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Two counseling students named 2018 Archer Fellows

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Zoe Douglas and Raymond Banks, graduate students from the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Counseling, were named 2018 Archer Fellows and will participate in the Archer Center’s Summer 2018 Graduate Program in Public Policy in Washington, D.C. this summer.


“It feels amazing to be named an Archer Fellow,” said Douglas, clinical mental health counseling graduate student. “This is one of my greatest life accomplishments so far and definitely the biggest accomplishment of my academic career. I’m extremely grateful to be selected among hundreds of students to work alongside some of the top professionals in my field.”


For 12 weeks this summer, Douglas and Banks will work at an internship site in Washington, D.C. to get first hand experience working with policy makers, leaders, and legislators.


“Archer Graduate Fellows intern with organizations that align with their goals and focus on the three key elements of federal policymaking: separation of powers and original constitutional intent, influencing federal policy, and creating effective advocacy strategies,” said Banks, clinical mental health counseling graduate student. “I hope to learn the inner workings of the government public service, both from first-hand practical and academic perspectives.”


“I’m hoping to intern at a mental health organization in Washington, D.C.,” said Douglas. “I really want to focus on health disparities and providing access to quality behavioral healthcare to all through policy and legislation.”


In addition to their internship, Douglas and Banks will also take classes in public policy with other Archer Fellows through the Archer Center.


“I’m really hoping to learn about how mental health and public policy intersect,” Douglas said. “I’m also really eager to learn from the people in my cohort about what they are doing at their internships. I have always been interested in learning new things even outside of the mental health sector.”


Banks, who is hoping to work with legislators on policy and legislation related to deficit spending and debt accumulation, was inspired to apply for the program after the Department of Counseling’s study abroad trip to Oaxaca, Mexico last summer, led by counseling faculty Drs. Derek Robertson, Heather Trepal, and Elias Zambrano.


“The program design enables students to ‘live in the moment,’ ‘self-reflect,’ and ‘live their truth’ through a reflective and experiential academic curriculum,” said Banks. “The effect of the program serves as the catalyst for my impassioned commitment to effective public service.”


The Archer Center has provided opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students from across The University of Texas System to live and study in Washington, D.C. since 2001. Douglas and Banks will join Alyse Gray Parker, doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, as members of the 2018 Archer Fellows cohort.


Learn more about the Department of Counseling.


Learn more about theArcher Center.






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