After a long and exhaustive search, Counseling Services at Ohio Wesleyan University welcomed its new director, Dr. Doug Bennett, Thursday, Feb. 12.
Dean of Students Kimberlie Goldsberry formally introduced Bennett to staff-members from different departments at OWU in a surprise speech during his reception.
“We’re very excited to have Doug as a part of our family,” Goldsberry said.
Originally from Charleston, S.C., Bennett fulfilled his undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology at the Ohio State University.
“My very first class at Ohio State was Psychology 100, and I knew this was something I wanted to pursue at the time.”
His roots in Ohio come from his parents and brother living in Sharonville, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.
After attaining his doctorate at OSU, Bennett worked as a staff psychologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for six years.
Most recently, he served as the assistant director and training coordinator for Counseling and Psychological Services at Purdue University for the past two years.
In addition to being assistant director at Purdue, Bennett also served as a training coordinator for incoming psychologists, including graduate students completing the requirements for their program.
“I have a love of training—especially training grad students completing their internship requirement,” Bennett said.
When comparing the size discrepancies between this campus and the ones he’s previously worked at, Bennett felt he wanted a change and jumped at the opportunity to work at such a close-knit, small school like OWU.
“I’m enjoying the transition to Ohio Wesleyan tremendously,” Bennett said.
“Having been at large universities exclusively throughout my career, the biggest transitions have been in learning of the differences, advantages, and needs of a smaller student body,” Bennett said.
“I have looked forward for some time prior to learning about the Director’s position here to being in a smaller university environment.
“My experiences to this point have not disappointed. The welcome that I have received across campus has been overwhelming positive. I am humbled and thankful to be in this community.”
Counseling Services has been in the process of solving some of the issues students have been having, relating to long waitlists to receive attention, and the inability of those who need immediate help to receive attention in a timely manner.
Last year, students also distributed a petition calling for more attention to be paid to Counseling Services and other organizations having to do with the issue of mental health.
“The future of Counseling Services is bright,” Bennett said.
“My predecessors and the counselors here have left a strong foundation. My staff and I look forward to continuing quality services at OWU. We will focus on innovative ways to assist students seeking assistance through Counseling Services.”