When Dr. J. Barry Mascari advises older students about continuing their education, he asks, “When you are 70 or 80 will you regret not doing it?" This is a question with which Dr. Mascari is extremely familiar. Not because he frequently asks it of his students, but because he faced the same question himself a little over eight years ago.
At the time, Dr. Mascari was District Supervisor of Counseling & Student Services for a city school district in New Jersey. He had often entertained dreams of returning to school to receive his doctoral degree, but was faced with a small problem. There was no doctorate program for Counselor Education and Supervision within hundreds of miles from his home in New Jersey. That fact would have been enough to stop most people in their tracks; however, Dr. Mascari didn’t let it slow him down.
After more than two years of searching, he found Argosy University, Sarasota just a stone’s throw from his parent’s home in Florida. There were other benefits to attending Argosy University of course, “a traditional program would have meant quitting a job, not paying the mortgage, not being available to parent my children or the inability to attend night classes due to meetings.”
So, at age 52, Barry Mascari utilized blended courses and began commuting to the Argosy campus in Sarasota on weekends, vacations, and holidays. And finally, with the help of his dissertation committee, Drs. Mike Dubi and Jim Reynolds, J. Barry Mascari became Dr. J. Barry Mascari, Ed.D. He received his doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision in 2004 from Argosy University, Sarasota.
Moving forward with enhanced credentials, Dr. Mascari served as President of the American Association of State Counseling Boards and Chair of the New Jersey Counselor Licensing Board. He directs the New Jersey Center for the Advancement of School Counseling at Kean University through a grant from the NJ Department of Education, is editor of the New Jersey Journal of Professional Counseling, and has authored more than a dozen professional articles. In addition, Dr. Mascari recently advanced to Chair of the Counselor Education Department at Kean University.
The attitude that drove Dr. Mascari during his time at Argosy University is the same one that pervades the advice he gives to students today: “Life is too short and I believe we take one turn, so do everything you want to do if it is at all possible. Don't leave any stone unturned. The longer you think about it the more time is lost.”