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Student earns Ivy League postdoc internship opportunity

Counseling psychology graduate student Batsirai Bvunzawabaya recently earned a postdoctoral internship opportunity at the University of Pennsylvania. Bvunzawabaya was one of five selected from a field of more than 150 applicants.

Bvunzawabaya , originally from Zimbabwe, came to the United States on a tennis scholarship to Alabama A&M University. After completing her undergraduate studies at Alabama A&M, she entered its counseling psychology master’s program.  Knowing that she wanted to earn a doctorate in counseling, she decided to meet with a school adviser to discuss his options.  

“I spoke to my adviser at A&M and he spoke highly of Auburn's counseling psychology program,” she said. “The director at the time was so patient and helpful, which demonstrated his commitment to training and provided evidence of what a good program it was. After I got an interview and met with the other students I knew it would be a good fit.”

The University of Pennsylvania’s postdoctoral internship program allows students to work with others in a variety of settings, including individual and group counseling, and in outreach programs on campus. The Counseling and Psychological Service (CAPS) is an American Psychological Association-accredited site.

CAPS allows the freedom to create a training experience that fits with one’s interests. Bvunzawabaya will continue to provide individual, group and some couples counseling and will be able to identify a specific area of concentration.

“I believe my concentration will be outreach with a focus on multiculturalism and social justice issues, which are really important in personal and professional growth,” she said.

Bvunzawabaya has hopes of working in a college counseling center and eventually working for the United Nations.

Contributed by Brooke Bonner

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2012

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