By Ashley Ferrence, Staff Writer

Counselor Kate Fournier (courtesy of UMF CSD Website)

Counselor Kate Fournier (courtesy of UMF CSD Website)

FARMINGTON- As you walk into Franklin Hall, make your way up the narrow staircase to the Center

for Student Development (CSD), where you can meet the university’s new personal counselor that has a

contagiously positive vibe.

Katie Fournier, the new counselor on campus, has a reputation of having a bubbly personality and

seems to be quite popular among the students here on campus.

According to Program Coordinator at the CSD, Lori Soucie, students seem to love Fournier and her

counseling already. “Katie’s calendar is booked solid for weeks at a time. If nothing else, that tells me

that students are connecting with her and are really engaged with her counseling,” said Soucie.

Fournier has a copious amount of training and experience in the field of psychology. In fact, she

attended UMF for her undergraduate education with a double major in English and Psychology. She

furthered her education attending graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.

Fournier had great college-based internship positions, and gained even more experience working

variously among mental health and crisis positions.

Fournier knew in high school that psychology interested her more than other subjects and realized it

was the best job for her. “My favorite part about therapy is hearing peoples’ stories. Not trying to be

cheesy, but it’s an honor hearing what people share with me. And they chose to share it with me. It’s a

pretty wild thing,” Fournier said.

The fact that Fournier is so familiar to campus really helped her in the interview process last year. “We

thought that she could connect with students in a good way because she is a UMF alumni, and was from

Franklin County,” Soucie said.

Bob Pederson, 25-year director of the CSD, was chair of the hiring committee that Fournier applied

to. “We scheduled the on-campus interview and she said, ‘if you need me to be there right now, I’ll get

someone to watch the kids,’ it’s her sense of humor, and her motivation that really got me,” Pederson

said.

“I use humor a lot, when people are receptive to it, I think it helps make people more comfortable,”

Fournier said.

Fournier, being in her first year at UMF, goes above and beyond. “She is just a really good fit for us

here. If she isn’t seeing clients, she is willing to pitch in anywhere she can,” Pederson said.

According to Fournier, it wasn’t hard being a new staff member on campus. “Everyone wants to help.

Beth Jennings, the other counselor here at the CSD, was so warm and welcoming from the start. She

didn’t skip a beat, and welcomed me with open arms,” Fournier said.

Fournier has worked in many places with many different types of people. “I’ve worked cradle to

grave,” Fournier said, but college students seem to fit her personality best. “It’s such an exciting age

developmentally. Nothing is really normal, and it’s an exciting age to figure out who they are and really

to create healthy habits to live a healthy life,” Fournier said.

Fournier notes that she sees college students for mostly anxiety and depression because college can be

such a stressful time in a person’s life.

Both Pederson and Soucie commented on how important on-campus college counseling is. “Counselors

at the CSD see students with anxiety and depression, or just problems with a roommate, failing a class,

or just kids being home sick. College counseling can encompass a lot more than traditional off campus

counseling,” Soucie said.

“Counseling isn’t just for people who are depressed, and we have created this here, it’s for helping

somebody to see their way through a situation or learn how to deal with stressors of college,” Pederson

said.

Fournier hopes to be a counselor on the UMF campus for the rest of her career. “I have the best job in

the world, and it hasn’t worn off yet, I don’t think it’s a façade, so I think it’s legitimate,” said Fournier.

If a student is in need of any type of counseling or academic services, please visit the second floor in

Franklin Hall. “I would encourage students to come up to the second floor of Franklin Hall and see what

we have to offer. That would include not only counseling, but all around advising as well,” Soucie said.