Meet Frankie Mena

Tell us a little about yourself and where you are from.

I am originally from El Paso, Texas. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from New Mexico State University. The population that I would like to work with includes juvenile delinquents, at risk youth, and families. Because I have such a wide array of interests, I am a generalist in the MACL/PsyD program.

What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?

I chose forest because of the faculty and students. The environment here seemed different from other places. The different members of the faculty were so open, available and experienced within the field of psychology.

How does this program compare to your expectations?

I think the program has met my expectations that I had for the faculty and other students. When I arrived there were several faculty members who were willing to meet with me and discuss anything. I still think that we have some of the best faculty members around. They continue to be open and willing to discuss or help you out with whatever you may need. They are very approachable, which is what I enjoy the most.

What surprised you the most about Forest?

What surprised me the most was how helpful all of the students who were in cohorts ahead of mine. They were willing to share information about different classes and course-loads. Additionally, they gave good insight of what the expectations were in various classes.

Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?

The main challenges I have faced are about communication. I think a lot of students, faculty, staff and administration strive to increase the communication about changes and concerns. There is not a perfect communication system in place, however most administration and faculty work hard to try and address different concerns and to make sure the student’s voices are heard.

Do you recall a funny story about your experience at Forest?

I had CBT-I in the multimedia room. On the first day of class, Dr. Tyner was trying to turn on the projector. Well she found a button and pushed it, but as it turns out it was the emergency panic button. 30 minutes later a police officer came to the multimedia room. Ooops!

What do you like most about living in Springfield, Missouri?

People are pretty nice in Springfield Missouri. Additionally, the cost of living is really cheap!

Do you have any "words of wisdom” for individuals considering graduate school (or your chosen concentration)?

Don’t be afraid to Make reading groups and study groups early on. Its really helpful when you have a small group of students that work together well and help split up study guide material and share it with each other. There are going to be times where it feels nearly impossible to complete all reading assignments, complete homework, and still study for an exam, however when you have a group of students who are willing to help and work together on things, it makes it less stressful and more manageable.