“The diversity among the professors, students, and staff provides a rich overall experience.”
Dr. Marie Haney, 57, lives in Monument, CO, which is about 30 minutes north of University of the Rockies. Her educational background consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, and both a Master of Arts in School Counseling and a Master of Arts in School Administration from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. In August 2010, she completed her Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization, from University of the Rockies.
Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Marie had a 30-year career in public education. Over three decades, she served as a teacher, a middle school counselor, and a high school assistant principal. “I made the shift from teacher to counselor because I saw so many kids who were not succeeding in school due to emotional issues, and I thought I would be more help as a school counselor,” she says. Her role in administration as a principal also allowed her to work with struggling students. Although she was the disciplinarian, she always used those interactions with the kids as teachable moments. “My hope was to guide the students toward success in school as well as in life. As an administrator, I was also able to supervise and mentor teachers, a role I found very gratifying.”
When Marie retired in August 2009, she realized that it was now or never if she wanted to complete a doctoral degree in psychology. “I chose University of the Rockies because the curriculum was both diverse and challenging, and because the small class size meant I would not get lost in the shuffle. I was also able to attend evening classes. Once enrolled, I found the professors approachable and willing to share their expertise and enthusiasm for the field of psychology. The diversity among the professors, students, and staff provides a rich overall experience, and I feel fortunate to have developed ongoing professional relationships with many of the professors and students at University of the Rockies.”
Marie’s academic interests that grew from decades of interacting with students have now culminated in a passion for understanding the workings of the human mind. “I am particularly interested in the common 'human experience,' which includes joys as well as challenges. During my time with University of the Rockies, I discovered Martin Seligman's Positive Psychology, which is the study of building one's strengths and virtues. The idea is to develop meaning in life and to foster one's strengths in an effort to facilitate resiliency when life gets difficult. I find this especially attractive because I am a firm believer in focusing on and nurturing 'positiveness' in others. My research has focused on the positive aspect of self-efficacy and school engagement of high school students and how that relates to success in school.”
Upon graduating, Marie participated in the commencement ceremony, and reported that the Cheyenne Mountain Resort was a great venue for a great day. She then began a post-doctoral residency at the Rockies Counseling Center. “I train student-therapists who are new to the Counseling Center, which includes familiarizing them with the policies and procedures, and supervising/advising their work with clients. Once I complete that, I can take the state required exam to become licensed in the state of Colorado.”
Marie’s goals include teaching in higher education and also beginning a private practice so she can work with school districts and provide group and individual therapy for adolescents. “To anyone considering attending University of the Rockies I would give this advice: Expect a challenging yet rewarding experience.”