Posts Tagged 'Counselor Education Counseling Psychology'

A Word About Our CECP Diversity Scholarship

gala 2018By DJ Ferrer

My name is DJ Ferrer, and I am the recipient of the 2017 Diversity Scholarship in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology (CECP) program. When I decided to return to Marquette University as a graduate student in the program, my goal was to work with Asian immigrants who are having trouble adjusting to the culture of the U.S. Receiving the scholarship was part of the foundation that helped me as I progressed towards that goal, as the scholarship money was used to help pay for the textbooks that would guide what I learned in the classrooms.

Being the 2017 recipient was also a title that stuck with me throughout my time as a graduate student as it was a reminder of why I was on campus. During the second semester of my graduate studies, I found myself applying to Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center in order to be an intern therapist at the site during the rest of my time in the College of Education. This site focuses on aiding homeless and runaway youth by providing crisis services and therapeutic interventions so that they can have their own foundations towards a healthier future. It was at this site that I learned how much a person’s culture can impact not only that person’s current environment, but also that person’s development as a human and how they got to where they were today.

Whenever I met with the youth at the shelter, I made sure to be as culturally competent as I could be so that I can better help the youth through their situations. I even ended up winning the 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year Award at the site during the second year of my program, which is a testament of how hard I worked to aid the youth at the site. Also, during my second year, I became the Diversity Chair for the CECP’s Graduate Student Organization (GSO). It was during this time that I took the Multicultural Counseling course, which is a required course for Marquette’s curriculum. As the Diversity Chair and a student who was learning more about diversity, I learned just how multifaceted the subject of multiculturalism and diversity can really be. As my time at Marquette comes to a close, the monetary value of the Diversity Scholarship is long gone, but the honor of having the title as the 2017 recipient has stayed with me and will continue to stay with me moving forward as a professional counselor.

My resumé showcases accomplishments such as 2018-2019 Diversity Chair for the CECP GSO and the 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year at Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center, but earlier than both of those achievements, I am proud to list the 2017 recipient of the CECP Diversity Scholarship. My current plans after graduate are still to work with Asian immigrants who struggle adjusting to the U.S. culture, but I am now aware of the other cultural aspects of these individuals and how they affect each other. I would like to incorporate all aspects of the cultures of my future clients in order to best provide therapeutic interventions. This is a value that was stated when I applied for the Diversity Scholarship and that was further expanded upon because of my Marquette experience.

The CECP GSO would like to cordially invite you to attend the 2019 Diversity Gala on May 4th where we will announce to 2019 recipient! Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and help to fund the scholarship for deserving students like DJ!

Welcome, Dr. Lee Za Ong

leeza-ong-2018Dr. Lee Za Ong has joined the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology this fall and will be working extensively with our new Rehabilitation Counseling Masters Degree. We had a chance to speak with Dr. Ong to get to know her better!

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in Milwaukee?

I was born and grew up in Malaysia. I went to Japan for my undergraduate and came to the US for my graduate degrees. I have lived in the US longer than I lived in Malaysia and have been in Milwaukee for 10 years. Before coming to Milwaukee, my family has lived in New York and California and driven across the country twice due to several job relocations.

What is your favorite educational experience?

When students actively engage in class discussion and add on to my ideas.

What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

I am doing a research project with Dr. Enaya Othman and other colleagues here at  Marquette University. This project focuses on investigating the stigma of disabilities among Muslim women in Milwaukee. I would also like to expand my research project regarding individuals’ attitude toward disability among other ethnicity in Wisconsin or in the nation.

What drew you to Marquette and the College of Education?

The faculty members in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology department are diverse, selfless, and engaging with the community. They are collective and are very skilled in lifting up people’s spirits. They are also a group of caring professors who are responsive to students’ needs.

What do you enjoy doing when you are outside of the classroom? 

I have been a board member of IndependenceFirst since 2014, and it has been an honor to be able to promote inclusion and the independent living of individual with disabilities. I have two children in high school and enjoy watching their musicals, band and swim events.  I admire young people’s talents and how they give everything into doing what they love. I hope that the world will be a better place with these passionate students. I also like to build relationship with people who are from different backgrounds. Their life experience and wisdom enhance my personal and professional development. An example could be the stories I listen to on The Moth podcast. The true stories that were told by people in the live show make me cry, laugh and feel in awe during my commute.

Any advice for readers who are interested in learning more?

The quality of the high school’s performing arts and music program are just as good as professional ones. You only spend a fraction of the cost, but you get to enjoy a world class performance by those of ages 14 and up. The children are the hidden treasure of the city. When building relationships with people who are different from you, even the simplest topic (such as food) can help seal a gap. As for The Moth, make sure you have a tissue box nearby. The stories presented in this inspiring podcast can move even the toughest to tears.

Who is your inspiration for your work or your passion?

Individual with disabilities, refugees and immigrants in the community are those who are my inspiration for my work. They have tirelessly demonstrated grit, resilience, endurance, and tolerance so they can build a bright future for next generations.


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