I discovered the Adult & Higher Education program while I was working at USM, and decided to take an introductory course in the program. After that, I was hooked! I left my job and decided to try to go full-time in my degree. Unfortunately, at the same time, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, which greatly complicated my life, in every way. However, through my classes in AHE, I began to understand myself more fully and came to see that my so-called illness, which I had struggled with my entire life, was actually a gift, a spiritual gift, which gave me tools to work with adult learners that I could never have learned in the classroom. After graduating in 2011, I have now gone on to a full-time position as a TRIO College Success Advisor at York County Community College in Wells, Maine, where I work with disadvantaged students who are either first generation college students or from low income families or who have a documented disability. It is a dream job for me, which gives me deep satisfaction and reward! The self-knowledge, skills, and practical experience I gained through my courses at AHE have given me the tools and the courage to do the work I do as an Advisor today.
Catherine has an article published in the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) e-publication Academic Advising Today that discusses mental health issues from an advisor's perspective. To view her article please select the link below.