Students talking to each other in front of posters

Kimberly Marsden

Image of Kimberly Marsden

Kimberly Marsden

Waldwick, NJ

Academic School

Social and Behavioral Sciences


New York

Why did you choose to pursue your graduate degree at Marist? Why did you choose to pursue this degree program? 

I originally chose Marist for my undergraduate degree because I was so impressed by the atmosphere of the campus and Marist’s values. My time during my undergraduate only further enhanced this. I made great friends and connections with other students, professors, and administrators. When Marist talks about its values of community and commitment to service, I saw first-hand how important these ideals were through these individuals. All these individuals constantly inspired me to want to do more for others. The most impactful experiences came through my time in working as a Resident Assistant. I often found residents coming to talk to me about their problems and I realized that this was something that I wanted to do professionally with my life. During my undergraduate I attended a lecture that Dr. del Rosario gave about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. At this lecture he talked about how this degree would be the first step on the journey to become a full-time counselor. At the time it seemed like a no brainer. I would be able to work towards the degree that I wanted at the institution that had truly become my home 

Graduate school though would be something that I knew that would be incredibly difficult for me to afford. As I had been connected to the Office of Housing and Residential Life during my undergraduate program I was able to see first-hand as various RDs before had been able to balance working full time and pursing a degree from Marist in Public Administration. It inspired me to want to do the same but with my chosen degree of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I ended up being able to work full time for Marist as well as be a full time student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program in the 3 Year track. Marist is an environment that wants to see people succeed, especially those who work hard to pursue their dreams. I am lucky that I was able to both work for and attend 2 educational programs that provided spaces where I could succeed.  

What are your career goals post Marist College?

With my degree from Marist I plan to become a licensed mental health counselor ideally in a college counseling setting. My internship was at the Marist College Counseling Center and it inspired me to want to continue working with this population.  


Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development / academic development.

I think the most important professional and academic component to my degree was the internship that was required for the program. I interned both at Family Services and The Marist College Counseling Center. I was able to work hands on with clients directly to best prepare for a career in the field. Other classes that had a clear impact included Multicultural Foundations in Counseling and Counseling Techniques. Techniques provided the opportunity to practice the necessary skills for a counseling session in way that we could enhance our natural skills and refine techniques that we were learning. Multicultural Foundations was also critical as it provided a space to look into the lives of others and have difficult honest conversations as a class. These classes together helped me to feel most prepared to going into the counseling field.  


What is one meaningful experience  you had at Marist as it pertains to your degree?

I think the most meaningful experiences at Marist are connected to the follow up of the pandemic. I was in the program when the transition occurred into the following year. Every week I had professors checking in on how I was doing as a person in navigating all the challenges that year brought. It meant so much to me that I had graduate level professors who genuinely cared about my well being as a person and not just as my abilities as a student. This is something that other friends of mine in different programs were astounded by, as they had very different experiences at their schools. Those little check-ins from the professors helped to keep me going during a difficult time.  

Additionally, I was brought on to work on a research project about well prepared my classmates felt in the quick transition to telehealth services. At the start of our program telehealth was referred to as an abnormal service that are not as strong as in person services. I appreciated that the professional staff cared enough to want to have critical feedback about what adaptations may be needed for the future of the program. This research project not only provided a space to reflect on how to grow, but also gave my classmates the space to vent about how difficult it was to be in the field during this critical point in history. At the end of interviews most students made comments about how helpful the conversation was, in just having a space to talk and reflect on the situation.  


What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing this degree at Marist? 

My advice would be to do it! I loved my time in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. I learned not only the skills needed to be a mental health counselor and I also learned a lot about myself. This is a program that is designed not only to give you the skills needed for a career, but a space to grow personally as well. I learned how to manage a variety of conflicting needs, understand my own boundaries, it truly helped me to learn what I want for this next chapter of my life. So I guess to those who decided to come here be open to learning more than just about what you read in the textbook. The conversations and connections that this program provides are irreplaceable.  

I cannot speak more highly of Marist College and the experiences that it has provided me academically, professionally, and personally. Marist is a place where the people make the experience. I have never felt more supported in an environment to succeed in all aspects of my life.