Meet Brittany Kaufman

Scroll down to watch video interview with Brittany

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

I’m from Eland, which is a small town in Northcentral Wisconsin. I grew up with a menagerie of animals and spent a lot of time outdoors. My favorite jobs were analyzing and categorizing whale calls for a professor and being a nature center director at a summer camp. I went to Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin for my undergraduate degree and I couldn’t say enough good things about my experience there. It was a small school where people knew each other by name and the whole community of administrators, faculty, staff, and students worked together. Forest felt very similar when I visited and is one of the primary reasons why I chose to come here.

Why did you choose Forest?

Forest has a really great atmosphere. The professors have an open door policy. The students are helpful. The staff is helpful. Forest has a practitioner-scholar model which I think is one of the best ways to educate clinical psychologists. We focus a lot on training clinicians who also do research. To me that's very important.

What makes Forest unique?

We have a lot of practicum experience, and we have a lot of practicums to choose from. The whole process is fairly easy. They rank our preferences, not only in the populations we want to work with, but the sites to. So, then we are matched with those preferences. I've had a really good experience so far, starting off at the Murney Clinic, and I will be at the Springfield Public School District this fall.

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

I am proud of having "Aha!” moments with clients. Watching clients gain insight into problems they have struggled with for years makes all of our academic strivings worthwhile. There is no better feeling than knowing you made a difference. For example, I always end my psychoeducation groups by thanking the participants for their hard work. After one particularly difficult session with a group of adolescent boys, I made sure to emphasize my appreciation for their patience and commitment. As my partner and I were walking out, they stopped us and said, "No! Thank you for coming here and teaching us!” If you have every worked with teenagers, you know what an accomplishment that is.

What is your favorite restaurant in Springfield?

This is a tough question because Springfield has a ton of really good restaurants. I guess one of my favorites would have to be Ocean Zen. It has a Crispy Creamy Spicy Tuna roll that is to die for. The best part is that you can get your favorite sushi as take-out, plus you can get it pretty cheap during happy hour.

What is your favorite band in Springfield?

I don’t have one, but I know there have been a number of well-known artists who have performed concerts in the area.

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

Everyone should spend at least one day or night downtown. There are cute shops, a great night life, and an Art Walk on the first Friday of every month. I’ve been here for two years and I still haven’t been able to see or do everything.

Best thing to do on a cheap date in Springfield?

Check out one of Springfield’s parks. A trail behind Forest leads to Close Memorial Park/Nathanael Greene Park, which has botanical gardens, a Japanese stroll garden, a butterfly house, and a duck pond. You can take your dog for a walk, have a picnic, or bike the trails.