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Alumni Success

From Helicopters to Helping Others: Military Officer's New Career Takes Flight

In 1996, Dr. Lorie J. Morris retired from the U.S. Army's Aviation Branch at the age of 39, after 13 years of service as a Logistics Officer. Morris flew helicopters and organized services contracts and facilities management. Switching careers can be difficult, but Morris decided to trade in helicopters for helping veterans coping with trauma and abuse - and discovered a rewarding new career.

Morris, who received an M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Argosy University, Washington DC Campus American School for Professional Psychology, is a Clinical Psychologist for the VA Maryland Health Care System in Baltimore. In her position, Morris educates medical staff, peers and psychology interns about the special needs of veterans who have experienced sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Surprisingly, both career fields have common elements, such as a great deal of freedom to carry out assigned and implied tasks, and responsibility for the well-being and professional development of those in my charge," explains Morris, referring to her two different careers in the military arena. "Although trauma and substance abuse work can be challenging, I find it more rewarding because treatment can dramatically change people's lives for the better."

Before attending Argosy University, Washington DC Campus, Morris received a B.A. in Psychology at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and an M.A. in Aviation Management at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

During her time at the VA hospital, Morris has developed five specialty treatment groups addressing specific veterans' needs, including anger, sexual trauma, coping skills, and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder. She also has planned counseling groups to address the needs of military personnel soon to return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Morris feels that her Argosy University education prepared her well for her rewarding career. According to Morris, the Argosy University, Washington DC Campus courses served as the solid foundation for her passing state and national licensure exams the first time she took the tests, and she recently became credentialed as part of the VA hospital's medical

"The strength of Argosy University's Clinical Psychology program is its emphasis on clinical skills, specifically assessment and treatment," says Morris. "Compared to my peers who spent much of their time in research, my training in a variety of clinical orientations has given me a strong repertoire of skills, which is useful in dealing with a challenging clinical population."