Interning to Improve Mental Health – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Interning to Improve Mental Health

Working to provide a constructive environment for individuals with mental disabilities and those battling substance abuse, Samantha Buckenmaier ’20 joined the Arundel Lodge Behavioral Health Center in Parole, Md., as an intern this summer.

“Every day, I look forward to interacting with the clients, understanding their individual stories and hardships, and doing what I can to help them get back on their feet,” says Buckenmaier, a psychology major whose duties include assisting teachers with activities and instruction related to treatment. “This opportunity has given me the tools to know how to deal with clients who have these disabilities and face substance abuse.”

Widening her breadth of knowledge in psychology, Buckenmaier credits her independent study with Associate Professor of Psychology Michelle Rizzella as a driving force in pursuing additional opportunities this summer.

“Working with Professor Rizzella has taught me the more analytical and research side of psychology while my internship has shown me the counseling and rehabilitation side of it,” says Buckenmaier. “These experiences will ultimately help me shape my career goals into something that I can readily pursue with courage and be sure that I have chosen the right path.”

At the Colleges, Buckenmaier is a student athletic trainer for Hobart football, volunteers during Days of Service, plays in the HWS Wind Ensemble as the principal flutist and participates in the HWS Leads program.

“Being surrounded by strong individuals in HWS Leads has led to some very thought-provoking conversations that I would not otherwise have had,” says Buckenmaier, who will study abroad in Norwich, England, in the spring. “I’ve gained the tools to be a successful leader as I move forward to pursue new goals.”