The Blessings of an FH Scholarship

Posted on May 17, 2012
I began working on my PhD in Health Psychology at Walden University in March 2009. I was under the mistaken belief that attending an online school would be easier than matriculating at a traditional brick-and-mortar campus. Walden has been the stimulating challenge of my life! I have had to write a minimum of four essays a week, and write responses to students I couldn’t see and had never met. The same goes for my professors: we can read their bios but we can’t see or meet them either.

In order to deal with this dilemma, Walden requires that students take four academic residencies over the course of their education. The residencies are either face-to-face or Walden has recently added virtual learning experiences. During residencies, students collaborate and network with other Walden students, staff (including Career Services, the librarians, and the Office for Students with Disabilities), and faculty members. At the residency, you have the opportunity to meet students from different degree programs, offering you the chance to take part in a vigorous and purposeful environment to share various perspectives and best practices.

I applied for a Summer 2012 Fountain House scholarship to help cover the cost of my textbooks for the next term and to assist me in attending my third residency in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walden’s home base, in July 2012, summer term. Students are required to take their third residency by the end of their third year. The purpose of Residency 3 is to continue developing research skills that will lead to the development of the prospectus or dissertation proposal. Topics covered during the residency include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research designs, data collection, management, analysis considerations, and development of the prospectus. Upon completion of the residency, students will have completed a research alignment tool to inform and guide their dissertation research planning.

This residency is crucial for me to take this summer as I will be enrolled in my dissertation program fall term, 2012. In my Health Psychology program, I have been learning about the Mind-Body connection in healing and as a licensed psychiatric social worker, I found that I was beginning to incorporate holistic healing techniques with my traditional treatment modalities. I just submitted a PASS Plan to Social Security to open a healing center called Creative Healing Consultations, LLC. Each word of the company means something: “Creative” because I use the creative arts, particularly spiritual journaling and collage work, for healing; “Healing” because that is my goal, to help my clients heal mentally, physically, and spiritually; and “Consultations” because the client will work with me, not be dictated to by me, about their healing and treatments.

My work at Walden University while in my PhD program has prepared me for this move. I’m also in the process of submitting papers I have written for my classes to peer-reviewed journals to start building a publication history in my field. This Fountain House scholarship comes at a pivotal time in my educational pursuits. Attending Residency 3 will help me hone my prospectus and dissertation topic and prepare me for the work I will begin this fall. As I have also recently become an ordained minister, in receiving this scholarship I am reminded of “Ask, and it will be given unto you, knock and the door will be opened.” I am constantly reminded that we can never take Fountain House for granted, but she is always there when we need her. Thanks to the scholarship committee for helping make my vision closer to reality.

Davida Adedjouma, LMSW
Education Unit and Board of Directors, Fountain House

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