Students & Alumni

Lauren Drago, M.S.Ed. '11

Hospice Counselor

"The faculty each had an impressive and unique range of knowledge about urban education and mental health. Philadelphia provides an extremely rich culture and base for experience and exposure to urban counseling issues. My professors had been out there in the field for a long time and certainly took that right back into the classroom to share with the students. Learning about urban issues was energizing, challenging, and eye opening."


Rasheda Randall, M.S.Ed. '15

Current Student

"Within the first year of the SMHC program, I applied my supervised practicum hours to counsel individual and small groups of students with special needs. I was able to draw upon the theoretical frameworks that I had learned in the SMHC program, along with my skills as a seasoned educator. This combination of both theory and practice enabled me to provide my students with a therapeutic environment that enhanced their well-being and academic achievement. "


Ayinde Tate, M.S.Ed. '14

Academic Advisor/College Counselor, Freire Charter School

"I rave about how different my cohort is; not just in gender but also in life experiences, socioeconomic status, education, etc.  We may not agree about everything during class discussions, but getting a different perspective has made me a lot more culturally competent and confident that I can work with individuals who come from the same backgrounds, same age groups, and same race/ethnic groups as my cohort members."


Ali Volpe, M.S.Ed. '12

School Counselor, Philadelphia Charter School of Arts and Sciences

"What contributed to my decision to choose Penn over other graduate programs was meeting Dr. Mike Nakkula, the Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division at Penn. During my interview, he emulated the type of counselor I saw myself being: compassionate, patient, and open-minded. I remember being so excited about having the opportunity to learn from him as a professor, as he spoke about the art and science of counseling."


Robin Woods, M.S.Ed. '13

Community Organizer and Consultant

"The integration between school and mental health counseling in the program has provided me with critical insight and knowledge into how issues within the school system may have a significant correlation to the family structure and mental health issues."