Brandi Streeter MS ’15 came to Canisius to study mental health counseling. But she never lost interest in Biology, her undergraduate major. As the time came to identify a topic for her Canisius course in Research Techniques, it was only natural for her to explore connections between the fields of counseling and neuroscience.
These connections are highlighted in recent studies examining such phenomena as the neural basis of empathy. Brandi’s interests initially lead to a paper and presentation in her class and then to a presentation at Ignatian Scholarship Day in 2015. Brandi also presented a poster on the topic at the annual conference of the American and Canadian Counseling Associations in Montreal.
Brandi and her faculty mentors, Christine Moll, PhD, and Jim Donnelly, PhD, of the Department of Counseling and Human Services, undertook a national study of the integration of neuroscience topics in counselor education programs. The study involved examining and coding of curricular content on the web sites of the 289 master’s and 63 doctoral programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The group found a significant variation in the four CACREP regions, with the greatest proportion of programs in the North Atlantic region offering such coursework (about 15 percent of programs). Brandi remains interested in exploring connections between neuroscience and counseling and intends to pursue doctoral study in the area.
Brandi’s project is an example of how students and faculty can take an idea from the classroom to other contexts with the result being an exciting scholarly collaborations between students and faculty.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president, academic affairs