Meet Ben Hunter

Scroll down to watch video interview with Ben

Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.

I was born and raised in Utah County, UT an area where I lived the majority of my life. That is home to Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University as well as Stephen R. Covey, Donnie & Marie Osmond, and Robert Redford. I come from a large family of 11 kids. I met my beautiful wife while in undergrad at UVU and we have since had 3 beautiful children, most her doing. I enjoy psychology (obviously), outdoor and sporting activities.

What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?

Forest Institute came highly recommended to me by a mentor I had from undergrad. After my first visit to the school I was extremely impressed by the cohesive feeling I received from the faculty and staff. Talking with the directors of the programs I was interested in really helped solidify my decision to attend Forest. I felt my educational goals were in-line with the education I would receive from this institution.

How does this program compare to your expectations?

I have been extremely impressed with both the quality of educational material and presented as well as the quality and professionalism of the faculty and staff. No program is perfect, but there is an obvious concerted effort by the Forest community to continually make it better.

What surprised you the most about Forest?

I have been most surprised by the closeness of the Forest community. Faculty, staff, and students seem to generally get along very well and make for a great learning environment. I have also been surprised at how well the community, both of Springfield and psychology in general, perceive Forest and the students generated by the programs.

Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?

The biggest challenge for me thus far has been adapting to the humid climate. I am from the desert of Utah and the humidity in Missouri is very different. Challenge’s come in many different forms but if you are willing, there is plenty of support to help one adapt to them. 


Do you have a moment in your academic career at Forest that you are proud of?

I always feel a little proud when I start understanding a concept/topic I feel like has been difficult for me.


Do you recall a funny story about your experience at Forest?

If you move Springfield without making proper preparations, like I did, you may end up living in a hotel for some time. It’s really not as fun as it sounds.

Do you have any "words of wisdom” for individuals considering graduate school (or your chosen concentration)?

Be prepared to make adjustments to your lifestyle and habits so that you can properly accommodate the demands of graduate student life. Don’t be scared to do research. Become acquainted with peers as well as upperclassmen to help facilitate good study habits and social support. The best way to find/figure something out is to talk with those who already have the experience. Oh, and always remember to have fun!

What do you like most about living in Springfield, Missouri?

I have a wife and children. Springfield is a very family friendly city and very reasonable in regards to cost of living. There are parks and recreational opportunities for those that enjoy them. I also find that people here are much more civil and friendly then I was used to.

What is your favorite restaurant in Springfield?

I haven’t been to a large number of restaurants in Springfield. Of the one’s I have been to, I really like La Hacienda and HuHot. Both really good, different styles but should be considered if you have a night out.



What is the one thing everyone should do in Springfield, and why?

I think everyone should take the opportunity to explore the public parks and recreation areas around town. There are some really nice areas and great places to visit and relax outside.


Best thing to do on a cheap date in Springfield?

In my opinion, a great cheap date option is to get your tennis racquets, go to Phelps Grove Park in the early evening and play until the lightening bugs come out (maybe try to catch a few), then pick up some healthy food from Dillion’s on the way home and cook a nice dinner together.