McKenzie Bover

To succeed in the field of Psychology, hands-on experience is a must. For Brattleboro, Vermont, native McKenzie Bover, Vermont State University (VTSU) Castleton provided all the opportunities necessary.

After transferring to the University’s tight-knit community for these possibilities, her goals came into focus.

“Initially, I was hesitant to attend this University. Since having started classes here, my experiences have far exceeded my expectations. I have been able to form connections with my professors that I do not think would have been possible in a larger university,” Bover said. “I have also been able to use my education in the community, through interning experiences and different classroom requirements.”

Outside the classroom, she shadowed Dr. Shannon Newell, a school psychologist with a deep background in child and adolescent psychology, the field of study Bover hopes to follow. She was also a part of the Castleton campus Mentoring Program for two years and made weekly visits to the Mandala House in Rutland, a transitional home where she works on self-regulatory skills with women under the Department of Corrections. There she is able to practice leadership in group-building exercises as well as social skill development.

“These very different experiences have allowed me to maximize my potential as a future psychologist and shape my career goals,” Bover said.

With the help of Professor Megan Blossom of the Castleton campus Psychology Department, Bover was encouraged to attain her certificate in Civic Engagement by starting a tutoring program for young children in the Rutland community with her classmates and colleagues.

“Among other things, I have participated in the Student Orientation Staff, attended a pre-school to observe language development, and served as a Teaching Assistant for the research methods in psychological sciences,” Bover said.

She is grateful for the connections she was able to make in all of her endeavors on and off-campus, along with the experiences she will be able to take with her into the workforce after graduating. But her studies won’t stop there as she hopes to continue her education and achieve a master’s degree and later a Ph.D.      

“Without all of the people that influenced and encouraged me, I would not be on this career path. They have given me ample support and guidance that will forever stay with me. I know that after graduation, I will be able to use my professors as references for the rest of my life,” Bover said.