Leslie Gutierrez

Leslie Gutierrez
Leslie GutierrezGraduate Program Ambassador: Forensic Mental Health Counseling


Calhoun, Georgia

What I was doing before RWU: 

Before RWU, I attended Berry College for my undergraduate degree. My focus of study was Psychology with minors in Spanish and Applied Behavior Analysis. At Berry, I was in a scholarship program called Gate of Opportunity and it allowed me to earn my education through 3500+ hours in student work positions across campus. 

My future plans:

After finishing my program at RWU, I plan to move back home to Georgia to be closer to friends and family. Professionally, I plan to become a licensed counselor and work in prison settings. Continuing the reform of mental health services in prison settings is something I hope to be a part of.   

My favorite parts of my student experience at RWU: 

As a new RWU student, I am excited to be a part of this community. Visiting campus for Accepted Students Day was a big part in my decision of choosing this program. As cliché as it may sound, being on campus reaffirmed my choice and it felt like this was the place for me. Everyone was super welcoming that I felt like RWU was already home. I am excited to be a part of this community for the next two years and see everything it has to offer.  

Best advice for students planning to go to graduate school: 

Ask questions! As a first-generation student, navigating this journey wasn’t the easiest. It is important to ask any question you may have in order to make sure you are choosing the right program for you. Researching the school online is very helpful, but also attending any information sessions virtually or in-person will help you learn more about the graduate program. Another tip is making sure you stay organized with deadlines, requirements, and information of each school you are applying to. I created an excel sheet on my computer with each program’s information that helped me be better organized.  

Favorite things to do in the area: 

Being a new Bristol resident, I have not been able to explore everything this town has to offer yet, but I have really enjoyed going on runs by the water, and it’s even greater that the path is near my house! As an avid coffee drinker, trying new coffee shops has been pretty exciting. In addition, I played lots of pickleball back home, so I am hoping to start playing soon in hopes to be active and meet new people!