Master of Counseling graduate made most of clinical, research experiences

May 2, 2022

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

ASU Master of Counseling graduate Lisa Marie Gutierrez distinctly recalls the week that her career ambitions were pulled toward clinical psychology.  ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts master of counseling graduate Lisa Gutierrez outdoors in front of blossoming oleander Lisa Gutierrez, who was actively involved in clinical and research experiences in the Master of Counseling program and held a leadership role in the Master of Counseling Student Organization, will be honored as the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts' Outstanding Graduate Student during ASU's spring 2022 commencement ceremonies. Gutierrez will begin a doctoral program in psychology in the fall at Midwestern University. Download Full Image

“My ‘aha’ moment happened in my high school psychology class,” said Gutierrez, who will be honored as the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts’ Outstanding Graduate Student for 2022 at ASU Graduate Commencement on May 9. “We were watching the movie ‘SybilThe film is about a young woman with dissociative identity disorder who is in therapy with a psychiatrist..’ I remember being so fascinated by this film. While I’d been interested in psychology before seeing the movie, it really solidified my interest in clinical psychology and the mental health field.”

After that, she said, she started reading psychology and counseling books in her free time. 

Gutierrez, who is from Barstow, California, chose to complete her bachelor’s degree in psychology through ASU Online, while working at Starbucks as a shift supervisor.

“I also was an undergraduate intern at Barstow Counseling, where I helped co-facilitate groups, did case management and assisted in a recreational therapy setting,” she said.

Gutierrez said she decided to pursue the Master of Counseling at ASU “because of the faculty, the courses offered, and the location — which is still somewhat close to home. The courses that really drew me in were Counseling Latinx and Trauma in Counseling.”

This full-time immersion program in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts emphasizes clinical experiences and career-connected learning, which includes the opportunity to work with clients as a student counselor in the Counselor Training Center.

“I had the privilege of having Dr. Nancy Truong as my clinic supervisor in the CTC. While we were entirely virtual — working with clients via telehealth appointments — I feel that I had such an amazing practicum group and learned so much from Dr. Truong,” Gutierrez said. “She really gave me the room to explore different interventions and helped me to grow into a confident clinician.” 

Gutierrez also interned at La Frontera Arizona – EMPACT, in the trauma healing department, providing therapy in both English and Spanish.

“I have a goal of making therapy services more accessible to Spanish-speaking populations and I feel as though EMPACT helped me learn how to achieve this goal and advocate for my community,” she said. “They provided me with so many training opportunities, including for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) certification, and I’ll always be grateful.”  

When she started this two-year master’s program in fall 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gutierrez thought this global event would negatively impact her training.

“Instead, I was able to apply my research skills and my commitment to culturally informed research, to assist Professor Cristalis Capielo Rosario in investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latinx populations living in the United States,” she said.

Actively involved over the last two years in the PLENA research lab directed by Capielo Rosario, Gutierrez took the initiative to lead an independent investigation examining the association between economic stress, food insecurity and psychological symptoms reported by Latino immigrants during the pandemic.    

“Lisa is a highly driven student,” said Capielo Rosario, in her letter supporting Gutierrez’s nomination as the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts 2022 Outstanding Graduate Student. “She took the lead on developing the proposal, organizing, and reporting the data for this project. This fall, Lisa presented the results of her study at the 2021 NLPA virtual conference. I was so impressed by her work that I invited Lisa to collaborate with me and another doctoral student to develop two new poster proposals.” 

Gutierrez won’t be slowing down too much before starting the next stage of her career journey. 

“I plan to continue my education and get my doctorate in psychology, and I’ll be starting the PsyD at Midwestern University this fall,” Gutierrez said. “I’ll also be teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Phoenix College over the summer, presenting research at the American Psychological Association 2022 convention and taking a much-needed vacation!” 

Gutierrez took time to share these additional reflections with ASU News:  

Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective? 

Answer: My biggest takeaway is that my experiences matter more than I ever believed they did. I did not think that I would be bringing up my lived experiences in this program and using them to have discussions with my peers about multiculturalism, but I did and they were helpful! This taught me that just because I’m a first-generation student and come from a small town doesn’t make me any less of a graduate student. This realization was eye-opening to me and I feel that it helped me grow as a person. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Dr. Cristalis Capielo Rosario taught me so much during my time at ASU, but I would say the most important lesson was to just believe in myself. Dr. Capielo Rosario believed in me more than I believed in myself sometimes. Every time I received an honor, I’d be so surprised and Dr. Capielo Rosario would always say, “Congratulations and well deserved!” This happened enough times to where I realized, I do work hard and I do deserve the good things that come. I’ll always be grateful to Dr. Capielo Rosario for instilling this confidence in me and showing me that it’s okay to express pride over my accomplishments. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: It can be easy to feel intimidated when attending such a big university, but remember to be unapologetically yourself. Your experiences matter, and stick to your boundaries because anybody with your best interest in mind wouldn’t cross them. 

Q: Did you have a favorite spot at ASU for studying?  

A: I really enjoyed the self-care lounge my program had for us! I would sometimes come to campus hours before class started just to be able to work there. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would address homelessness. Every human being and domesticated animal deserves to have shelter. I have a very vivid memory of watching another high-rise luxury apartment being built on Mill Ave. while a homeless man dug through the garbage across the street. Research has shown that it would cost approximately $20 billion to resolve the homelessness problem in America, and while $40 million is nowhere near that amount, it’s a start. 

Maureen Roen

Director of Communications, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts


Thunderbird graduate utilizes technology to connect cultures around the world

May 2, 2022

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

Ashley Hernandez grew up in San Luis, Arizona, and Mexicali, Mexico. She chose to attend Arizona State University because of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Portrait of ASU student Ashley Hernandez. Download Full Image

“Thunderbird uses technology to make business and management more accessible than ever, especially on an international scale, and I want to take full advantage of this opportunity,” said the recipient of both the Obama Scholarship and Education Forward Arizona. “My bicultural upbringing made me an individual who is eager for knowledge. This is why I decided to come to Thunderbird; I wanted to learn more about other cultures and business through a global lens.”

Ashley’s interest in learning about different countries and cultures contributed to her pursuit of a Bachelor of Global Management (BGM) degree from Thunderbird.

Hernandez said that she always knew she wanted to go to college. Both her parents have degrees, but while she was in high school, she learned she had to contribute to household bills and help with the responsibilities at home, like caregiving, cooking and cleaning, while her parents also worked. Hernandez appreciated having had significant experiences and responsibilities early on.

“My mom and dad got their degrees later in life while raising my sister and me," said Hernandez. “I would constantly see them working hard to be good parents without compromising their goals. Life is hard, and my parents have always been there to guide and support me no matter the path I choose.”

“A special shout out to all parents and guardians who are helping guide their kids through a university setting! Thanks for being a shoulder to lean on,” she said.

Question: What do you love about being a T-bird?

Answer: I LOVE being a part of a community that can be found across the world. No matter where you are, you will always seem to find another fellow Tbird. Whether it be at a coffee shop in Phoenix, the airport or even in a small town in Mexico, Thunderbirds are all over the world.

Q: What's something you learned while at Thunderbird — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: During my time at Thunderbird, I learned about the value of teamwork and how working in a team can create a greater impact than working alone. All my Thunderbird classes required us to work with one another, whether it be through a project or a simple class discussion. I truly enjoyed getting to know all my classmates and learning from them.

Q: What motivates or inspires you?

A: My parents will always be the people I look up to. They have taught me the importance of following your dreams and self improvement.

Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

A: It is impossible only to pick one aspect of my life that I am most grateful for. Since it is graduation season, I will mention one that is fitting for this occasion: I am most grateful for the opportunity to study at the Thunderbird School of Global Management without any financial burdens. Thanks to ASU and Education Forward Arizona, I was given scholarships that helped pay for my education.

Dasi Danzig

Senior Media Relations Officer, Thunderbird School of Global Management