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Krystan Luke

After witnessing her brother’s negative experience with a therapist, Krystan Luke G’20 wanted to get into the field to do better. She chose the mental health counseling program at Saint Rose, feeling it was the best fit for her in the area. Today, she’s a therapist at START Children’s Center Inc., in the Capital Region, assisting children and families who experience trauma.

We recently caught up with Luke to ask about her Saint Rose experience and future plans. Here’s what she had to say:

What is your current occupation?
I am a therapist at START Children’s Center Inc., in Rensselaer County. START is a nonprofit that provides a safe, child-friendly process for children and their families, supported by committed multidisciplinary professionals who specialize in the investigation and treatment of abused children.

Why did you choose the clinical mental health counseling program at Saint Rose?
When I attended the orientation here at Saint Rose, I felt so comfortable with the professors and the students. Saint Rose also had one of the best curriculums in this area.  

What made you want to get into the mental health counseling field?
My older brother had a poor experience with a therapist, and that encouraged me to want to do better than that experience. I noticed how much better my brother was when he had a counselor who was invested and empathetic. Seeing the results of these two very different therapists made me want to get into the field. 

What is your favorite memory of Saint Rose?
There are too many great and favorite times to narrow it down to one. There was a class I took, one of my last semesters, where we had to go around campus and interview other students. This was such a fun experience and one of my last favorite memories at Saint Rose. 

What have you learned through the pandemic?
I learned that things are ever-changing. This pandemic taught me, and others, how to “wing it” while also making it work!

What was the best class you took at Saint Rose and why?
There were so many great classes at Saint Rose, so it is difficult to choose only one. So, I will narrow it down to two classes: group therapy and my final internship seminar class. For both classes, it was the group of students that made the class the best. We had such a close-knit class that it made the class that much more fun and interesting. 

What are your future plans?
In the future, I plan on opening up my own organization or practice for families in need.

What did Saint Rose teach you?
Saint Rose taught me how to work with any population in a non-judgmental way. 

Who was your best professor and why?
There are so many great professors at Saint Rose, including Professors Claudia Lingertat-Putnam, Thomas Murphy, Yi-Ying Lin, and others, as well as the missed Birdie (retired professor Dr. Stephen Birchak)! My best professor would have to be my professor and advisor Mike Bologna. Professor Bologna presents “tough” information in such a light way that anyone can understand. Professor Bologna is easy to talk to, keeps you updated with recent research, and encourages new networking opportunities. 

What is your advice for incoming students?
Take it one day at a time, and never forget the reason you started the process.

Look for more stories about our Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 graduates in our upcoming Saint Rose Magazine.

By Caroline Murray

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