Alyssa Garvey

Alyssa Garvey '12

Art Therapy

Student Success

My first job after I graduated from UNE was at DHHS. I was an assessment worker for the child protective division for the state of Maine. This was one of the best jobs for anyone going into social work. It teaches you about the judicial system and about children’s rights. You encounter people that will test your morals and you have the opportunity to be empathic to people that some might not believe deserve it. You deal with a population of people that will forever be in your heart. This job allowed me to get my social work license in the state of Maine.

After that I got a job in a nursing facility as a social worker, this is where interpersonal skills are so important. I had to support the residence — their families, the staff, and most importantly myself. Being present is a hard task and UNE helped me prepare for that. After being a social worker for 3 years I started to explore master's degree programs and came across a program at Endicott College called Post-Professional Interior Architecture. When working with patients I could tell how much their physical environment affected their wellbeing. I started to pay more attention to how light, color, and space affected people and I started to make the connection that space affects people and their psychological state. I ended up finding my path and blending my love for psychology and wellbeing with my love to create and design. I graduated with my master's and my thesis was on creating an awareness center for the public on human trafficking. To use space to create an experiential space that will affect people and help them understand a topic like that.

I now work at an architectural firm called JSA INC in Portsmouth, N.H. JSA actually designed many buildings on UNE’s campus. I was drawn to this firm and careers to be part of healthcare design and I hope to be able to impact an individual’s positivity in my everyday work but also with my design. Person-centered care is very important to me and it can be influenced by design. So in a way, I have merged all my degrees into one and I am allowing life to lead me down the path where I can help people the most. That is through design.

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