Meet Rachel Meyer ’14, Psychology

Multi-Systemic Therapist (MST) at One Hope United

Coming to The Woods
I grew up in Granite City, IL and I played soccer my whole life. I went to a junior college and I knew a couple people there who had gone to William Woods. They talked about how great it was. I did a visit and that was it, I fell in love and never looked back. The coach had contacted me multiple times and had asked me after my season was over at my junior college if I wanted to come practice with the William Woods team. Before I left that day he had offered me a scholarship and I pretty much immediately took it.

Activities at William Woods
I was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and the Psychology honors program. In Alpha Chi Omega I was on the executive board; I was the warden. I helped make sure the ritual was followed and everyone was practicing the ideals of Alpha Chi Omega. I was on other committees as well and we participated in philanthropies. It was a great sisterhood bond to have. Some of the girls were on the soccer team or doing other sports like me. It just exposed me to other parts of William Woods and all the support that came with it was amazing. It was probably the best thing I ever experienced.

Keeping in Touch
I am in touch with a bunch of friends I either played soccer with or was in the sorority with. Two of my best friends were in my sorority and they live in San Diego. I try to fly out to see them once a year. They also come back to see me. I also have close friends in the area as well that I try to see a couple times a month. It really brought me some of my best friends.

One-on-one Time
I think because it was a smaller educational setting, it provided me with that one on one contact with my professors and fellow students, rather than being in a big school and feeling lost. It gave me a lot of critical feedback and constructive criticism and that’s a big part of what I do today. I need to be able to take constructive criticism and do something with it.

Finding the Right Fit
My education at William Woods led me to get my Masters. It helped me realize that I wanted to do something in the Psychology field and that I wanted to continue my education. I got my masters at Saint Louis University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I went right after graduating from The Woods and took one semester off so I could start my master’s program in the fall since I graduated in December. I found my first job in my field while I was finishing my masters. I worked there for about nine months but needed a little more out of my job and wanted to have more impact on families. Now at my second job, I get to make more impact on families.

Working with Families
In my day-to-day I work with families that have had children in the juvenile justice system. So they have DCFS (Division of Child and Family Services) in their lives or they have a probation officer in their lives. I work with the families two to three times a week and also talk to them on the phone outside of those visits. I help parents put rewards and consequences in place. I help keep families from getting the juvenile justice system more involved than they already are and prevent future involvement.

Looking Back
I want to say that I think socially William Woods helped me so much. Through Alpha Chi Omega it showed me this amazing support system that I had never had before and it grew my connections that much more. I probably would’ve never had that if I didn’t go to William Woods. It facilitated my growth in playing soccer and connecting with women in a different way through all the activities available at The Woods. Professionally, all the feedback from professors helped me grow so much and let me know I was headed in the right direction. I still have that support today from (Associate Professor of Psychology) Caroline Boyer Ferhat, she’s asked me to come back and speak to her classes and it’s just such a great experience.

The atmosphere that William Woods holds is amazing. It’s the small school feeling, but has so many opportunities like a big school. I think that’s what makes William Woods stand apart.