive therapies and possibly on trauma. I can envision opening this type of establishment on the South Shore area of Massachusetts due to the lack of these resources in the area. I would also like to teach at a variety of Universities, possibly out of the country. Writing books and publishing research in scholarly journals may be an important factor in my future as well.”
How PMC Helped Me
Devon was a double major in Psychology and Visual Arts and graduated in 2005. While Devon attended Pine Manor because the “campus was beautiful and several friends from high school were also accepted” she took advantage of our small size and our liberal arts focus which she felt gave her “the freedom to explore a multitude of options in regards to future possibilities. I was also able to choose a double major once I determined that those were the areas I wanted to pursue in the years to follow.”
Because Pine Manor College’s mission focuses on teaching “one student at a time,” our faculty and academic advisors work with the students to help them create an educational plan and academic major that works for them. As Devon found, “the faculty understood why I double majored and supported me with the exploration of art therapy as a career. My internship accommodated both areas of specialty and the staff reinforced the blending of the two disciplines. The faculty remained in contact with me beyond graduation and gave me opportunities to discuss my career and educational decisions with future Pine Manor graduates. This ongoing communication then resulted in my eventual adjunct teaching at the College.”
Devon’s internship was at Arc of the South Shore, an organization dedicated to supporting people with developmental disabilities, and helped influence her future career path. “My internship was my first experience with seeing art as therapy. I was able to offer artistic endeavors to developmentally disabled adults and see the benefits that it had for the individuals involved. It gave me a solid basis for choosing my next steps for my education and employment.”
In addition to her internship, Devon worked with her classmates in the research sequence to develop and implement a research project assessing the triggers for why an individual becomes homeless. Working with the Elderly Living at Home Program, a program to end elderly homelessness, Devon learned of the struggles facing the homeless population in Boston. She and her classmates interviewed individuals about their experiences and found that there are a myriad of reasons for why an individual becomes homeless. This experience enhanced Devon’s interview skills and understanding of the need for interventions by healthcare providers to keep the most vulnerable in our society safe and healthy.
Devon not only took full advantage of the high quality academics while a student at Pine Manor, she has continued to stay in contact with the faculty and current students. “It makes me laugh sometimes when I think about the fact that Pine Manor now pays me as a faculty member when I had once paid to attend here. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to stay connected to the institution in this way…Pine Manor continues to help me grow as a professional even ten years after I graduated. It is small enough to individualize your learning experiences. If a student is dedicated…PMC has the support, resources, and faculty available to them. The diverse population of students also makes for an enriching experience overall. I never thought an educational institution would impact my identity as much as Pine Manor has. It is certainly a part of who I am and what I stand for, on many levels.”
Dr. Ramirez has continued to be in contact with Devon over the years and was thrilled to offer her a place on the psychology faculty as an adjunct professor, “it has been a real pleasure to witness Devon’s growth as a professional and to welcome her as a colleague into the department. She has so many talents and has generously shared them with the Pine Manor community. She is a wonderful role model for our students.”