Parker LaRock '20G
Current position: Residence Hall Director at the University of New Hampshire
Carsey Degree: Master in Community Development
"Through this program and the support of my peers and professors, I was able to design, create, and implement a community development project based on my passion for mental health."
Can you share what your capstone and/or internship experience with the Carsey School was like?
I worked with Psychological Counseling Services, Health and Wellness, and the office of Residential Life to take a deep dive into the mental health of students at UNH. Through my work with these offices we held focus groups, did in-depth literature review, and sent a survey to the entire campus gathering data. After collecting this information, we established a PACS Work Group comprised of many members representing various offices on campus to create and implement new mental health initiatives across campus. These initiatives were implemented starting the fall of 2019 and have continued to be utilized to this day.
Can you describe your most valuable takeaway from your master's program?
The growth in my confidence as a young professional with this program was incredible. Through this program and the support of my peers/professors, I was able to design, create, and implement a community development project based on my passion for mental health. This program has set me up for success and has provided me the tools and knowledge to continue doing this work for years to come.
What are some career goals you have for yourself?
Right now I am in the process of searching for the next step. I would love to continue this community development work in either the field of conduct, case management or title IX in a higher education setting. Additionally, I hope that whatever my next role is I am able to bring the community-centered approach to that office and help to develop a stronger community-centered department. My second goal is to work toward being a department head someday. While there were many changes I was able to implement during my time at UNH, I know that in a higher position I will be able to implement greater change that will support the many communities within a university setting.
What advice do you have for people considering a graduate degree from the Carsey School?
Do it! No seriously do it! Look I get it, they asked the dude who just got his degree and loved his experience to say great things but it is all true. It is a fantastic program, with wonderful advisors, awesome professors, and an excellent cohort of peers. There will be challenges and there will be times that you may have to go back to square one. But the experience is so worth it and the knowledge/tools you will have at your disposal are so valuable. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways. So with that being said, do it!
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