FHU debuts Psyched for Success event

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Freed-Hardeman University held its inaugural Psyched for Success event to provide behavioral science students with career options and connections with FHU alumni. The event, which took place in late January, included faculty and alumni from the psychology, social work, family science and criminal justice departments.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Bethany Williams, who is the founder and CEO of Exile International, an organization that seeks to provide rehabilitation and trauma care to child soldiers and children orphaned by war. Additional sessions included speakers, networking and a seminar about standing out in graduate school applications. All of the speakers are FHU alumni.
Several student organizations coordinated the event, including the Psych Club, Psi Chi International Honors Society for Psychology and the Social Work Students in Action. The behavioral science department program coordinators, Dr. Chris Creecy, Dr. Nadine McNeal, Josh Taylor and Dr. Stark Davis, along with Department Chair Lisa Beene, gathered alumni to speak at the event. Inspired by a similar event held in the biological science department, a student approached Creecy with the idea for Psyched for Success. However, the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the plans. 
Speakers from the behavioral science field covered a wide range of careers. Creecy said one of the goals of the event was to expand students’ horizons regarding the opportunities available to them.
“We wanted to generate career ideas for students that they might not think about. A common reaction from students is that all you can do with a psychology degree is become a counselor. This program helped students realize there are so many more options and career paths with a behavioral sciences degree,” Creecy said. 
Alumni were eager to provide insight and guidance to students. Nathan Honeycutt serves as the clinical director for the Ozark Center Turnaround Ranch. Honeycutt graduated from FHU in 2000 with his bachelor’s degree in Bible and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling in 2007. He admired the attending students’ willingness to learn.
“These students had good questions and a genuine interest in preparing themselves for life after college. I came to help shine a light on careers outside the box and see mental health as a ministry for all. The students were eager for information and excited to learn about careers,” Honeycutt said.
Participating students gained valuable career advice and industry insights from the alumni.
“Psyched for Success helped me make new friends and professional contacts, as well as furthered my perspective as to what can be accomplished with a bachelor’s degree in the behavioral sciences,” said Jenna Street, a freshman psychology major. “Seeing the presenters and the passion they have for their work was truly inspiring. I will attend again when the next one comes around.”
The behavioral sciences department hopes to make Psyched for Success an annual event. Creecy said planning for the January 2025 Psyched for Success has already begun.
The following alumni were involved in the program: 
Brandy Barnett, Day Treatment Specialist and TIP Therapist; Scott Fish, Outpatient Therapist; Kip L. Green, Minister, North Jefferson Church of Christ; Bailie Jones, School-Based Therapist; Riley Jones, Social Worker; Anna Nordstrom, Probation and Parole Officer; C. Rebecca Oldham, Assistant Professor Human Development and Family Science Middle Tennessee State University; Patrick Spears, TBI Special Agent in Criminal Investigation; Dillon Tucker, Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and Erin Yow, Director of Hilldale Christian Child Care Center and Director of Preschools for Clarksville Christian School.

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