For Stacey Russell (’10), Northern Kentucky University is home.
The Erlanger, Kentucky, native has lived in northern Kentucky for most of her life. She attended the University of Kentucky for her undergraduate degree, but she was looking for something closer to home with flexibility for her master's degree. That's when Russell turned to NKU.
“NKU’s School Counseling program was one of the first ones at the time to admit students who weren’t previously teachers," she says. "I had always wanted to be a school counselor but knew I wasn’t made to be a teacher. Once the requirements changed, NKU was very quick to change with the times, and I was extremely excited to be able to pursue my dream at home."
Russell was the first in her immediate family to receive a college education. The most challenging and memorable experience, she says, was a course centered on diversity. Diving deep into issues of diversity allowed her to fully immerse herself in experiences to bring to light the issues affecting marginalized populations—pushing her outside of her comfort zone.
Russell, who now works as a middle school counselor at Camp Ernst Middle School in Burlington, Kentucky, credits her challenging and rewarding education at NKU for her professional success.
“I learned from some incredible professors with real-world knowledge of school counseling and valuable professional connections. I also formed an incredible bond with my cohort of students that I still keep in touch with today," she says. "NKU’s School Counseling graduate program gave me a solid foundation for my career and helped me succeed. While online programs seem popular right now, I wouldn’t trade my experience of in-person instruction and connection at NKU for anything. I made incredible friendships and connections that will last me a lifetime."