Brianna Penney is a licensed massage therapist and certified infant massage educator living in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She holds an Associate of Science in Massage Therapy and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Psychology, with a specialization in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, through University of the Rockies' online program.
Brianna came to University of the Rockies because she wanted to further her career opportunities in the field of psychology. "In this field, a Bachelor's degree does no more than guarantee me an entry-level position, which by no means will satisfy me professionally. Once I finished my Bachelor's, and after I relished in a two-week cerebral sabbatical, it was time to make a decision. I could either settle for a mere taste of the profession I loved, or I could continue working. As you can see, a nosh of psychology was not enough for me."
The decision to pursue her degree with University of the Rockies was one that came after extensive research, and hinged on the university's professionalism and online offerings. "Online education fits my lifestyle and work schedule, and it accommodates the proverbial 'monkey on my back' – my adult ADHD – because I can avoid both the distractions of a traditional classroom and my anxiety about test taking." Brianna was also impressed by UoR's history, accreditation, instructor quality, and myriad degree specializations. "University of the Rockies accommodates the professional psychology student who wants more than a cookie-cutter education. I am serious about my education, and UoR reciprocates by taking my education seriously."
Shortly after beginning her first course at University of the Rockies, Brianna and her husband received a surprise – two positive pink lines. "My husband and I were expecting, and the event was a happy one. However, working a full-time job, pursuing a degree, being pregnant at 40, and being unable to take my prescribed ADHD medication was a serious 'mental' caseload to carry. Fortunately, my instructors understood, and they helped me through the brain fog associated with pregnancy, fatigue, and ADHD."
On October 10, 2010, Savannah joined the Penney family. She was born during her mother's second week of ORG 6520: Professional Ethics, Standards of Practice, and Law. After a one-week break, Brianna was back in class. "I have been surrounded by the virtual family at University of the Rockies. I never anticipated being part of a university where everyone matters. Thank you!"
After she graduates, which should be in August 2011, Brianna hopes to find employment in the court system as a friend of the court/family court mediator. "I am most interested in behavioral analysis. Conflict resolution, mediation, and peace-keeping satisfy my desire to analyze and design potential solutions. I hope to put my skills to use in the court, where empathetic and qualified mediators are needed." She also plans to continue with UoR and pursue her Doctor of Psychology, Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialization.
"If anyone doubts that a quality education can be obtained online, or believes that life is too much of a distraction or that age is a factor, give University of the Rockies a chance to prove you wrong. Anything is possible if you take a chance on yourself and on the Rockies!"