If there is anyone at The Chicago School that I can give credit to for helping me to get to where I am now, it is undoubtedly the man who believed in me and saw potential in me long before I was able to for myself. Dr. Shustitsky has played a fundamental role not only in making TCSPP Chicago campus what it is, but also modeled for me what it takes to be an extraordinary person and psychologist. From writing me my first letter of recommendation, inviting me to facilitate class discussions on diversity, offering me a position on the faculty search committee, providing me the opportunity to speak to all the first years about my practicum experience, recommending me to represent the clinical psychology doctoral program at the student impact leadership awards. He brought out the best in me. Dr. S emulated for me the empowering notion that when you believe the best in someone, you bring out the best in them.
From late night phone calls and meetings in between as my internship point person, Dr. S spent endless hours sitting with me on a personal level as I opened up about my life story and guided me every step of the way to becoming the professional I always wanted to be. Dr. S always had my best interests in mind. At a certain point, when all else failed, it was Dr. Shustitsky that was able to remove me from a situation that was damaging my soul. Not only did I learn how to leave on good terms, I learned the impact it can make when someone in a position of power advocates for you. It makes me want to do the same for someone else one day.
As unflattering as this picture is dating back to earlier this past summer, it was meaningful in that it was when I was informed by Dr. S that he would be taking his leave at the end of the year. As saddened as I was to hear that he would be leaving, It warmed my heart hearing that he would still remain a part of TCSPP as the Department Chair of TCSPP LA campus clinical psychology doctoral program. The Chicago campus will not be the same without him and I certainly will have a hard time letting go, but I’m so excited to see him again at graduation for he will have played a tremendous part in getting me there in one piece.