Meet Channing Sofko
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.
I am currently finishing my first year in the MACL/PsyD program. I chose to pursue the neuropsychology track because I have always been fascinated with biology and physiology. I am from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA and I found moving to Springfield to be an easy adjustment based on the small size and convenience.
What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?
I chose Forest because it provides an opportunity to develop skills needed to successfully work with clients while serving the community. Additionally, the students are treated as colleagues by faculty members and this is in sharp contrast to some programs.
How does this program compare to your expectations?
I think it compares well with what I expected from a graduate training program. The training is focused on approaching each client from an ideographic perspective in which we take into account a wide variety of factors. I feel that this is an invaluable approach not only in practice, but in interacting with others in general; everyone has had different experiences which have led to different perspectives and we must take these into account.
What surprised you the most about Forest?
The cohorts ahead of mine have been extremely helpful in providing me with assistance with research ideas and guidance in general. It is not a competitive environment here; rather, everyone is very helpful.
Do you have any "words of wisdom” for individuals considering graduate school (or your chosen concentration)?
I think it is a great idea to get as much education as you can while you are young. I started graduate school immediately after completing undergraduate work and I feel that this has made the transition much easier. You have to be prepared to devote a large portion of your time to school which is an adjustment for some people but it will be worth it in the end.
What do you like most about living in Springfield, Missouri?
Besides the nice weather, I enjoy the convenience and the "small-town” atmosphere of downtown Springfield.
What is your favorite band in Springfield?
There's a band called "The Endless Summer" in the area and they are great if you like pop-punk music. Otherwise, Outland Ballroom always has local bands playing and more diversity in terms of genres.
What is the one thing everyone should do in Springfield, and why?
I recommend going to one of the "First Friday Art Walks" while you are here. Downtown businesses set up galleries of local artists and photographers on the first Friday of every month and it is a great way to see a different side of Springfield.
Best thing to do on a cheap date in Springfield?
As I mentioned earlier, Art Walk is definitely something to look into, plus you can visit all of the different little businesses and shops at the same time. Springfield Cardinals games are perfect for the summer and they have fireworks on Friday nights.