Transitional Counseling Psychology / Economic Empowerment
B.A. June 2012 Magna cum Laude
Home College: John Jay
Faculty Mentors: Profs. Kevin Nadal, Psychology and Joan Hoffman, Economics, John Jay
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
CUNY BA-Memorial Scholarship
First Place, Omar Azfar Writing Contest
Ray Tebout applied to CUNY BA after completing 30 credits at John Jay; his prior work also included courses taken at Sage Junior College of Albany and a Certificate in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of New York.
In his application, Tebout said that his goal was to “identify, analyze, understand and treat criminal and addictive thinking and behavior,” adding that he hoped CUNY BA would help him build “a background in criminal psychology, rehabilitation of criminal and addictive behaviors, and economic and financial literacy.”
In working toward his goals, Tebout took a deliberate mix of courses that covered psychology, substance abuse, social work, accounting, finance and economics, seeking to gain diagnostic and treatment skills to help people in transition, with an added emphasis on helping such “low income, low hope” people become financially stable and self-reliant. His mentor, Prof. Nadal, said that in a class of 40 students Ray’s preparation and performance made him stand out from his peers; he also commented on Tebout’s commitment to rehabilitation counseling as demonstrated through his work at the time with the Fortune Society, a nonprofit social service and advocacy organization, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration.
Tebout’s CUNY BA mentors played a pivotal role in his educational experience. Prof. Nadal was Tebout’s first psychology teacher at John Jay and inspired him to join his research team, through which Tebout assisted Dr. Nadal in conducting research on micro-aggressions. The research consisted of measuring the mental health impact of subtle acts of discrimination against people based on their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or other protected factors. Tebout also won the Omar Azfar writing contest for his paper on the impact of corruption on economic empowerment; he was inspired to enter the contest by Prof. Hoffman, his mentor in the economics department.
While working toward his degree, Tebout also earned the advanced credential as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). Now just on the cusp of earning the degree, Tebout has achieved his goals and has landed just the right job — Director of Counseling and Mentoring at the College Initiative. The College Initiative works to promote successful reentry from prison, with a strong emphasis on enrollment and completion of college degrees. Tebout says he plans to pursue education forever with his next steps being the completion of a graduate program in Business Administration, Organizational Psychology and/or Law.