Elisabeth (Betsy) (Meiman) Parker '96
What are you currently doing for work?
I am a licensed professional counselor for Connecticut Department of Corrections. Since leaving UNH, I continued with both the music and psychology fields by working towards a Masters in Music Therapy degree at Loyola University and playing viola professionally in a rich music scene in New Orleans, LA. Despite not quite completing that degree, I did meet my husband and get married in New Orleans. We moved to Houston for a few years where I worked for a company that provided mental health and substance abuse benefits administration, while simultaneously completing a Master of Arts in Psychology and Sociology at Our Lady of the Lake University in TX. We moved back to Connecticut after I finished my Masters so we can be closer to family, where I worked for the last 15 years doing research and treatment in substance abuse/mental health treatment methods for the State of CT/UConn Health Center, and started a private practice for mental health and substance abuse counseling. Just last year, I started a new chapter of my professional career when I transferred to the Connecticut Department of Corrections to work as a mental health clinician providing counseling to male inmates in a maximum security prison in Newtown, CT, and am really enjoying working with a diverse clinical population.
How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?
Liberal Arts showed me that anything is possible and the world can be conquered when you put hard work and dedication into everything you do -- nothing should be taken for granted, least of all, an education.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
Robert Eshbach, my viola professor and orchestra conductor, showed me true encouragement and sincere devotion to a field, which I wanted to emulate throughout my life. I am fortunate that I have had the chance to say thank you, even years later. And Cleveland (Buddy) Howard, UNH choir director, extended his class, wit and knowledge in ways that transcended the classroom and even music experiences.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?
I went back to UNH when my cousin's daughter attended UNH, and I was amazed at how the campus had improved. I wished I could fast forward and go back to attend 20 years later!!!
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Don't be fooled into thinking you need to follow a prescribed path and get pigeon-holed into a prescribed profession. If you have a passion for something, there is no end to the possibilities that can make you successful!
I'm fortunate to have made lifelong friends at UNH and so proud to be a Wildcat alum!!!