Argosy University Blog

Whether at Dartmouth or Argosy, Berman Considers Teaching Her “Guilty Pleasure”

"/argosyuniversityblog/image.axd?picture=%2f2017%2f04%2fMargit+Berman.jpg"

After eight years as assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, Dr. Margit Berman knew that her new position at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University would be different. But she wasn’t quite sure just what those differences might be.

“It’s been fascinating to discover how students at the two schools are alike—and how they are unique,” says Berman, who is an associate professor of Clinical Psychology at Argosy. “My Argosy students tend to be a more diverse group in nearly every way, including age, ethnicity, and life experience.”

While their backgrounds are generally less academically rigorous than her Dartmouth students, says Berman, they often possess a level of ambition and enthusiasm that can serve as a great equalizer.

“Many of my Argosy students begin their graduate or post-graduate studies with a wealth of life experience to draw upon,” Berman explains. “That experience can serve them really well, whether they intend to pursue a career in clinical work, research, or teaching.”

Berman, who earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and Social Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2006, says she’s especially drawn to working with older students who are returning to pursue a graduate or post-graduate degree in psychology, often after developing successful careers in a totally unrelated field.

“I find that most ‘adult learners’ return to the classroom with a focus and clarity that younger, straight-out-of-college students don’t yet possess,” says Berman. “In many cases, they’ve known what they’ve wanted to do their entire lives, but family and financial responsibilities required them to earn a living and to stay in a certain lane. Now they’re at a time and place in their lives when they’re ready and able to pursue their passion.”

Berman says that by the time adult students find their way into her classroom, their commitment and focus is unmistakable.

“They possess a unique wisdom and humility that comes from knowing what you don’t know—and being totally open and willing to learn it,” Berman says. “No matter how sharp or evolved a younger student may be, he or she isn’t likely to possess that degree of inner wisdom and self-awareness without some life experience as a foundation.”

Berman says she’s committed to helping students zero in on their passion—and then craft career paths that allows them to do what they love most. For Berman, that passion is working with patients who are dealing with issues around eating, weight, body image, and mood. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Hitchcock Foundation Scholars Career Development Award for her research and development of the “Accept Yourself!” intervention for women with obesity and depression.

She also trains colleagues throughout the country in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an innovative “third wave” cognitive-behavioral treatment that offers new hope in treating depressed clients, clients unable to tolerate exposure to their fears, eating-disordered clients, and clients who have tried and failed to lose weight.

But as much as Berman enjoys training fellow clinicians, treating patients, conducting research, chairing committees, or serving on the editorial boards of scholarly journals, the classroom is where her heart is.

“I often call teaching my ‘guilty pleasure’ because I just enjoy it so much,” says Berman. “When you do clinical work with patients, there’s an immediacy and a sense of importance to the process. That session can make a difference in the life of that patient. When you do research, you hope your work will also have an impact of people’s lives, although often in a less direct way. While teaching doesn’t have the same sense of urgency as clinical work or research, I love being in the classroom with students.”

Berman says she finds debating ideas and challenging and mentoring students to be a very stimulating.

“I’m doing more than teaching students—I’m helping train my future colleagues,” she says. “It’s an incredibly rewarding and energizing process.” ###

Read more...
  • TAGS:

6 Ways Online Education Can Enhance Your Career

"/argosyuniversityblog/image.axd?picture=%2f2017%2f04%2fonline+school+blog+pic.jpg"

Going back to school to either finish that college degree or start a new degree can have a positive impact on your career, but it's easier said than done. You might not be sure if you have the time or money. Bills have to get paid, and it's not like you can just quit your job. Fortunately, with all the advances in technology, going back to school is as easy as learning the ABC's. You do remember those, right?

This is where going to school online fits in. Going back to school online can provide you with the flexibility you need to build your career without sacrificing your social life, job, or money.

Here are 6 reasons why going back to school online can help to enhance your career.

1) There is no stigma against online education

Employers don't view an online education as a negative. According to US News , with the advancement in technology, employers are comfortable with the fact that employees are earning their degree online rather than attending a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

2) You don't have to quit your current job to do it

Oftentimes, going back to school is a full-time gig. If you really want that degree, you'll have to quit your job, right? Wrong. With online classes, you can plan around your work schedule.

Not only can going to school online allow you to keep your current job, but you also won't have any work gaps on your resume. A work gap on your resume, even because you went back to school, can be viewed negatively by some employers.

Another benefit to not quitting your job is that employers will respect your time-management skills. It can create a positive impression with your current employer, and future employers, if you were able to complete school, while still sticking with your day job.

3) You'll have a great opportunity to network

At first, it seems like you'd have less opportunity to network with your classmates, but with video-chatting and social media, it's easier than ever to connect with classmates and instructors. Online instructors often have to be more innovative to keep students engaged, which can lead to more opportunity to get to know your instructors.

Online schools also often provide you with the opportunity to work with other students in your field. Making those connections, while you're in school, can pay off when you're ready to make your career switch.

4) You can apply what you're learning in class to your current job

You will have the opportunity to learn things that you can apply to your current job every day. Let's say you currently work as a Human Resources Assistant and are going back to school to earn your Master's in Human Resources. The things you learn in class can be immediately applied to your current job. This can help to increase your value to your current employer. That's a win-win, right?

5) Save time and expense vs. a "brick-and-mortar" school

Want to know the best thing about taking classes online? You don't have to spend any extra time in your car to get to class. You already spend enough time commuting to work, right? Why add to that stress with a commute to a brick-and-mortar school? The benefits of saving time for your career are obvious. More time commuting to school and work means less time with your friends and family.

When you attend online classes, you also will not have to pay for room and board, or have to pay the costs of additional wear and tear on your car from all that commuting. Those hidden costs can add up quickly.

6) Many employers offer a benefit to pay for continuing your education

Companies that offer tuition assistance may have a lower turnover rate. They understand the benefits of offering this perk for their employees. According to Money Magazine , the health insurer Cigna studied their tuition assistance plan and found that they saved $1.29 in reduced turnover and recruiting costs for every $1 they spent on tuition reimbursement.

That's an obvious benefit to the company, but how does that benefit you? According to that same article, employees who took advantage of that tuition program were 10% more likely to be promoted and made an average of 43% more, over three years. You can't argue with those results.

Still not convinced that going to school online is the right move for you? We'll leave you with one final note from the LA Times - a college degree will earn you a million dollars more over the course of your career versus a high school diploma. If you want to make significantly more money over the course of your career, while not sacrificing your job or family, online education is the logical solution.

Read more...
  • TAGS:

5 Ways to Manage Stress: The Silent Killer

"/argosyuniversityblog/image.axd?picture=%2f2017%2f04%2fstress.jpg"

Living in today’s society requires living with stress. Our jobs are more demanding, our roads are overcrowded, our entertainment is faster paced, and even the label of multitasking has become desirable.

We are all prewired to respond to anxiety with a rush of the stress hormone, cortisol. Moderate amounts of cortisol over brief periods can help us properly handle life’s manageable, stressful events. While this flight or fight type of response is certainly appropriate and useful in some situations, it has little value in helping us deal with the kind of stressors we experience in our lives today. The release of too much cortisol tends to leave us with overwhelmed brains, tense muscles, digestive issues, overtaxed cardiovascular systems, depression, and etc.

Reducing stress in today's world is a necessity. Sensible people take care of themselves physically and mentally. Adding stress management to your daily routine may possibly save your life, help reduce the intensity and duration of physical illnesses, or at the very least, improve the quality of your current life.

Below are 5 stress management strategies that can greatly help to relieve the anxiety in your life, thus reducing the chance for the above mentioned problems:

1. Minimal consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars. These items can be replaced by clean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

2. Regular physical exercise at a slightly beyond comfortable level. Anything more than twice per week has shown to provide benefits as a stress reducer.

3. Systematic deep breathing. Anything more than three times per day of taking a couple full lung capacity breaths has shown to provide benefits as a stress reducer. Perhaps once at wake up, again around lunch time, again in the late afternoon, and again in the later evening may be a system to follow.

4. Frequent positive visual imagery and relaxation techniques. The body responds in essentially the same way to made-up images as it does to real experiences. Positive, relaxing images can be an effective tool for relieving stress.

5. Searching for the silver lining. Nearly every circumstance in life can be viewed from at least two points of view. A negative attitude can only render a stressful consequence, while a positive one has the chance of actually acting as a stress reliever.

Written by Michael J. Maxwell, Ph.D., LPCS, NCC, CSC | Associate Professor | Argosy University, Dallas