At Peace Corps, APSU student learns about D.C.’s heel-wearing habits
Folks don’t hurry around Washington, D.C., wearing high heels, especially red-soled Louboutin heels.
That’s an observation Austin Peay State University psychology major Loren Carmichael recently made in a blog about her Peace Corps internship in the U.S. capital.
The Memphis native is spending her summer working with the Peace Corps’ Counseling and Outreach Unit, which provides phone consultation to volunteers struggling with emotional health. The unit also provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting volunteers and their families.
“I help the psychologists on staff to assist Peace Corps volunteers in any way needed,” she said.
But she’s also getting time to tour Washington – and to write that blog, which she’s doing for The Washington Center, which connected her with the Peace Corps. The Washington Center provides immersive internships in the Washington, D.C., area to college students.
Her first blog discussed four myths depicted in Washington, D.C.-centered TV shows. One observation: Nobody walks around D.C. in high heels.
“Olivia Pope (a character in the show 'Scandal') is famous for her beautiful, red-soled Louboutin heels, but you will not see those walking around downtown,” Carmichael writes. “Everybody wears tennis shoes or flats."
Dr. Matthew Kenney, who oversees Austin Peay’s honors program, recommended The Washington Center to Carmichael. And an adviser at the center matched her up with the Peace Corps Counseling and Outreach Unit.
“I didn’t even know they had a counseling unit,” Carmichael said.
She spends a lot of her time doing research for the psychologists, pulling articles, for example, about eating disorders and patient relapse times following counseling.
Carmichael also gets to spend time with the psychologists to talk about their careers. She recalled one of the recent visits:
“I asked how she decided to do this, what kind of schooling she went through,” Carmichael said. “The pros and cons (of being a psychologist)."
The biggest takeaway Carmichael had from the conversation was “you’re going to have to deal with people’s pain, and you’re going to have to have a healthy balance (in your own life).”
In addition to the blog, Carmichael is attending Washington Center classes about forensic psychology, or applying psychology to legal matters, helping judges and attorneys understand how psychology affects their cases.
Five other Austin Peay students are attending Washington Center internships this summer: Cassie Meadows, Monica Pan, Alexandria Banta, Hayley McDowell and Payton Nicoll.
Carmichael wants to attend medical school after she graduates from Austin Peay.
See Carmichael’s blog at www.twc.edu/articles/top-4-myths-dc-tv-shows.
She’ll be writing more this summer, so keep an out at www.twc.edu.