Graduate Student Assistants

CSU Graduate Student Assistants (GSA's)

Our Graduate Student Assistants are typically CSU Counseling Psychology doctoral students (we prefer 4th year or higher, though 3rd year students will be considered) or students with special expertise in substance abuse or outreach. Students from the University’s Student Affairs in Higher Education program also sometimes work with the Drugs, Alcohol and You (DAY) Programs. GSAs have a special place in the organization of the CSU Health Network. As graduate students, GSAs are considered trainees, while as paid staff members, GSAs are considered university employees. The staff recognizes that the assistantship is an important part of the graduate student’s practical training and is committed to meeting the GSA’s training needs within the parameters of the employment contract.

Description of the Site

The Colorado State University Health Network is an integrated mental health and medical service serving both undergraduate and graduate students within a large land-grant university. It is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) for the doctoral internship in Professional Psychology and by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). The training of clinically-competent, ethical, self-aware, and culturally sensitive psychologists is central to our mission. Presenting issues range from the expected developmental concerns of college students to severe mental health diagnoses, including psychoses and personality disorders. The most common presenting concerns are: stress & anxiety, mood disorders, relationship issues, eating disorders, sexual concerns, substance abuse, and identity development. CSU has a student population of over 31,000 students from every state and 90 foreign countries. General Services includes individual and couples psychotherapy, a vibrant group therapy program, and crisis intervention services. Specialty programs include the DAY Program (substance abuse & other addictions), Primary Care Behavioral Health, and the iTEAM (intensive outpatient program providing integrated care to clients experiencing an acute mental health crisis). CSUHN has a strong commitment to multiculturalism and has solid working relationships with the various Cultural and Resource Centers on campus.

 

The training of clinically-competent, ethical, self-aware, and culturally sensitive mental health professionals is central to our mission. We provide training to as many as thirty graduate students from diverse disciplines each year. Our Doctoral Internship in Psychology has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1973 and was one of the first university counseling services to earn this recognition. Our Master’s Internship in Social Work and Counseling is offered to students from CSU and other regional institutions. Advanced Practicum placements are open to third, fourth, and fifth year psychology graduate students from CSU and nearby universities. The second year Psychology Practicum program is offered in conjunction with CSU’s doctoral program in Counseling Psychology and is only open to their students. Graduate Student Assistantships are typically awarded to CSU Counseling Psychology doctoral students with advanced standing or students with special expertise in substance abuse or outreach. Students from the University’s Student Affairs in Higher Education program also sometimes work with the Drugs, Alcohol and You (DAY) Programs. We also offer Post-Doctoral and Post-Masters Fellowships. These fellowships provide opportunities to continue to build skills as a generalist clinician while also developing specialized skills working with one or more of our specialty programs (DAY Program, Primary Care Behavioral Health, or iTEAM).

GSA Terms of Employment

Within the CSU Health Network, GSAs are placed in either General Services (GS) or the Drugs, Alcohol and You (DAY) program. They are considered to be part-time, 9-month, temporary employees of the University. GSAs are hired for 20-25 hours per week and receive in-state tuition assistance. Our GSAs’ contracts include work over Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks. GSAs are not expected to work on University holidays when the agency is closed. As part-time, temporary employees, GSAs receive no official annual or sick leave benefits. If an absence during one of the University’s scheduled student breaks is desired, the GSA should make prior arrangements with the Training Director.

Service Delivery Experiences

General Service GSAs:

GSAs placed in the General Services branch of CSUHN Counseling Services consolidate traditional clinical skills. Services in this area include individual and couples therapy, group therapy, initial consultations, and day-time on-call (triage). Commensurate with their advanced training status, GSAs typically have the opportunity to work with more challenging clients than they did as Practicum students. Depending on prior experience with group therapy, GSAs may have the opportunity to serve as senior co-leader of a therapy group.

DAY GSAs:

GSAs placed in the DAY program develop the skills to deliver effective interventions for substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. The DAY Program provides services to both voluntary students seeking help with substance use and those who are mandated by the University to engage in substance use counseling. The general model is focused on harm reduction, brief motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral strategies. Services include online screening, psycho-educational workshops, individual counseling, and case management. An intensive treatment program exists for students facing potential separation from the university that is based upon the community drug court model combined with the best practices of Student Affairs and Higher Education. In addition to substance addictions, the DAY program provides services to students struggling with other addictive behaviors, such as sexual and gambling.

Training Activities

Supervision: GSAs receive weekly individual supervision by a senior staff member or Postdoctoral Fellow. Depending on the needs of their program assignment, additional staff meetings or case staffings may be scheduled.

Training Seminar:

  • Professional Issues Seminar & Case Conference: This seminar addresses issues of professional growth and development in order to facilitate entry into the field of mental health. A primary focus on this seminar is on identity exploration, and examination of how different aspects of participants’ identities impact their clinical work and professional presentation. The seminar may also include presentations by staff members, community professionals, and trainees on topics of particular interest to the group. It also provides a forum for case presentation and peer supervision in a case conference format.

In-service Training: An in-service training with mental health and medical staff is scheduled each month throughout the academic year. Retreats with all CSUHN staff are held in January and August. National conferences and symposia are regularly sponsored at CSU in a wide variety of areas, such as diversity, suicide prevention, and Asperger’s Syndrome. All trainees are invited to attend these activities.

Training Philosophy

Six core principles reflect our training philosophy and serve as a foundation for the model of training at the CSUHN. The following statements address our beliefs about the nature of training and our expectations for the treatment of others.

Broad-based training is essential for developing professionals.
We value the contributions of our own and other professional disciplines to the training program, recognizing that a diverse set of knowledge and skills are essential for effective practice.

Psychological theory and research are the foundation for competent practice. 
The training staff believes that psychological theory and scientific research provide a foundation for conceptualization and intervention. The practice of mental health professionals should be grounded in theories relevant to their discipline and the supporting scientific literature.

An optimal learning environment is supportive and challenging.
We believe that learning is facilitated by an environment in which challenge is balanced with support. We value an open environment in which ideas can be explored and it is safe to make mistakes. We encourage trainees to honestly assess their professional strengths and limitations so that we may collaboratively establish training goals.

A commitment to self-awareness and a willingness to monitor the impact of personal needs on professional behavior are expected of all members of the staff.
Effectiveness as a mental health professional is not simply the result of skills acquisition, but rather the successful synthesis of competence and personal maturity that results in self-regulated, ethical behavior. Self-knowledge, self-care, and the ability to balance one’s personal and professional lives are essential to being an effective role model and instrument of change.

Each trainee and staff member has the right to be treated with respect.
Respect, honest communication, cooperation in meeting goals, and the support of one’s colleagues are central to a productive work environment. Evidence of bias, stereotyped thinking, and prejudicial beliefs and attitudes will not go unchallenged, even when such behavior is rationalized as a being a function of ignorance, joking, or cultural differences.

Respect for human diversity is a fundamental component of all activities.

The CSU Health Network bases all its programs and services, including training, on a philosophy that affirms the dignity of all people. We expect staff and trainees to be committed to the social values of respect for diversity, inclusion and equity. Both trainers and trainees should demonstrate a willingness to examine their own assumptions, behaviors, and values so that they may work effectively (as clinicians, teachers, mentors, and advocates) with “cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status” (APA Ethics Code, 2002, Principle E).

Sample GSA Weekly Schedule

Although the intern’s schedule will depend on their assignment in the agency and the requirements of their graduate program, a sample weekly schedule for GSAs follows:

Counseling GSA (20 hours/week) 
Individual/Couples7.0
Initial Consultations1.5
On-Call/Walk-In2.5
Group Therapy2.0
Individual Supervision2.0
GSA/Ad Prac Seminar1.0
Staff Meeting/Inservice.5
Clinical Admin3.5

DAY GSA (25 hours/week) 
Clinical Services13.0
Supervision
     Individual1.0
     Group1.0
Individual Supervision1.0
Staffings/Case Review4.5
GSA/Ad Prac Seminar1.0
Staff Meeting/Inservice.5
Clinical Admin4.0

Model of Training

Our training program is based on the values inherent in the Practitioner-Scholar model. As practitioners, we value the learning that comes through direct experience with others and thoughtful self-reflection. As scholars, we recognize the importance of theory, research and critical thinking. We believe that both practice and scholarship are essential in preparing new mental health professionals to work effectively with diverse individuals and groups in a rapidly-changing world. We value a lifelong commitment to the integration of self-reflective practice and scholarly examination.

We believe that becoming a competent psychologist, social worker or counselor is a developmental processrequiring graduated experiences and training. Consequently, the CSUHN offers training experiences from beginning practica through postdoctoral fellowships. The didactic instruction and supervised practice opportunities vary according to the level of training and the readiness of the individual student. As trainees gain experience, expectations for more advanced professional skills, greater self-awareness and autonomous functioning increase.

We place a high value on the integration of one’s personal and professional identities. We strive to tailor each student’s experience to their individual needs within the structured activities of our training program. Ongoing self-assessment of one’s strengths and limitations is encouraged. When coupled with the supervisory feedback of multiple staff members who are committed to training new professionals, there is great opportunity for personal and professional development.

Evaluation Procedures

Evaluation of GSA Performance:

At the beginning of each semester, each GSA and his/her supervisor set goals for the semester. The student is responsible for articulating his/her goals with the input and collaboration of the supervisor. The supervisor will provide ongoing feedback to the GSA throughout the semester about strengths and growth areas. At the end of the semester (December and May), the training staff meets with each student to provide feedback about their respective performances and to solicit feedback about the student’s training experience. The supervisor’s evaluation of the GSA is completed at this time.

Trainee Feedback for Supervisors and Training Staff:

At the conclusion of each semester, trainees will also have an opportunity to complete formal evaluations of their clinical supervisors and group co-leaders. Evaluations of training seminars are also completed at the end each semester. Trainees are encouraged to provide on-going feedback to the training staff throughout the year and have a representative on the Training Team.

Qualifications of Applicants

We seek high-energy individuals who are open to learning, able to balance multiple roles and responsibilities, receptive to feedback, and motivated to develop a wide range of skills that may be requested of a university-based mental health professional. Specific requirements for applicants include:

  1. Graduate Student Status at CSU in the Counseling Psychology Department or related major (4th year or higher students are preferred, though third year students will be considered).
  2. Experience working with university students.
  3. All staff members and trainees must successfully complete a background check before a final offer of employment is made. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search, and motor vehicle history.

Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding affirmative action requirements.

Application Forms, Procedures, & Deadlines

Graduate students interested in applying for a 2017-2018 GSA position should submit the following materials in Word format to Aki.Hosoi@colostate.edu by MONDAY, February 20th at 8 am Mountain Time.

  1. A letter describing your interest in the position
  2. A resume or C.V.
  3. Copies of all graduate transcripts (unofficial is fine)
  4. A completed “Information Form” 
  5. Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two academic/professional references. Please be sure that at least one of these references is someone who is familiar with your clinical work.

Please note that students who have received counseling services from the CSUHN within the last two years are not eligible for this position. The eligibility of students who received counseling services from the CSUHN more than two years ago will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, to avoid potential dual role relationships. Please contact the CSUHN Training Director, Aki Hosoi (Aki.Hosoi@colostate.edu), if you have questions concerning your eligibility.

SPECIAL NOTE: Orientation for fall semester begins August 1 and runs through August 18. Trainees must be available to attend approximately 20 hours/week of scheduled training during that time period. Trainings are scheduled at varying times throughout those three weeks, so trainees will need to have the flexibility to attend trainings at varying days/times throughout the orientation period (a schedule of orientation trainings will be sent to selected trainees in early-mid July). Trainees will commit to a regular weekly schedule beginning August 21.

Colorado State University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for work in our agency. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search and motor vehicle history. All employment offers are contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding affirmative action requirements.

Training Staff

2015/2016 Training Staff

Mark Benn, PsyD 
Licensed Psychologist
University of Northern Colorado – 1986

Helen Bowden, PhD 
Licensed Psychologist
University of Florida – 2005

Ellen Cooney, EdD 
Licensed Psychologist
Harvard University – 1978

Michele Faris, PsyD 
Licensed Psychologist
University of Northern Colorado – 1988

Carrie Haynes, MEd, LPC 
Licensed Professional Counselor
Colorado State University – 2006

Lisa Heifner, MS, LPC 
Licensed Professional Counselor
Montana State University – 2003

Aki Hosoi, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Colorado State University – 2010

Christopher Leck, LCSW 
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Colorado State University – 2006

Susan MacQuiddy, PhD 
Licensed Psychologist
Colorado State University – 1985

Pam McCracken, LCSW 
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

University of Kansas – 1993

Lisa Miller, PhD 
Colorado State University – 2009

Stephanie Mora DeRosby, MA, LPC, LAC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Addictions Counselor
University of Northern Colorado – 2001

Jeff Nepute, Ph.D.

Colorado State University — 2014

Stephen Okiyama, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Fuller Graduate School of Psychology – 1989

Nara Samuels, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Colorado State University – 2010

Adam Sargent, PhD
Colorado State University — 2015

Jimmy Stewart, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

University of New Orleans -1999

Cindy Swindell, PhD 
Licensed Psychologist
University of Texas at Austin – 1988

Reid Trotter, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
University of Missouri – 2011

Jim Weber, LCSW 
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Colorado State University – 1995

Renee Wieszcholek, MSW, LSW

University of Minnesota — 2013

Fort Collins

Fort Collins is a city that has garnered an array of honors:

  • One of the Top 10 Best College Towns: Small-Sized Cities Category, USA Today – September 2010
  • One of the top six ‘Smarter Cities’ for Energy: Natural Resources Defense Council, (population 100,000-249,999) – August 2010
  • 6th Best Place to Live in the Nation: Money Magazine – July 2010
  • One of the Most Underrated Cities in the West: Life.com – June 2010
  • One of the Greatest Places to Live in the West: American Cowboy magazine – April 2010
  • Ranked 4th Best Places for Business and Careers: Forbes – April 2010
  • One of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations: National Trust for Historic Preservation – February 2010
  • Ranked 3rd ‘Smarter City’ for sustainability: Natural Resources Defense Council – July 2009
  • One of America’s 20 Most Economically Vibrant College Towns: TheAtlanticCities.com – September 2011
  • Ranked First, Safest Drivers in America: Allstate Insurance Company – 2011
  • Ranked 3rd on the Best Bicycle Cities list: League of American Bicyclists and TheStreet.com – August 2011
  • One of the top 15 Best Places for triathletes to live and train: Triathlete Magazine – August 2011
  • Ranked 1st Best Place to Live and Work for Young Professionals (pop. 100,000-200,000): Next Generation Consulting – March 2009

Fort Collins has more than 300 days of sunshine per year (rivaling Miami or San Diego), so Colorado State University students can sample the city life and a variety of recreational opportunities throughout the year. Fort Collins, a city with approximately 141,000 residents, is located 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Transportation between Fort Collins and Denver International Airport is provided by both bus and limousine service.

At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is within a one-hour drive of such major recreational areas as Estes Park, Red Feather Lakes, Horsetooth Reservoir, and several national parks, including the 790,000 acre Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park. A wide variety of recreational activities is fostered not only by the presence of such areas but also by the climate in the Fort Collins region. Located at an elevation of 5,000 feet, Fort Collins has a clear, dry atmosphere and generally pleasant temperatures throughout the year. The summer temperature ranges from an average high of 82 to an average low of 52 degrees; the winter temperature ranges from an average high of 41 to an average low of 13 degrees.

Indicative of the cultural life of Fort Collins is the museum, public library, Lincoln Center, and Civic Symphony. An active University calendar — guest speakers, art exhibits, theater, cinema, concerts — adds to community life. This broad spectrum of cultural and outdoor recreational facilities, the excellent climate, and the mountain surroundings contributes to the ideal university setting of Fort Collins.

For more information on Fort Collins, please visit http://www.fcgov.com/visitor/.

We seek high-energy individuals who are open to learning, able to balance multiple roles and responsibilities, receptive to feedback, and motivated to develop a wide range of skills that may be requested of a university-based mental health professional. Specific requirements for applicants include:

  1. Graduate student status at CSU in the Counseling Psychology Department or related major (students in their 4th year or higher are generally most competitive for the positions, though 3rd year students will be considered).
  2. Experience working with university students.
  3. All staff members and trainees must successfully complete a background check before a final offer of employment is made. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search, and motor vehicle history.

Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding affirmative action requirements.