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CASC's Blair; Helping people is what she does

August 24, 2011

Kerrie Blair is Title III
Counselor and ADA
(Amer icans wi t h
Di sabi l i t ies Act )
Coordinator at Carl Albert
State College, but that
may not explain what she
offers the students at
CASC. What does provide
a true sense of
Kerrie’s gift to students is
that when asked what is
most fulfilling to her she
stated, “helping people.”
In preparing for a career
of helping others, Kerrie
earned a Master’s Degree
in Marriage and Family
Therapy with an Emphasis
in Community Counseling
from John Brown
University and has served
CASC in the counseling
role for a year and a half.
Kerrie also has an
Associate’s Degree in
Computers and a
Bachelor’s in Business.
Kerrie shared she has been
at Carl Albert for seven
years in various positions,
but the timing for her to
become the counselor
worked out just right. As
part of the Title III grant,
CASC was able to establish
the counseling center
in 2009, Kerrie earned her
Master’s in December of
that year, and started in
January, 2010 on the
ground floor of the new
center.
“Our services are free
to CASC students, yet
could be very costly if students
had to pay for private
counseling in a setting
outside of what the
college offers.” Kerrie
continued, “There are several
things I would like
students to know about
me. First and foremost,
they can count on me to be
confidential. Yes, there
are circumstances that by
law I must follow, but I
am here for the students I
serve. Also important to
mention is I don’t judge.
I am aware that some
counselors say that, but
may not mean it. I mean
it!”
Kerrie feels it is important
that she understands
and respects diversity. “I
moved to Poteau when I
was 21 years old because
my dad was born here, but
I was born in Northern
California. When I was
five, we moved to Alaska
and I went to school at the
North Pole School! We
were 12 miles out of
Fairbanks in between two
military bases, so I grew
up with a diverse population
constantly moving in
and out.”
Kerrie’s days are full
with the counseling center
at CASC, working part
time for D & D Counseling
Services, serving on the
board of LeFlore County
Child Advocacy Network,
and of course a top priority
– her family. Kerrie is
married to Marcus Blair,
who is a native of Heavener
and a Film Studies
Instructor at CASC. The
Blairs have two sons,
Lucas and Samuel. She
also finds being the ADA
Coordinator to be very
rewarding. She stated
that she became intrigued
with ADA while working
in the student affairs
office, and it played a part
in her decision to pursue
her counseling degree.
Jay Falkner is CASC
Title III Director and
explained the goal of the
Title III grant is to
strengthen the institution
by providing increased
student services, resources, and guidance. Falkner stated, “These additions to
our campuses will hopefully heighten student success
rates, and Kerrie is an integral part of this student success
structure. Through her counseling services, she
helps students overcome personal struggles in order to
be able to achieve their academic goals. Due to her vast
knowledge, experience, and passion for the institution,
Kerrie is a true leader and innovator here at CASC. We
are blessed to have her on our team, and fortunate to
have the Title III grant in order to offer these services.”
In closing, Kerrie stated she definitely has an open
door policy. “My office is in Hemphill Hall across
from financial aid. If my door is open then students are
encouraged to stop by. If the door is closed because I
am out of office or have someone with me, students can
make an appointment to ensure a guaranteed time to see
me. I have some students who meet with me every
week, but there are other time frames we can look at
depending on the student’s needs. I am here to help
students no matter what issues they are encountering.
I want to make a difference because helping people is
what I do.”

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