Three recent graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at UNC Pembroke have each been accepted into doctoral programs.
And all three – Jacob Blackstock, Bredell Moody and Samantha Simon – credits their former professors, and the knowledge gained from UNCP’s counseling program, with the motivation and preparation in their pursuit of doctoral degree.
The Braves trio began their studies this fall in Counseling and Counselor Education Ph.D. programs.
“The School of Education is proud to have three graduates of our master’s program accepted into nationally ranked Ph.D. programs in Counselor Education,” said Dr. Alfred Bryant, dean of the School of Education.
“It is an honor and testament to both the hard work of our faculty in the Counselor Education programs and the caliber of students our programs attract,” Bryant added.
Simon graduated from UNCP’s The Graduate School in May. Moody and Blackstock received their graduate degrees in December 2016.
Blackstock, of Statesville, is enrolled in the program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the No. 2 ranked Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision in the country. He was one of only six students accepted.
“I was thrilled to discover that I was one of six students selected,” said Blackstock, who was also awarded a fellowship at UNCG.
“I have spent the summer studying, reading and preparing myself for Ph.D. studies. I feel there are so many ways to advance the field of counseling and to advocate for the profession,” Blackstock said.
“I am grateful that the students and faculty at UNC Pembroke have invested in me and helped me prepare for this next stage of my journey.”
Moody and Simon, are both Ph.D. candidates in the Counseling and Counselor Education program at N.C. State University
Moody said UNCP’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, led by Dr. Ki Chae, is a “program of opportunity” and one that promoted growth and introspection.
The relationships Moody made with his professors allowed him to become professionally engaged in the counseling profession through ACA memberships.
“I can recall sharing with a professor that I was interested in entering a doctoral program,” said Moody, a Fayetteville native. “From that day forward she was intent on preparing me to apply for programs.
“She diligently and patiently worked with me to craft manuscripts centered on my interests in the field to submit for publishing. She helped me expand my CV into one of a Ph.D. applicant’s. This would have never happened without engaging with my professors and expressing my desires to continue my education.
“I am proud to say that my interests in the field of counseling were generated at UNC Pembroke,” he said. “I am grateful for the professors who stimulated those interests, and pushed me to continue exploring my passion at the next level of my career.”
Moody and Blackstock, both received their undergraduate degrees at UNCP, while Simon completed her undergraduate studies at East Carolina University.
Simon, who is from Norwood, believes the relationships she built with her UNCP professors set her apart from other doctoral program applicants.
“The professors give you the ability to do research, and excel in your own professional interest areas,” Simon said. “I had a firm foundation of who I was walking into a doctoral interview because of how this program shaped my mindset and ability to be self-aware.
“Walking into the Ph.D. interview, I had a foundation of research areas that I could write about,” Simon said. “Above all, this program allowed me to network and grow prosperous relationships with faculty, staff, and my fellow classmates that will continuously aid my professional development, and educational aspirations.”