School Psychology Student, Leslie Herwig

Leslie Herwig is currently a student in the School Psychology Master’s & CAS Program at The College of Saint Rose. She finished her undergraduate study at Saint Michael’s College in 2008 and began her program at Saint Rose in Fall 2010. After graduating from Saint Michael’s with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Herwig took time off and worked with students at a counseling and support agency in Northern Vermont.  The student population was comprised of individuals whom required additional academic, behavioral, and emotional supports in order to be successful within the school setting. Herwig is currently completing her Certificate of Advanced Study by fulfilling her internship credits. She is a full-time intern within Cohoes School District. She is also a volunteer assistant coach for the Saint Rose volleyball team.

What does your internship entail? What is your daily schedule like?

Leslie Herwig: The neat part about school psychology is that every day is different. It’s kind of nice. In the elementary school, it may depend on how the students arrive at school, for instance what happened the night before or what may have happened that morning. I consult with teachers frequently around students’ well-being, academic progress, and possible behavioral management strategies which may assist teachers in the classroom. It is my intention to check-in with as many teachers as possible each morning.  Another one of my roles within schools is evaluations; these could include cognitive and academic as well as behavioral/socio-emotional assessments.  My internship site (elementary school) really focuses on student achievement, ensuring that students develop a strong foundation in reading, writing, and math skills.  Analyzing the data from various assessments which are used in school psychology can assist teachers by impacting instruction and, inevitably, impacting students’ learning and achievement.

The elementary setting and high school setting are pretty different.  In high school, scheduling is a large barrier. Sometimes situations arise and it’s hard trying to get kids at the right time and during the right periods. For instance, are they in lunch, gym class, or study hall? Given the time limits for each class, it’s a little bit more structured, but a lot of the same thing. I frequently consult with teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and administrators.

Like I said before, each day looks different as it is dependent on many variables.  As a school psychologist, you can find your niche and mold your role around your interests and strengths.  The role of a school psychologist has the potential to be diverse as assessment, evaluation, counseling, consultation, intervention and prevention are just a few of the possibilities.  Right now, I’m a member of an attendance committee so we’re trying to identify students who are at-risk academically because of their inconsistent school attendance

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Professional Special Education Student, Brendan Peo

Brendan Peo originated from Levittown, NY, and moved to Albany where he completed his undergraduate career with concentrations on Special Education and Childhood Education here at The College of Saint Rose. He is now enrolled in the Professional Special Education Program here at the College. In his free time, Peo likes to travel, kayak, ski, and of course, listen to music.

You’re enrolled in the Professional Special Education Program at Saint Rose, why did you choose this area of study?

Brendan Peo: I chose to continue my education in the Professional Special Education Program because I really felt it was a good fit for me. I completed my undergraduate degree in both Special Education and Childhood Education, commonly known as “SEED”, and I wanted to delve further into the “Special Education World”. The program gives me the opportunity to customize a track that I want to take, allowing for me
to discover and work with new ideas and concepts not previously covered in undergrad. For me, I will be focusing on Autism Studies, as well as potentially integrating technology in the classroom.

What are your ultimate career goals?

BP: Ideally, I would like to become a Special Education Teacher and work with children with all different needs. I don’t really have a preference for what population of kids I would like to teach because I feel as though Saint Rose prepared me to work with all sorts of students, ranging from high-functioning to low-functioning.

Is there a certain professor or aspect, of the Saint Rose community, that has inspired you?

BP: There are several professors that have influenced my desire to become a Special Educator. A special shout out to Dr. Ward, Dr. Fragnoli, Dr. Pieper, and Professor DeCancio for playing a major role in my education over the past four years. All these professors have taught me some amazing things about education and myself.

What has Saint Rose done for you?

BP: Saint Rose opened the doors to a myriad of opportunities for me. My student teaching and observational placements allowed for me to build connections with teachers in the profession throughout the Capital Region. My professors are fantastic, and teach because that’s where their passion lies and as a student, I can definitely see that.

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Meet College Mental Health Counseling student, Faith Lawton Enemark!

The College of Saint Rose offers a unique Mental Health Counseling master’s degree program that focuses on the needs of college and university students. Faith Lawton Enemark, who is currently in her final semester of the program and will graduate in May, says her time at Saint Rose has been an incredibly rewarding and eye-opening experience.Faith Lawton Enemark, from Albany, NY, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography and Imaging from New York University and is currently pursuing her MS degree in College Mental Health Counseling. The 60 credit program is intended to prepare licensed professional counselors to address the diverse clinical needs of college and university students.

Enemark says that she wanted to work in a field where she could make a difference in people’s lives. The College Mental Health Counseling program at Saint Rose was a natural fit for her. She chose to pursue her graduate studies at Saint Rose for several reasons, but she was most attracted to the community that Saint Rose offered. “I knew that I would have opportunities to learn and network, both in and outside the classroom setting,” she explains,  “I also valued the structure of a program that would allow me to study mental health counseling broadly, while specifically focusing on the college population.”

With only a few months until graduation, Enemark says that her time at Saint Rose has been very rewarding. “Class discussions have challenged me to reexamine my own views, professors have imparted knowledge not available in any textbook, and participation in offices on campus has given me vital real world work experience.” Of the various classes that Enemark has taken, she says that her Case Studies class with Dr. Jelane Kennedy stands out the most. “Dr. Kennedy’s ability to engage a class of only eight students in meaningful discussions about controversial topics was inspiring.”

Enemark has worked as a graduate assistant to Dr. Wendy Neifeld Wheeler in the Office of Parent and Family Relations for several semesters. She says that her experience as a GA has been an invaluable aspect of her graduate education. “Dr. Neifeld Wheeler’s supervision and guidance have helped me become a more competent and capable professional.” Enemark has also been able to apply classroom theories and ideas in her graduate assistant duties. “I will graduate with years of experience working on a college campus, new friendships, and a professional network.”

For students who are interested in applying to the College Mental Health Counseling program at Saint Rose, Enemark says that students should be prepared for engrossing class discussions and meaningful real world experiences. Enemark also suggests that students apply for a graduate assistantship position on campus to gain experience in a college setting. More information about the graduate assistantship program is available here.

If you are interested in learning more about the College 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

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