Kaitlyn Rutherford earned her bachelor’s in psychology and early childhood education from Western New Mexico University this May and is returning for her master’s degree. “I’m actually moving back this week,” says the Colorado native who originally came to WNMU on a volleyball scholarship. “I have a good friends group and like the academics and the atmosphere of the school.”
Kaitlyn cites the one-on-one time she was able to get with professors at WNMU as a reason for returning. She worked on a research project with associate professor of psychology Dr. Po Sen “Mark” Chu and recently placed in the campus-wide WNMU Academic Writing Contest for a literature review piece she wrote on childhood development for her senior seminar class with assistant professor of psychology Dr. Jennifer Johnston. “In 2016, I got first place in the WNMU Creative Writing Contest, and it came full circle my senior year,” she says.
The internships Kaitlyn did over the course of her undergraduate career at WNMU helped direct her focus—as the faculty and staff. “When I first came, I didn’t know what I wanted to do long term. Western helped me narrow in on my passion,” she says.
After having starting as a social work major and transitioned to psychology, Kaitlyn chose early childhood education as her minor. “I want to get into counseling with children,” she says.