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“My instructors really helped develop me as a young professional.”

Jes Vogan transferred to Western from a large public university in 2005.

“A large institution just wasn’t a fit for me,” she said.

Plus, she had friends at Western and always enjoyed her visits there, which made the transition easier.

Vogan knew since she was young that she wanted to work in mental health someday, so the decision to double major in Psychology and Business Administration made sense. Professors like Susan Coykendall, Ph.D and Kari Commerford helped her through her transfer process and mentored her while she was at Western and beyond.

“My instructors really helped develop me as a young professional,” Vogan said.

In addition to her studies, Vogan was a member of Sexual Assault Peer Alliance (SAPA) and the Bluebirds, a women’s snowboarding club.

“I snowboarded a lot,” Vogan said, “and my dad teased that I was majoring in snowboarding.”

After graduation Vogan attended graduate school and went on to work in Western’s Office of Student Affairs. She eventually left to obtain professional licensure and worked briefly in the world of clinical psychology until she realized what she really loved was being in an educational setting.

“There is so much good work to do in that realm,” she said.

Today she works as a student counselor at Gunnison High School and also lectures at Western. She tells her students how much the relationships with friends and professors can influence their future.

“This is where I met my husband and figured out who I was,” Vogan said. “Western changed my life.”

Profile by Liz Renner

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