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Monday, October 5, 2015

Student Leadership Spotlight: Michelle Ong

michelle ong
Michelle Ong has had to wait longer than her four years of undergraduate work would suggest to get to where she is now.

Watch Student Leadership Spotlight: Michelle Ong on YouTube

As a student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program, Michelle has dreamed of being a therapist since watching shows like Dr. Phil and Oprah after school. Now entering her second and final year of earning her Master’s degree in San Diego State’s College of Education, Michelle is able to reflect on her undergraduate studies and reminisce on how it all came together.

Prior to pursuing her Master’s degree, she was an Aztec undergraduate studying Psychology and double-minoring in the Honors Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Counseling and Social Change. Along with her studies, she sought out and found numerous leadership positions with the Asian Pacific Student Alliance as well as serving as the Student Diversity Commissioner for Associated Students. These positions allowed her to work with various student organizations and departments on campus.

As her studies will soon conclude, Michelle would like to work as a family therapist at a non-profit organization, though she is still exploring areas of interest that might include children and couples therapy. At SDSU, Ong claims that some of the unique features of the MFT program have helped her succeed as a therapist in training, specifically that students can see clients within their first year.

“I have had the privilege to work with clients at the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement in City Heights this past year,” Ong wrote of her studies.  “There is nothing like seeing a client have an ‘A-HA’ moment and guiding others to make better changes in their lives.”

Ong claims that her overall education at SDSU has been more than she could ask for. After all the experiences and opportunities she has been presented with, she feels that she is more confident and open to new ideas. Specifically, Ong has learned from both the Counseling and Social Change and MFT programs that ideas, problems, and thoughts are all products of culture and history and that they have been created over time and in a particular context.

SDSU has provided Ong with the opportunities and resources to help her both as a leader and on her academic and personal journey. Through her studies at SDSU both as an undergraduate and a Master’s candidate at the College of Education, the journey has reassured her that being in the helping profession is where she wants to be.  The College of Education is excited to see Ong continue to make a difference in the lives of the people she serves!