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Trinity Washington University | Profile: James Risse ’13

James Risse ’13

Until coming to Trinity, James Risse didn’t know how accessible and encouraging a university could be.  Now, as a student in the Master of Arts in Counseling program in Trinity’s School of Education, James is surrounded by a world of faculty, staff, and students driven to support and succeed.

A “James” of Many Trades

James Risse

As with many Trinity students, James arrived here with numerous life experiences already at his back. He had worked in a variety of fields, including financial advising, retail and construction management, and the military. Currently employed as a high school teacher, he sought out a graduate school with a strong teacher training program.

James was delighted to learn about Trinity’s Master of Arts in Counseling, which offered both a school counseling specialization and a general counseling specialization that prepares students to take the examination to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

An LPC is authorized to work in schools, as well as communities and private practice. James chose this specialization, with an eye towards assisting the students he sees daily at the lower-income high school where he teaches.

“I hope to offer these students and their families sound advice and career assistance that I feel is genuinely missing. So much of the discussion these days is focused on high stakes testing and college that we lose track of the day to day reality for these students.”

Ready, Willing and Able

James’ previous experience with higher education was at a school where everyone blended into the background.  At Trinity, James often finds himself being stopped in the hall by professors and administrators who not only know his name, but what he is studying and where he is in his Counseling program.

Something that surprised me, and continues to surprise me, is the accessibility of everyone at Trinity,” shares James.

Along with the supportive atmosphere, James extols the virtues of his fellow students. “There are so many intelligent, dedicated and driven people in the education programs at Trinity,” James comments. “Perhaps, encouraging and facilitating their development is the focus of the administration and staff, minus the ego and pretentiousness of many other institutions.”

Recognition and Connection

As James has found, the possibility of being overlooked at Trinity is very small. When asked to share a unique Trinity tale, he shared this short anecdote:

“A story I tell is about answering an email request for feedback by President McGuire regarding the burning of the Koran by religious zealots in Florida. Notable feedback would be posted to her blog on the Trinity website. I wrote a paragraph…during my lunch break at school and did not expect to see it published. I was stopped in the hallway later in the week by the dean of my school congratulating me about it.

Never mind Facebook and Twitter, more of these kinds of interactions are needed in this increasingly dissociated world.”

Be Recognized at Trinity

What will you accomplish with the Trinity community at your back? For what will you be recognized? What connections will you make? Who will you help? Learn more now by requesting an information packet!

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