The assistant director of experiential learning at Adelphi’s Center for Career Development employs her graduate education on a daily basis.
by Jeffrey Weisbord
As the assistant director of experiential learning at Adelphi’s Center for Career Development, Bernadine Waller, M.A. ’10, employs her graduate education on a daily basis.
“In the mental health counseling program, we took a course called Vocational Counseling, which covered many theories and theorists, such as [American psychologist] John Holland; his theories are really what inform a lot of the assessment tools that we use in the Career Center,” she said.
Ms. Waller came to the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies with a varied career background. As an undergraduate student at Temple University, she held various posts in print media and broadcast journalism, including on-air announcer for WRTI 90.1 FM, the greater Philadelphia area radio station, intern with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she covered the 1996 Summer Olympics, as well as the position of senior interactive producer at NBC. Her passion for mental health and psychotherapy encouraged her to transition to Nationwide Insurance, where she worked as a leadership facilitator and diversity trainer in addition to her role as a senior marketing communications consultant.
A family situation obligated her to return to her home in Long Island, so Ms. Waller took advantage of her changed circumstances to further her education. For her, the choice was simple. “At the time, one third of the advanced psychological schools modeled their programs after Derner’s program,” she said. “I chose to go to the original rather than a duplicate.”
Ms. Waller felt at home at Derner, despite having a different level of experience than many of her classmates.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the mental health counseling program,” she said. “I had some of the best professors…Derner has phenomenal faculty. I enjoyed my peers as well. The students are smart and engaging, and they are go-getters.” She soon transitioned into teaching, and has taught undergraduate psychology as an adjunct professor for the past five years.
Ms. Waller’s extensive career experience also aids her when counseling students.
“Whether it’s marketing, communication, journalism, psychology or social work, I know it because I’ve lived those worlds so I understand what is required of the students, what they should know and how they should ground themselves to be successful,” she said.
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