2013 Graduate Talitha Calhoun

(Dec. 2, 2013) Talitha Calhoun's time at Armstrong was not just about gaining an education; it was about finding herself and discovering her passion.

“Going through college is a learning process,” said Talitha. “You may come here and think you are one thing, and then you learn you fit better somewhere else.”

When Talitha came to Armstrong in the fall of 2009, she aspired to be a physical therapist and studied rehabilitation science. She struggled in her classes, and in particular, found her science courses to be incredibly challenging.

“I was very disappointed in myself,” said Talitha.

Talitha was not used to struggling academically, and learned the hard way that she would not be able to coast her way through college.

“This is where growing up came into play,” said Talitha. “I had to do more than just the bare minimum.”

Talitha thought long and hard about her future, and vigorously researched her options academically. After reviewing material on a major in psychology, Talitha felt like she had finally struck gold.

“I first met with Dr. Jane Wong, the psychology department head, and she helped guide me,” said Talitha.

Once Talitha chose to pursue a degree in psychology, she decided that it was time to buckle down and be serious about her education. For so long she had focused on all the things she had done wrong, and that was holding her back more than she realized.

“My struggle was being okay with not being able to go through with Plan A,” said Talitha. “I had to learn that everything won't always go the way you planned, and you have to bounce back anyway.”

In her new degree program that interested her immensely, Talitha felt inspired. She discovered that she wanted to go to graduate school and obtain her master's degree in social work. She even dreamed of getting her doctorate so that she could practice as a clinical psychologist and one day own her own clinic.

“My focus changed and I started doing more than just the bare minimum,” said Talitha.

All of Talitha's hard work paid off. On Saturday, Dec. 7, she will walk across the stage at Winter Commencement to receive her B.A. in psychology with a 3.0 GPA.

“I feel like I know more than when I first came to Armstrong and I have more discipline for myself,” said Talitha.