Meet Gaston Rougeaux-Burnes

Scroll down to watch video interview with Gaston

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

- I'm from Houston, Texas. Or at least that's where the majority of my family calls home. Personally, I've lived everywhere in Texas. I went to high school in Cypress, Texas and did my undergraduate work in Waco, Texas at Baylor University.

What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?

- The clinic. Having an institution that was immersed in the surrounding community and actively involved in the dissemination of Mental Health Services was a huge attraction. In addition, being able to attend a program where I would be able to attain my Master’s degree en route to my Doctorate was an advantage not many institutions were able to offer and therefore made Forest more appealing than other programs.

How does this program compare to your expectations?

- I believe this program surpasses my expectations. After attending Forest I have noticed both professional and personal growth as a result of the program. Being a part of this program has resulted in a larger amount of introspection and awareness in regards to the things that I do both personally and professionally.


What surprised you the most about Forest?

- The intentionality of my professors. Upon attending Forest I knew that I would be willing to invest myself in my education. However, I was not aware of how invested my professor’s would be in my education. At Forest, I have met faculty members who are deeply committed to me becoming a practicing mental health professional, and do their best to help me achieve that goal.


Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?

- Relearning what my "study style” is. In my undergraduate education, I knew how to study and what I could do to maximize my potential. However, at Forest I had to learn to study in groups, and find individuals that would continue to help me maximize my potential and the information I learned.



Do you have a moment in your academic career at Forest that you are proud of?

- I really enjoyed a lot of the presentations that I've done on behalf of Forest as a poster or presentation presenter, and how I've been able to represent Forest as an academic institution at these conferences.

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

- Find individuals who will help you maximize your time here at Forest, and push you to continue striving for better.


What is your favorite restaurant in Springfield?

- Logan's steakhouse. I'm old fashioned, and I love their rolls.

What is your favorite band in Springfield?

- It depends, but I really like the band at the piano bar. They're talented and proficient at SO many instruments that it makes it incredibly fun to watch and, of course, listen.


What is the one thing everyone should do in Springfield, and why?

- Everyone should make it downtown for a night. Just experiencing Springfield's "night life" at least once, is really interesting from a psychological and personal perspective.


Best thing to do on a cheap date in Springfield?

- Logan's. Again!