The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is committed to representing and supporting the interests of all current and prospective graduate students at Georgia Southern University and seeks to support scholarly activities as well as promote social opportunities for the development of graduate students. All currently enrolled graduate students are members of the GSO.
The GSO council consists of members from the graduate student body representing all colleges on the University’s campus. The council, the main governing body of the GSO, oversees the administration and awarding of research and travel grants and helps organize social events and professional development opportunities for graduate students.
The GSO had councils on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses, click here to review that current council members.
During the Fall and Spring semesters that GSO hosts social events and workshops for all current graduate students. Events are hosted on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses.
The GSO also offers research grants annually through the Graduate Student Professional Fund. The Graduate Student Professional Development Fund (GSPDF) is a competitive funding opportunity for graduate students at Georgia Southern University (GS) managed by the Graduate Student Organization (GSO). This grant is designed to financially support students in travel to program-related events and in thesis or dissertation-related research while attending GS. Funding is awarded first and foremost on merit. Applicants must demonstrate, in writing, how the opportunity will further growth in their chosen discipline and as a professional in their field. Funding for this opportunity comes from the GSO operating budget for the fiscal year (July-June). Limited funds are available and are awarded in two categories: Research and Travel. Learn more about grants and the submission guidelines here.
Amy Luna, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Psychology Clinic Director
Q: Tell us about your roll at the clinic and your work with the PsyD students and faculty.
A: I am a licensed psychologist and the director of the Psychology Clinic. The Psychology Clinic is a training clinic that aims to provide high quality, low cost psychological services to the public. Psychological services are provided by students enrolled in the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program at GSU, I supervise their clinical work.
Q: Tell us about how the clinic services the campus community.
A: The clinic provides psychotherapy, assessment and outreach services to the campus community. We also partner with other departments on campus to provide services as needed. For example, we have partnered with the Counseling Center on campus to provide free services to full time students seeking psychotherapy. Students receive a referral from the Counseling Center that waives payment. This ensures that students receive help when the Counseling Center is at capacity. In the past, we have also partnered with Human Resources, Student Athlete Services and the Counselor Education program.
Q: Tell us about how the clinic services the Statesboro community.
A: The clinic provides psychotherapy, assessment and outreach services to the general public. In addition, we often participate in community events such as local health fairs, the Statesboro Farmers Market, Crisis Intervention Training and community stakeholder meetings. Also, we have a referral system that allows health care providers to refer their patients to us for counseling and assessment services.
Q: Tell us about the work that the PsyD students are doing at the clinic.
A: My students are very busy! This year, the clinic surpassed the amount of new clients served by the clinic from previous years. My students provide services to individuals of all ages in the form of individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, couples/marital psychotherapy and/or assessment (career, personality, ADHD). In addition, my students provide outreach services. This past semester, we attended a Community Block Party sponsored by PeachCare, hosted a booth at two Farmers Market events in Statesboro, participated in National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) meetings, contributed to a panel about mental health stigma, and attended an alternative trick or treat event for at-risk children.
For additional information on, or to contact, the Psychology Clinic click here.
Jodi K. Caldwell, Ph.D., Executive Director, Counseling Center
Q: Tell us about your role at the Counseling Center.
A: As the Executive Director of the Counseling Center I oversee the operations of our Counseling Services on both of our larger campuses, Statesboro and Armstrong, as well as outreach programming to the Liberty Campus. I provide direct administrative supervision to the Director on the Armstrong campus, the Associate Director and two Assistant Directors on the Statesboro campus, our staff Psychologists, and our Administrative Staff. I provide clinical supervision to our Doctoral Interns, who are with us for 1-year placements in our Doctoral Internship in Professional Health Psychology. I field any calls or visits from individuals needing psychological consultation, and I serve on the university’s Behavioral Assessment Team. As an Executive Director within Student Affairs, I sit on several division-wide and university-wide committees, and I report directly to the VP of Student Affairs.
Q: Tell us about how your office provides support to students.
A: The Counseling Center operates on a model of college/university counseling called the Comprehensive Counseling Center Model. This means that our mission has 3 components: Direct Clinical Services, Outreach Programming/Primary Prevention Programming/Community Consultation, and Professional Development and Training. What people tend to be most familiar with is the 1st component, Direct Clinical Services. This includes: individual therapy, relationship therapy, group therapy, crisis screenings/triage, 24/7 crisis response, online workshops and relaxation exercises, and on our Armstrong Campus psychiatric services. In addition, we have added many “immediate access” drop-in mental health workshops that any student can attend, regardless of whether they have ever been to the counseling center before. There is a mental health workshop, focused on skills for managing distress and strong emotion, available almost every weekday at each Counseling Center. Finally, under clinical services, we provide case management services – students do not need to be a client to access case management. Case Management can connect students to any community resources the student might need: more intensive mental health services, resources for food insecurity, legally resources, resources for homelessness, emergency financial assistance.
Under the Outreach/Programming and Community Consultation wing, we provide programming upon request and at scheduled times, to the campus community on a wide variety of topics associated with mental health. For example, I provided a program for faculty/staff on trends in college student mental health. Some of the regularly scheduled outreach programs we provide are QPR, Safe Space, Depression Awareness, etc. The Counselors are available for consultation with faculty and staff regarding concerns about students.
Finally, under our Professional Training and Development wing, the Counseling Center houses three separate training programs, each with its own curricula. The Undergraduate Field Experience program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn course credit for gaining training in careers within mental health. The Practicum Program provides clinical training to students from the Psychology Department’s Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology and students in the M.Ed. program in Clinical Counseling. The Doctoral Internship in Professional Health Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association and attracts national applicants for the 1-year required work experience that doctoral candidates in psychology must obtain. Our current interns are from Oklahoma State, Fuller University (CA) and Texas Women’s University.
All of these services are outlined in detail on our website under the “Services” or “Training” tabs. In addition, there are profiles of all our clinicians, self-help resources, and more.
Details about everything we provide is available on our website: https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/
Amy E. Taulbee, Associate Director Office of Career and Professional Development and Legislative Internship Program
Q: Tell us about your role in the Office of Career and Professional Development.
A: I am the Associate Director of Employer Relations and Experiential Learning. I oversee the Employer Relations functions of the office, which include, all of our Career Events, On Campus Recruiting, Networking opportunities, Employer Recruiting initiatives and much more.
The Experiential Learning arm includes encouraging and tracking internship and co-op experiences, as well as, our Career Exploration GS2131 and Professional Development GS2132 courses.
Q: Tell us about some of the areas in which your office provides support to students.
A: Our Career Development arm assists students with Career Exploration and preparing for opportunities which includes resume creation and critique, mock interviews, internship and job search strategies and much more. The Employer Relations and Experiential Learning areas in which I primarily work concentrates on helping students to gain “real world” experience and provides ways for students to connect with employers regarding job shadowing, internship, co-op and full time job opportunities.
Q: What are a few suggestions, or advice, you would give a student that is getting ready to graduate?
A: I would recommend that students come see us, it is never too late! We are here to support students wherever they are in their career path. Even if it is just to solidify what a student already has planned, our staff can still offer tips to take them to the next level or make sure that they have the latest information from recruiters in their specific industry of interest. Many times we have direct connections with recruiters and/or Human Resources personnel with companies that students are applying to. We consistently hear from students that have used our services that they wish they would have used our office sooner and more often.
Q:What are the services that you offer to alumni?
A: All of the services that were available to active undergraduate or graduate students are available to alumni free of charge.
Q: What is the best way for students to find out about events that your office is hosting?
A: On our website GeorgiaSouthern.edu/ocpd and/or by logging into Eagle Career Net through myGeorgiaSouthern.
Q: What drew you to Georgia Southern for your graduate studies?
A: I searched for schools that had a Doctorate in Public Health Degree in Community Health and Georgia Southern appeared on that list. I specifically wanted a DrPH as opposed to a PhD because my passion is working with communities more so than research. I was in my second year of my master’s in public health program at Morehouse School of Medicine and attended a prospective student day hosted by Jiann Ping-Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH). Arriving in Statesboro was a complete change from living in Atlanta; however, after visiting the campus and meeting faculty, staff and students, I knew that this place should be my next home. It was the small-town nostalgia, the open-door policy of the public health professors, the DrPH versus the PhD program, and close-knit feeling that drew me to Southern to pursue my doctoral studies.
Q: What are your Georgia Southern “points of pride?” What is one thing you are most proud of during your time here at Georgia Southern?
A: Attending Georgia Southern as a graduate student, acclimating to the community and campus, is a little different than I think it would be for an undergraduate student. I started my first semester thinking I would not be as involved on campus or in the community as I have been at my other institutions. That only lasted a semester. The great thing about attending this institution is that there are always opportunities to gain internship experience and apply for jobs specifically for Georgia Southern students offered by alumni working in various sectors. I have been able to serve as the JPHCOPH Chairman of the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee and establish closer relationships with JPHCOPH faculty and staff and serve on several internal faculty and staff search committees as a student representative. I consider this a point of pride because it is important that faculty and staff know you by name and get to know you personally providing you with future recommendations and career advice. I am most proud of serving as the Vice-President for the Georgia Southern Graduate Student Organization (GSO). This group of diverse individuals from different colleges not only provided me with lifelong connections, but a space to talk with other graduate students and learn about their experiences.
Additional points of pride I have during my time here at Georgia Southern include learning the Statesboro community through volunteering with local community organizations such as Bulloch County Beloved Community, Safe Haven, and Relay for Life. Being in the community provides me with an additional perspective of how Georgia Southern is a great contributor to the Statesboro community. I think this is very important for academic institutions to not be the community but to share resources that they have and be part of the community.
Q: Are you a part of any research or work projects? If so, what are you doing?
A: I am currently completing my doctoral research for my dissertation. My research focuses on the perceptions of physical activity engagement among African American emerging adults at Georgia Southern on the Statesboro campus. The study utilizes a concurrent mixed-method approach using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and focus group discussions to determine level of engagement in physical activity and perceptions of barriers and facilitators of engaging in physical activity. The college environment is integral in fostering such a significant health behavior. I am also grateful for the graduate student professional development fund grant opportunity to financially assist with my research.
Q: Are you a part of an internship or co-op experience? What are you doing? What are you learning?
A: I interned with Share Health Southeast Georgia as the project coordinator for the Coalition for a Healthy Appling County (CHAC). As the project coordinator, I worked in the Appling community facilitating monthly coalition meetings and led project activities and implementation. This was my first experience where I was placed in a leadership role and I learned a lot of on-the-job valuable experience. This internship led to my employment with Share Health as the Project Manager working on two grant projects in Appling County and Wayne County.
Q: How is Georgia Southern preparing you for your future career?
A: Georgia Southern offers a lot of resources to their students, especially professional development and employment opportunities available through Career Services. Also, due to the investment of the professors to their students, they ensure that we are ready to enter the workforce. They make us aware of employment opportunities across the nation and in Georgia and leverage their networks to give us pathways to future success.