As a National Guard officer and Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Lt. Lindsey Jefferies is used to high pressure and high expectations.

She’s relied on her discipline and drive to be successful in the military. Now as a graduate student in UNCG’s Couple and Family Counseling program – recognized as one of the top programs nationally – she depends on the same kind of work ethic.

From class projects to practicums to internships in the community, the work load is heavy. But it’s what sets UNCG’s Dept. of Counseling and Educational Development apart.

“We get so much hands-on training before we go out into the field,” Jefferies says.

After graduation in May, Jefferies plans to begin her career counseling military couples and families.

“I’m someone who speaks their language. There’s so much I can do within North Carolina to help the military.”

Lindsey Jefferies talks with Richard Maas

Jefferies meets with Richard Maas, behavioral health manager of operations at Novant Health Forsyth Behavioral Health in Winston-Salem. This semester, Jefferies is an intern at Novant Health, where she works with individuals who have been diagnosed with a variety of disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

Lindsey Jefferies sitting in class

Jefferies listens to a lecture during CED 611: The Counselor as Scientist-Practitioner, taught by Dr. Christine Murray. Over the course of the semester, Jefferies and her classmates have explored the role of research in advancing the profession.

 

Lindsey Jefferies on top of her helicopter doing pre-flight inspection

Every Wednesday, Jefferies travels to Salisbury to fly her helicopter. (In the photo above, she conducts her pre-flight inspection.) She also participates in weekend trainings and longer training sessions during the summer. “We’re citizen-soldiers,” Jefferies says. “We’re able to have a full-time career and then serve part-time in the National Guard.”

 

Lindsey Jefferies talks with Dr. Connie Jones in her office

Dr. Connie Jones has served as mentor to Jefferies throughout her time at UNCG. She was also Jefferies’ direct supervisor during her advanced practicum. “Dr. Jones was able to open my eyes to my blind spots in the counseling room,” Jefferies says. “We have a transparent and authentic student-professor relationship that has had an extremely positive impact on my journey toward becoming a counselor.”

 

Portrait of Lindsey Jefferies in uniform on College Avenue

Being a National Guard officer and a full-time student comes with its challenges. But Jefferies has received the support she needs to be successful. “The program has been very military-friendly. My professors have been very accommodating and flexible with my National Guard schedule.”

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications