Community Mental Health Counseling student Raymond Blanchard works on creating his own thesis

After deciding to enter the field of mental health counseling, Raymond Blanchard searched for a graduate program that offered individualized attention from professors. As a Mental Health Counseling student at Saint Rose, Blanchard has received the support he was looking for and is in the beginning stages of developing a master’s thesis.

Raymond Blanchard III, from Watertown, CT, graduated from SUNY Albany with a B.A. in both Spanish and Psychology. He plans on graduating from Saint Rose with his master’s degree in Community Mental Health Counseling in May 2014. After graduating, he hopes to earn his PhD in Counseling Psychology and work as an advocate for the LGBT* community and people with substance abuse issues.

Blanchard had always been interested in helping people, but he did not become interested in mental health counseling until he took a counseling psychology class during his senior year of college. In that class, he explored potential career paths in counseling, and guided by advice from his professor, Blanchard decided it was the perfect career for him.

Blanchard’s decision to attend Saint Rose came during the admission workshop. “I knew Saint Rose was the place for me on the day of my interview for the program because the faculty was so warm and inviting, and genuinely excited about the program,” he says, “I had the feeling that the professors really want students to succeed. Their enthusiasm made me excited to attend Saint Rose and study mental health counseling”.

Although only in his second semester, Blanchard says his learning experiences have been extremely beneficial. “The small class sizes allow everyone to get a chance to learn from each other, which is really helpful because we talk in depth about a variety of topics. I have learned so much because everyone has something unique to share, whether it’s race, cultures, diagnoses or something on life span development.” Blanchard also serves as a graduate assistant to the Counseling Department, where he works with professors on research projects.

Blanchard says that his Research in Counseling class with Dr. Mike Bologna has been a major influence on his graduate career. After taking the class, Blanchard worked with Dr. Bologna to design a thesis project. “Dr. Bologna has been a tremendous help with my thesis as my chairman. He is very knowledge and is available to answer all of my questions.” Blanchard is currently in the proposal stage of his thesis – a comparison study of homosexual and heterosexual fathers and the parenting styles/attitudes they have toward their children. As an advocate for the LGBT community, Blanchard is interested in understanding how fathers feel in their parental role and if sexual orientation is a factor in their attitudes and skills.

For students who are interested in applying to the Community Mental Health Counseling program at Saint Rose, Blanchard says that students should come ready to learn and have fun. “Prospective students should know that Saint Rose and the faculty here are really dedicated to their students. As a Mental Health Counseling student, you will interact with fellow classmates and professors, which is a very rewarding experience”.

If you are interested in learning more about the Community Mental Health Counseling graduate program, click here for more information. If you have any questions, please contact Graduate Admissions at 518-454-5143 or email

* LGBT – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered


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