Empowering Students to Thrive

May 9, 2019
Author(s): Blog Category: Related Group(s):
Heather Schoenherr, Psychology Faculty

Years at CWI: 10
Department: Psychology
Education: MS in Experimental Psychology and BS in Psychology, Idaho State University

“Because of CWI, students realize their potential for success,” said Associate Professor of Psychology, Heather Schoenherr.

As one of College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) founding faculty, Schoenherr has fond memories of helping to build the College from the ground up.

“The months prior to our doors opening to students required all hands on deck. The ideas, energy, and commitment were unlike any other work experience I have witnessed. It was hard to go home at the end of the day because we were all enthralled in creating something wonderful.”

Working in developmental therapy, psychosocial rehabilitation, and statistics consultation, prior to her career as a professor, she said she became enamored with teaching after facilitating her first class.

“It was the first time in my professional life I felt challenged while simultaneously knowing I was in the right place.”

As a professor, Schoenherr hopes to help her students discover their potential by providing opportunities for them through dynamic activities and engaging experiences in and out of the classroom.

“This discovery helps students make decisions about their future be it education, career, or personal lives that they otherwise would not experience in a typical undergraduate education. The moment I love most is when a student faces something that feels unattainable or fearful and they not only do it, but they succeed. As professors, it is easy to believe in students. The challenge is getting students to believe in themselves.”

Sara Williams, a 2015 graduate, spent time working with Schoenherr as a work study while attending CWI and later a teaching assistant as a student at University of Idaho. Elevating her understanding of psychology, these opportunities helped Sara to become a better student allowing her to complete her education and find a rewarding career as a Psychiatric Technician at Intermountain Hospital.

“As a student you spend so much time shoving as much knowledge into your brain as fast as possible that you don't really get a chance to look back and see the changes in yourself,” said Williams. “The two semesters I worked with Heather gave me such a boost of empowerment. She finds so much value in her students and always goes the extra mile.”

Over the past 10 years at CWI, Schoenherr and her colleagues have helped thousands of students, like Sara, reach their goals.

“The faculty are all here for one reason… our students. CWI empowers students to thrive. I teach because I want others to succeed.”

Start empowering your future – visit cwi.edu/BeMighty!

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