On Dec. 9, nearly 1,700 students walked across the stage in Paulson Stadium to become Georgia Southern University graduates. A Portal native, however, just made the walk for the third time, giving her an official "Triple Eagle" status.
Erin Lawson ('11, '14, '16) began her academic career at Georgia Southern as a pre-communications major in 2007. She said she arrived with a hunger for learning and a drive to succeed. Choosing Georgia Southern came naturally to Lawson, as she had grown up falling in love with her "hometown" university.
"I remember taking field trips to the (Georgia Southern) Museum in elementary school and having picnic lunches on Sweetheart Circle," Lawson said. "It was an amazing opportunity to be able to go back as an adult and have a newfound appreciation for the university I so loved as a kid."
After taking her first introduction to psychology course, Lawson changed career paths.
"Once I took that first psychology course, I was hooked," she said. "I knew that no matter how long it took or how much effort it required of me, I would be a psychologist someday."
Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2011, Lawson began the Doctor of Psychology program at Georgia Southern. She earned her master's in psychology in 2014 and later moved to Delray Beach, Florida, to complete an internship for her doctorate in psychology at the Faulk Center for Counseling in September 2015.
"The psychology department at Georgia Southern is filled completely with knowledgeable, genuine, enthusiastic and truly phenomenal faculty," Lawson said. "I can't say enough about how much each of my professors encouraged and supported me through coursework, practicum experiences, dissertation and so many other components of the program. I wouldn't be the person I am today, both personally and professionally, without having been touched by each of their individual influences."
Lawson currently resides in Florida and is working toward licensure as a psychologist as a postdoctoral resident at Caron Renaissance, a substance abuse treatment center.
Aubrey Trevathan works in the Office of Marketing & Communications at Georgia Southern University.