Arts & Sciences

Where the jobs are: counseling families, students

Brandman alumni Marlon Morgan and Suzy Lee

Marlon Morgan and Suzy Lee both graduated from Brandman University with master’s degrees emphasizing counseling.

The projected job growth for marriage and family therapists (MFT) graduates is more than double that of the national average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jessica Cone, manager of Community and Corporate Relations at Brandman University’s Roseville campus, caught up with Marlon Morgan and Suzy Lee, recent  graduates of the program, who were happy to talk about their success in the field.

Suzy Lee

Suzy Lee
Master of Arts in Psychology, Marriage Family Therapy

FOLSOM, Ca. – Suzy Lee pursued a Bachelor of Arts in psychology because she has always been interested in understanding what makes people tick.  Her interests led to work in group homes and domestic violence centers where she saw professionals in the field of psychology in action.

After taking some time off work to raise her children, Lee returned to school.  Although it had been 10 years since she was in a classroom, she was eager to get started.  Lee had been considering going for a degree in social work but decided that marriage and family therapy (MFT) gave her the ability to do both social work and counseling.

In 1997, Lee enrolled in Brandman’s (then Chapman University College’s) Master of Arts in psychology program.  She was a stay-at-home mother at the time she started and was happy to have a break in the evening to focus on herself and her own personal goals.  Lee took one class at a time and finished the program in 2001.

Today, she is the executive director of The Place Within in Folsom.  She has been director for about two years and also has her own private practice.  Lee always appreciates being able to hire Brandman alumni because she finds the students relatable, passionate about learning new things and compassionate toward clients. — Jessica Cone

Marlon Morgan

Marlon Morgan
Masters in Counseling, school counseling

ROSEVILLE, Ca – Working with high school students seems to run in Marlon Morgan’s blood.  In the past seven years, since obtaining his master’s in psychology with an emphasis on counseling, Morgan has been working at high schools in Rocklin and Roseville both as a school counselor and as a football coach.  Passionate about helping students, Morgan wanted to do more clinical work in addition to academic advising.

He recently returned to Brandman’s Roseville Campus to take the courses required to become licensed in professional clinical counseling and approached the district office at Roseville Joint Union High School District (RJUHSD) to offer an expansion of a program he had started at Oakmont High School called the GAP Program (Guided Assistance Program).  Morgan presented his idea to Superintendent Ron Severson, who gave him the go-ahead to start the program.

Morgan is a program supervisor for the RJUHSD Wellness Program.  He and his marriage and family therapist (MFT) interns were able to provide access to free clinical counseling services to more than 100 students in the district.

The 16-week Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program serves students who have been referred by the school counselors at the district’s five comprehensive high schools.  Students can be referred for issues related to bereavement, coping with a medical illness, eating issues, sadness (low mood), worry (anxious mood), a recent major life transition, relationship problems and substance use or abuse.  Students who have participated in the program have been able to raise their grades and function better at school.

These services go above and beyond what an ordinary school counseling program can.  Typical school counselors have about 550 students in their caseload.

In recognition of his efforts in supporting local kids, Morgan received the “Putting Kids First” award from KidsFirst in Roseville in 2012.  Marlon is very proud of the program model he has developed for the RJUHSD and looks forward to possibly expanding services to families or adding social work components in the future. — Jessica Cone

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