On Jan. 12 of this year Ginette Walker began her work as a Staff Psychotherapist, Generalist with the Counseling and Psychological Services at Cal Poly Humboldt.
Walker’s history and background leading up to her new position at Cal Poly Humboldt
Born in Puerto Rico, Walker and her family shared a home with her grandparents. When she was seven years old, her family moved to Washington, D.C. Walker was excited to hear the news but also devastated at the thought of leaving her grandparents.
Walker later enrolled in the University of Maryland but found it to be a difficult transition, and although she lived on campus she felt disconnected. During her three semesters at UMD, she struggled to stay afloat in her classes and eventually made the decision to transfer to George Washington University. It was there where she met Victor Golla, a professor who has left an impression that impacts her work today as a therapist.
Formally, Walker did an independent practice for seven years working with facilities like Providence St. Joseph Hospital, CaliforniaVictim Witness Protection program and North Coast Children Services.
Now at Cal Poly Humboldt, Walker is working at the Counseling and Psychological Services. There are many stressors that students face in their daily lives and CAPS resources can help provide a safe place to unpack that weight.
Below you can find a Q and A with Walker where she shares more about her plans as a counselor with a Latinx focused outreach:
Q: What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?
A: Gratitude for the opportunity to make my living doing something that suits my personality and has meaning to me. For the opportunity to be a contributor in the enhancement of people’s quality of life.
Q: Are your services primarily for students of the Latinx community?
A: I have been hired to provide individual, couples, and group psychotherapy to any and all CAPS-eligible students (students enrolled full-time). I am referred to as “Latinx-focused” because the outreach I do will be focused on, but not limited to, our Latinx students.
Q: What is your main objective for your first year here at Cal Poly Humboldt?
A: My main objective for my first year at Cal Poly Humboldt is to get my bearings through listening widely and deeply. I recognize that in order to really be let in I will need to let myself be known. I also have more mundane objectives, such as becoming more proficient with the IT end of things so that I can work more efficiently.
Q: Do you think CAPS will strive to bring on more counselors who are more diverse?
A: I know for a fact CAPS is striving to bring on more diversity among our counselors. In fact, I have been invited to join the hiring committee for next year’s post-graduate intern, who will also be a person with passion for and experience in serving Latinx communities.
Q: What are your preparations to make yourself accessible to students?
A: Well, I hope this interview helps…thank you for the opportunity! I am very excited to be co-facilitating with Emely Flores, student staff member of El Centro and Café con Chisme. I have assigned hours as the on-call crisis clinician, and for intakes and therapy sessions. I am also very excited to be co-facilitating with practicum therapist Nina Cunha a weekly Parents and Other Caregivers of Children Support Group. I hope to be out and about campus and that students, faculty, staff, and administrators all find me personally approachable and responsive.
Editor’s note: Some answers were edited for length.