Roosevelt University graduate education student Lauren O’Connor has received Honorable Mention status in a national essay competition. The ACA Ross Trust Organization scholarship program encourages graduate students to present innovative ideas on counseling topics. In recognition of her achievement, O’Connor received a waiver for her registration fee to the ACA conference in San Francisco, California.
An aspiring school counselor, O’Connor entered the competition hoping to win a scholarship and express her ideas on new strategies for counseling. Students are allowed to choose from five topics to write about in the competition. O’Connor wrote on how technology impacts all aspects of our lives and the field of counseling. Video-chatting sessions and electronic note taking are two of O’Connor’s ideas for reaching out to people. She also wrote in depth on her concern for future communication. Focusing heavily on text messages and emails, her essay depicts a future in which people do not possess very good verbal skills or written literacy.
“Society as a whole may be growing less personal. Rather than reaching out to each other, are we simply “Googling” for a solution to our problems?” asks O’Connor. “As a future school counselor, I am particularly concerned with the written and verbal communication skills of our young people.”
Although O’Connor, a student at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus, did not win the scholarship she is happy she participated. “I enjoyed the challenge and writing the essay. “Technology isn’t something that is often associated with counseling,” said O’Connor. “The experience has pushed me to think outside the box and focus on new ideas for counseling.”
The essay experience has shifted O’Connor’s focus to work after graduation. She wants to apply the ideas and information from her essay into her future counseling career.
O’Connor received information about the competition through an email sent from the College of Education Counseling Department. Her advisor and instructor, Roberto Clemente, encouraged O’Connor to participate in the competition.
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