Community Partners Recruit from CEPR at Annual Internship Fair

CEPR Internship Fair

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The need for mental health specialists in the Mid-South is growing, and 19 local organizations hoped to address that need by recruiting potential interns from UofM’s Department of Counseling Educational Psychology & Research (CEPR) at the department’s annual internship fair.

“We have these amazing students here, and that’s creating a pipeline for them to hopefully be able to intern at one of our sites and possibly secure a job,” said Dr. Kiersten Hawes, Clinical Director for the Brain Center.

CEPR Internship Fair

Hawes is a 2021 UofM grad, receiving her PhD from CEPR. Several at the fair also call UofM their alma mater. Hawes’ colleague Sydnie Allen, a trauma mental health counselor who’s set to receive her doctorate from CEPR this May, was a member of the Brain Center’s first internship cohort in 2021.

Regarding the impact of this internship fair, Allen said, “These kinds of events give you access that a website or a cold call doesn’t. We’re putting back into the community, so we want these students to stay in the community and flourish because there is a huge mental health need here.”

Thirty-six CEPR students browsed the tables, hoping to find the right fit in their internship search. Lindsay Bartholomew, a born and raised Memphian set to receive her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the fall of 2025, said she wants to give back to her home city.

“I’m getting a really good idea…about where I’d like to end up and where I can see my career going,” Bartholomew said. “Good therapists are needed in this area.”

Many of these internships lead to jobs for UofM grads, Allen being a prime example of this. Allen said more grads should stay to help fight the growing need for mental health specialists.

Below are the following organizations who attended the internship fair:

  • Veterans Administration
  • Health Connect America
  • Empowerment Counseling & Consulting
  • University of Memphis Counseling Center
  • Rhodes Counseling Center
  • Youth Villages
  • Hope House
  • Brain Center @ Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
  • A Hope & A Future
  • Crestwyn
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Germantown Behavioral Solutions
  • University of Memphis Career Services
  • Compass Intervention Center
  • Sanctuary Counseling
  • Shelby County Crime Victims Center
  • Memphis Youth Academy
  • TN Department of Human Services - Vocational Rehabilitation 
  • University of Memphis Academic Coaching for Excellence