Tuesday, October 23, 2018

By Sara Nelson Photo by Mei-Ling Shaw Williams

Erin Barnes, new clinical assistant professor in Rehabilitation and Counselor Education wants to prepare her students for their future careers. 

Barnes received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, and her doctorate in Rehabilitation and Counselor Education all from the University of Iowa. 

Barnes aims to include professional development in her students’ graduate experience to better prepare her students for the world outside of graduation. 

“It’s not just about learning the content, it’s about students having the skills to secure competitive jobs after graduation,” says Barnes. Having spent almost two years in the UI’s Graduate College working with the Graduate Student Success unit, Barnes learned the importance of professional development for students’ career trajectories. “I actively seek out and incorporate resources and activities that will make them well-rounded professionals.” 

Barnes focuses on community engagement and looks at how it is advancing her students as professionals. Barnes and her students have previously worked with homeless individuals and transition-aged foster care youth. 

“Community engagement benefits the students because they get experience working with vulnerable and at-risk populations before going to their clinical sites,” says Barnes. “They are able to learn the humanity of other people who may not necessarily be viewed in that way by others.”