MSU Texas employee earns second master’s

Graduate will continue helping MSU Texas students as counselor

MSU Texas employee earns second master’s

For the past 21 years, DaNette Stalnaker has worked at Midwestern State University, helping students through her job as Assistant Director of Testing Services, in admissions helping new students work through the process, and even as an adjunct professor.

After she receives her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Friday, she’ll continue to help MSU Texas students as a counselor in the Counseling Center.

This will be Stalnaker’s second master’s degree. After receiving her Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in 2017, she wanted a degree in counseling but MSU Texas did not have the online counseling option then, so she earned her first master’s in Human Resource Development in 2020.

“I knew I wanted a master’s in counseling. It wasn’t online then but HR was,” Stalnaker said. While she was studying for that first master’s, the online counseling master’s became available. One week after receiving the HR degree she began courses for counseling degree but doesn’t regret studying HR. “HR teaches things you can use such as conflict resolution, and having that master’s allowed me to be an adjunct professor,” she said.

Stalnaker credits Assistant Professors of Counseling Tara Fox and Wendy Helmcamp, Associate Professor of Education Kym Acuna, Professor of Undergraduate Education Suzanne Lindt, Dean of the Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education Leann Curry, and Counseling Center Director Pam Midgett, among others, for encouragement and the chance to teach on an adjunct basis.

In Spring 2022, Stalnaker received the award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Education. During the traditional awards and hooding ceremony for students graduating from West College programs held prior to the December 2023 commencement, Stalnaker received the award for Outstanding Student in the Clinical Mental Health program. These awards recipients are nominated and voted on by the program faculty.

With changes coming to testing services at the university, a door opened for Stalnaker that will allow for the fulfillment of her goal of continuing to serve MSU Texas students. She’ll begin the new year as a counselor in the Counseling Center. She has loved working with students and is excited that she’ll keep on. “I’m very grateful that I’ll be able to continue my time here working with and serving MSU Texas and our students.” Stalnaker said.

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