Bio: Bernadette Correa currently holds various roles at the college level including in athletics and residence life. She has over ten years of experience working in various residential settings to include group homes, boarding schools, crisis shelters, a residential treatment center and a maximum-security prison for female offenders. While working at the prison, Correa worked in the medical, mental health and juvenile units. She went on to manage a group home for adult men with developmental disabilities and criminal records. At the group home she worked as part of an interdisciplinary team to ensure each client was receiving the best care possible. It was this job that solidified for Correa that she wanted to work in the counseling field.
Why did you choose UWS?
When I decided to pursue a doctoral degree I wanted to start as soon as possible while maintaining the flexibility to work. It was also important that I find a program that allowed me to work toward licensure as a mental health counselor and certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC®) through Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). University of Western States had everything I was looking for.
Why did you choose your program/concentration?
I think there is still a misconception that sport and performance psychology (SPP) is simply counseling athletes and performers. While SPP does help athletes and performers improve their game by helping them cope with barriers to performance excellence (i.e. anxiety, depression, stage fright, choking, etc.), it does not address the deeper meaning behind some of these barriers and it cannot address mental health concerns unless the professional is appropriately licensed. Many athletes are starting to come forward about how mental health issues have impacted their careers and I wanted the option to work with my athletes without referring them to others. My decision to refer or continue working with someone will always be made in the best interest of the client.
What has been your favorite class/instructor?
There are honestly so many! I would say my top three have been Psychological Preparation and Mental Skills Training with Dr. Vince Lodato, Psychology of Performance Excellence with Dr. Matthew Condie and Psychopharmacology with Dr. Michelle Cox. Despite covering very different topics, all of these courses are interactive (in terms of coursework and instructor feedback). I think what really stands out about these three instructors is their passion for what they are teaching. All of our instructors at UWS are great, but since you asked me to pick, I would say these three are my top choices. It is obvious they enjoy what they do and that makes learning more enjoyable for the students.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress outside of the office and classroom?
I have a twin brother whose daughter is two and getting FaceTime calls from them is often the highlight of my day! My dog Pacey is my adventure buddy and I love exploring new places with him. I enjoy following the WNBA in season and out of season, because the athletes in that league are really doing amazing things on and off the court! I also recently got into triathlons and hope to complete my first one this summer. It’s a really cool experience applying what I learn at UWS to my own athletic endeavors.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
My thoughts on this change every so often but as of now, I would like to work for a university athletic department. The more I learn about career possibilities in SPP, the more I realize I can do a little bit of everything. I never really thought about owning my own business, but I see that private consulting has a lot of benefits so that is something I have started to consider. Two things I know for certain are that I want to be a college professor and I want to work in sports.