Donnisha Lavigne

Donnisha LavigneBachelor of Science in psychology, educational/developmental psychology, 2015
Master of Science in mental health counseling, Mercer University
Doctorate in counselor education and supervision, Mercer University, in progress

Mental health professional, NaphCare

Describe what you do and how GGC may have played a role to prepare you for success in your job.
I provide individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, assessments and preliminary diagnoses to inmates at the Gwinnett County Jail. GGC played a significant role in preparing me for success in my job as my degree introduced me to different disorders that my patients are dealing with.

Describe what you hope to do once you've earned your graduate degree and how GGC may have played a role to prepare you for success in your graduate program.
After completing my PhD in counselor education and supervision, I hope to do program evaluation for county jails and prisons throughout the state of Georgia and possibly nationwide. I plan to write an updated textbook for correctional mental health and supervise upcoming mental health counselors. GGC played a significant role in preparing me for graduate school as one of my professors introduced me to clinical mental health counseling and challenged me to consider the benefits of talk therapy versus becoming a psychiatrist and focusing on medication management.

Has your life changed since graduation, and if so, how has earning a degree contributed to that change?
After graduating from GGC, I was able to begin the process of transitioning from my career in retail to a career in the mental health field. I have been able to positively impact the lives of others who are learning to cope with a mental health disorder while learning to care for my own mental health along the way.

Why do you give back to GGC through donations and volunteering your time?
I am an advocate for GGC, and I believe that any student who has the opportunity to pursue their degree at GGC will have their lives changed forever (in a positive manner). I am honored to be able to volunteer my time and give back to GGC as a proud alumni.