Scroll down to watch video interview with Stewart
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.
I'm from all over the place. I grew up in Bangladesh, but my family is originally from Louisiana. I did my undergrad in Arkansas, and my master's program in Art Therapy in Washington D.C.
What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?
I looked at a few different programs. I was considering one in Minnesota, but Forest exceeded everything else I had seen. The facility, the clinic and the amount of engagement I got from the faculty as well as how close it is to my family are what attracted me to Forest.
How does this program compare to your expectations?
It has provided me everything that I've been looking for in a post-graduate degree certificate.in my Master's program, my therapy was focused on individuals, but now I've gotten a lot from working with couples and families. it's really accentuated my ability to work with clients.
What surprised you the most about Forest?
I have been most surprised by the flexibility of the faculty and the program. I've been working at the clinic this semester, and I became interested in another practicum next semester. They're letting me switch after just one semester of being here, and continue working with clients at the clinic. Whereas during my other master's program, everything was a year-long commitment
Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?
Maintaining a caseload. It's somewhat challenging getting clients and then having them leave the clinic very soon after I've started seeing them because they weren't committed. but having another practicum next semester as well as continuing to see clients at the clinic will allow me to have the required number of hours to complete the course load.
Do you have a moment in your academic career at Forest that you are proud of?
One of my skills that has grown is my ability to integrate theory with practice. During my last program i was more focused on becoming comfortable working with clients and the therapy experience. Now that I'm working with couples and families, and learning theory alongside that, I'm able to take what I've learned to a whole new level and conceptualize ideas in the room and see patterns and conflicts in the moment which helps me be more effective with the clients.
Do you recall a funny story about your experience at Forest?
One of my classmates dressed up as Pinkypie for Halloween. We were in our Ethics class talking about very serious issues and difficult situations and he was dressed as a children's cartoon character.
Do you have any "words of wisdom” for individuals considering graduate school (or your chosen concentration)?
Definitely look at the program and look at all of the options and make sure it works with what you're looking for and what you're hoping to get out of it.
What do you like most about living in Springfield, Missouri?
Springfield is the easiest city that I've ever lived in to get around. Usually I need a GPS to get around, but now I can just go. I really appreciate that.
What is your favorite restaurant in Springfield?
I haven't been to very many, but I have been to the Springfield Brewing Company a few times, and I enjoy it every time I go.
What is the one thing everyone should do in Springfield, and why?
There is a great trail next to the campus that connects to the park across the street and it's just completely beautiful. I love to go jogging along the path