Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.
The College of Education and Human Development faculty in Counseling have chosen
2021 Outstanding Student in Counseling and Development – School Counseling Program
Q & A with Outstanding Student in Counseling and Development – School Counseling Program, Tyler Cabatic:
What part of your Mason experience are you most proud of?
I have had the privilege of serving undergraduate students in both the Office of Disability Services and Honors College. This work is undoubtedly among my proudest moments at Mason. It has also been an honor to serve as a co-founder of the George Mason University chapter of Counselors for Social Justice. I am thrilled that current and future Counseling students will have the opportunity to engage in social justice advocacy through this organization.
What are your future plans, goals, and dreams?
Serving a diverse student population, and a community with a rich history, as a school counselor has been a dream come true. It is my belief that school counselors are social justice advocates. This requires school counselors to engage in work outside of the confines of their offices in order to disrupt the oppressive systems that exist for our nation’s youth. As I look to the future, I intend on pursuing opportunities that allow me to do just that.
What is your favorite memory from your time in the College of Education and Human Development?
As I reflect on my time in the Counseling Program, two highlights come to mind: Conducting research alongside Dr. Shekila Melchior on the social justice identity of school counselors in Virginia and having the opportunity to study under the direction of Dr. Fred Bemak. I look up to Dr. Melchior as both a mentor and role model, so it was an honor to work with her on this project. Additionally, taking EDCD 602 and 608 with Dr. Fred Bemak was an educational experience – and one that I will never forget.
What advice do you have for fellow CEHD students?
To my fellow CEHD Counseling students: One of the most valuable assets you can bring to any space you find yourself in is your authentic self – and the counseling space is no exception. Embrace the discomfort, take calculated risks, lean into your support system, and enjoy the ride. Be patient with yourself on your counseling journey and know that you have what it takes to be an effective counselor.
Would you like to give any shout-outs to those who supported you along the way?
I believe Amanda Gorman said it best: “…it’s truly for all of you, both named & unseen, who lift me up.”
To the inspiring faculty in the Counseling Program, thank you for making this recognition possible for me.
To my high school case manager and 10th grade English teacher, thank you for your unwavering belief in my potential.
And, lastly, to my extraordinary family and friends, thank you for being the support system that everyone deserves.