When Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett M.Ed. ’11, Ph.D. ’14 arrived at William & Mary’s School of Education to work on her master’s degree, she was uncertain about her career choice.
“When I first started, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into,” said Jessica. “I wasn’t quite sure what counseling was. And now, I almost feel like a master plan was at work.”
She earned her master’s degree in 2011 and completed her doctorate in counselor education and supervision in May 2014.
The School of Education helped shape her professional identity through the New Horizons Family Counseling Center, where she was co-student director. At the center, she served children and families who receive counseling services through a collaborative arrangement with local school divisions that refer clients there. “This type of training and community service clinic is very unique and was a large factor in my decision to continue my doctoral studies at William & Mary,” Jessica said.
Private gifts to the School of Education Fund for Excellence have enhanced Jessica’s experience by providing support for students, faculty and other program priorities. She credits faculty mentors for inspiring her to pursue a career as a college educator.
“As I prepare to enter into the professoriat, I am honored to carry [the teachings] of these individuals with me,” she said of her William & Mary professors. “Through our interactions, I have gained an understanding and appreciation of what it means to be an inspiring, authentic and gifted educator.”
During the doctoral program, Jessica also had the opportunity to provide supervision to other master’s and doctoral-level students. “That seems to have really stood out thus far in my job search.”
Jessica has been financially independent since the age of 18. “My mom has multiple sclerosis and really hasn’t been able to work for a large part of our childhood.” Loans and grants helped Jessica finance her undergraduate education.
Always a standout student, it wasn’t until she attended William & Mary that Jessica received financial support made possible by private donations. Most recently, she received the John H. and Ardyss S. Wherry Scholarship and the Barton Malow Fellowship.
Jessica’s fellowship allowed her to buy what many students take for granted: Her first laptop. “It helped me feel like, ‘I’m a real grad student. I have my computer and I can focus on my classes and my work related to the clinics that I help direct.’”
Scholarship support also has given Jessica a global educational experience by enabling her to participate in professional conferences in Montreal; Ljubljana, Slovenia; and Edinburgh, Scotland.
As she pursued job opportunities as an assistant professor in counselor education, Jessica knew what she wanted in terms of professional environment and student engagement. “I am looking for a home like I had here.”
After receiving eight invitations for interviews, and visiting three schools for intensive on-campus interviews, Jessica accepted a faculty position at the University of Texas-San Antonio and will begin her teaching career this fall.
Gifts to the School of Education Fund for Excellence help make educational opportunities and experiences like Jessica’s possible for the next generation of students at William & Mary. Private support makes the difference.