human services degree

Human Services Doesn’t Stop for Summer

by Professor Donna Oropall, Chair, Human Services, University of Bridgeport

University of Bridgeport students do not stop serving the community when the heat rises.

Summer is a generative time for our Human Services internship and practicum students. Following are some of our Human Services majors who are doing great things in the greater Bridgeport area.

Beatrice Myrthyl has served the Bridgeport community at large by assisting at the Family Resource Center at the Roosevelt School with food, diaper, and recreation drives that support families in the South End during this time of inflation and global pandemic.

Timothy Prince has helped his alma mater’s Office of Residential Life plan for student arrivals in the fall and assists Cindy Essence and Jose Lopez serve graduate students on the campus this summer. He has become a welcome addition to the Res Life staff as he implements his knowledge of student affairs and the UB campus after working side by side with the Director of Student Involvement Kelli Meyer, and Coordinator of Student Involvement Marisa Carrasco.

Another standout Human Services major is Junace Boland, who has a minor in Psychology and will be graduating in December. Junace received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition for her commitment to strengthening our nation. In addition to her 200-hour dedication to experiential coursework, she completed another 200 hours of volunteer services and 100 hours of recovery coach training at the Connecticut Community for Counseling and Addiction in July 2022. While 200 hours of service were required, Junace exceeded that goal and is currently up to 342. She advocates for people without a voice in the addiction and recovery community by bringing awareness to the stigma and labeling so commonly experienced by these individuals.

The manager at the center, Amanda Flick, says, “I don’t have a word that accurately describes the impact Junace has on the community.” She mentions that Junace facilitates monthly groups like “Overcoming self-doubts with self-empowerment,” where she creates presentations and shares personal life experiences to connect to clients in this community.

In addition to being a full-time student, Junace works full time at St. Vincent’s Hospital as an ER technician, where she continues to make UB proud with her stellar work ethic and collegiality. She has received the Touch my Heart award for her selfless and genuine care for her patients at St. Vincent’s. Junace embodies Human Services by truly caring and bringing her support and open heart to the Bridgeport community. She inspires all around her and we look forward to witnessing her impact in the community as she continues her experiences, education, and personal growth.

Summer might be a time of vacation for some, but people’s needs don’t stop just because the sun is out. UB’s Human Services graduates continue to serve, and to succeed, year-round.

Learn more about the Human Services program at UB.

Donna Oropall, MS, CHTP and RYT 500-hour certified yoga/meditation instructor, is an assistant professor of Human Services and chair of the Human Services department, where she teaches classes including Intro to Human Services, Intro to Counseling, Multicultural Perspectives, The Process of Living and Dying, Yoga/Meditation, and Mindfulness Meditation. She incorporates mindfulness into her pedagogy and is trained in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression and mindfulness-based stress reduction. She is a research mentor in the summers, sees private patients/clients in her home, and runs groups in Fairfield County. She volunteers at Greenwich Hospital Addiction Recovery Center and Bendheim Cancer Center.