Counselor returns to lead orientation

Faustina Abrahams, coordinator of freshmen orientation (left) works alongside Rebecca Crouch, senior nursing major, in the Student Support Center. Abrahams had once been an intern in the same area and served as an orientation leader.

Kristin Wilfing

Faustina Abrahams, coordinator of freshmen orientation (left) works alongside Rebecca Crouch, senior nursing major, in the Student Support Center. Abrahams had once been an intern in the same area and served as an orientation leader.

Crystal Hemphill

Student Support is not new territory for Faustina Abrahams, who joined the staff this semester as the new coordinator of freshman orientation as well as an academic advisor and counselor.

Before graduating from Missouri Southern with a major in psychology in 2003, Abrahams was herself an orientation leader and worked as an intern in the Student Support Center.

“It’s like coming back home,” Abrahams says. “I had a good relationship with them. I just came back and picked up from where I left off.”

Prior to living in Missouri, Abrahams grew up in Ghana in West Africa where she met her husband, Nii Adote Abrahams, now the head of international business at Southern. They then moved all over the country, from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania to Georgia and then settling in Missouri where Faustina began working at the Ozark Center in the substance abuse program in Joplin. After seven years, she found her way back to the campus at Southern.

Jumping right into the swing of things, Faustina said she began supervising and training the current and future orientation leaders as soon as school started. With a handful of about 36 trainees, Faustina said she is impressed with how little direction the student leaders have needed. Plans for the fall semester have already been discussed and the leaders are working on getting the groundwork laid for these events.

Faustina said she enjoys the counselor aspect of her position, being on the front lines with the students.

“I like helping students resolve things that are going on with them and give them the confidence that when they leave, they’ll be able to do it themselves,” she said.

She finds it interesting to talk to students that have relationship and family problems as well as academic and personal issues.

“As a counselor, my philosophy is that people have the answers to their problems,” Faustina said. “It’s within them. All they need is someone to guide them to find it.”