Counseling Alumni Outcomes

John Breckner, PhD, CASAC '08
M.S. Counseling, emphasis in School
Current Employer – Canisius College & Genesee Community College
Title - Adjunct Professor of Counseling & Psychology

Relevant experience
I previously worked at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo where I was a Counselor and Program Coordinator for the Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors (SIB) clinic. More recently, I was a Counselor at Horizon Health Services where I typically worked with legally mandated individuals who were struggling with addiction. Lastly, while living in Tennessee, I was a school counselor.  

Experience as master’s student
My experience as a master’s student can be summarized as a sense of community and family. While this can be a cliché answer for other academic institutions and employers, Canisius excels in this regard whereas for others, it is merely lip service. For example, I spent time at two large universities during my undergraduate career and had just moved back home to Buffalo, NY when I enrolled at Canisius. A month into my graduate career, the October Surprise storm hit the area and my family and I were snowed in and without power for a week. Despite being new to the program, I was taken aback when one of my classmates took the time out of her day to call and make sure that I was safe and ok. This was before a quick text was the preferred means of communication. This closeness and sense of community continued throughout my tenure and ultimately was a reason I wanted to return to Canisius in any capacity.

What you’re currently doing & how Canisius impacted you. 
I currently teach in the Canisius Counseling program as well as for a local community college. Canisius provided me with an opportunity to hone my counseling and writing skills, giving me the foundation to succeed at the doctoral level and beyond. 

Timothy White '18
I had very high expectations when I accepted admission into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Canisius College. I entered the program with a B.A. in Art and a career in non-profit arts management. Without a strong background in psychology, the coursework proved to be a huge challenge for me. However, with a great passion for helping others, I received an abundance of help in-kind from my professors and peers. I loved how each professor shared their own unique counseling style and I was continually impressed with their professionalism, insights, and empathic skills. Among students, our many powerful learning experiences together resulted in tight friendships and lasting connections. When the time came for practicum and internship, the faculty made great efforts to match me with placements that both challenged me and aligned with my interests. Now as I graduate, I am interviewing for positions with several community mental health agencies and I am pleasantly surprised with just how prepared I am when I speak with experienced clinicians. Looking back, I feel that the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Canisius College met all of my expectations and provided me with every opportunity of growth I needed to become a professional counselor.

David Musielak '12
Great people who value relationships and high quality classroom engagement is how I remember the Canisius College School Counseling Graduate Program. Since
graduating in 2012; I’ve spent the last 6 years utilizing the skills that Canisius cultivated and continued to grow as a professional in the field. In my current role as a 9-12 School Counselor at the Charter School for Applied Technologies, there are a myriad of challenges that may come across my desk at any given moment including; student conflict, trauma, truancy, social-emotional issues, substance abuse, and many more concerns which I feel prepared to support due in part to the great experience and guidance provided by Canisius. In addition to working as a practicing school counselor, I also currently hold the elected position of treasurer for the Western New York School Counselors Association and am a committee member/editor/contributor for the New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling Newsletter. Again if it were not for the Canisius emphasis on networking and stepping outside your comfort zone, I may have not been considered for these positions. I look forward to representing the Golden Griffins for many more years as a school counselor and Buffalonian.

Belinda Westfield
Masters of Science in Counselor Education in 1996 – Canisius
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Masters of Science in Educational Administration 2018 – Canisius
School Counselor at Depew Union Free Schools – 23 years
Adjunct Professor at Canisius in the Counselor Education program – 7 years

The Counselor Education Program at Canisius College opened up a new world for me in many
ways. I always knew I wanted to help others, make a positive difference within my community,
and be a part of promoting social justice through my faith and spirituality. When reflecting upon
my graduate experiences, I grew and developed as an individual both educationally and
professionally speaking. I gained fresh knowledge from my interesting courses, skills from case
studies/role plays/coached counseling sessions, and experiences from my guided practicums
and internships. I also became more confident and empowered with my desire to create
positive change within others. I enjoyed my studies so much in my younger years, I recently
returned to Canisius to further develop my education and enhance my opportunities. When I’m
on campus, I feel like I’m back home, where I belong.

Rich Tippett '17
I currently work for Bestself Behavioral Health as a mental health counselor in a PROS program. While attending this program I was encouraged to push beyond my comfort zone both personally and professionally which helped me to easily adjust to life beyond graduate school. The aspect of this program that stood out to me the most was the mentorship and support I received not only from professors, but my peers as well. Attending this program helped me grow from a counselor-in-training to the professional counselor I am today.