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'I want to help people'

February 1, 2017 In Lakeland University Blog
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When Krystal Ferrell talks about Lakeland University’s psychology faculty, her voice and smile reveal a genuine excitement for learning.

“Jessica Kalmar is an expert on neuropsychology, Elizabeth Stroot is an expert on counseling methods and Anthony Liguori is an expert in the area of drugs and resultant behavior,” says Ferrell, a senior psychology major from Ironwood, Mich. “They all really know what they’re talking about and they have so much knowledge to share.”

Kalmar, assistant professor of psychology; Stroot, professor of psychology; and Liguori, associate professor of psychology, all have helped Ferrell prepare for the challenging real-world experience she’s facing daily during a second consecutive internship with Mental Health America in Sheboygan County.

Working with Kate Baer, a double Lakeland grad and executive director of Mental Health America in Sheboygan County, Ferrell helps local young people – something she has realized is her calling.

“We visit schools and help kids with awareness of bullying, suicide, depression and other mental health issues,” says Ferrell, who also works as a research assistant in LU’s psychology lab.

After one in-school presentation, a girl approached a Mental Health America employee and opened up about her depression.

“That presentation may have helped save the girl’s life,” says Ferrell, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work. “I want to help people. I’ve wanted to work in counseling for a long time.”

Ferrell’s first internship with Mental Health America in Sheboygan County ran 150 hours, and concluded in November. Stroot says the organization valued Ferrell so much, it requested and received board approval to fund her second internship.

“I learned a lot about myself during the first internship,” Ferrell says. “I didn’t always think I wanted to work with kids, and now I know I do.”

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