Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite professor at Hofstra University was by far Madeline Seifer. She was an amazing supervisor, mentor, and teacher. She was the director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic and, after I graduated, she hired me to be the assistant director of the same clinic. I learned so much from her about life and about being a good therapist and clinical supervisor. She provided me with the support and guidance that one could only wish to have in a supervisor and mentor. We still keep in touch to this day. It’s professors like Madeline that make Hofstra University such a successful educational institution!
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
I had two jobs after graduating from Hofstra. I was hired as the assistant director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, where I provided administrative and eventually clinical supervision to graduate student interns. I also worked full-time at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Inc., under Lisa Gatti in Islandia, NY, as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, equine-assisted psychotherapist and teacher, grant writer, and basically a jack-of-all-trades. The most valuable thing that I learned at both of these jobs is how the guidance and mentoring of really supportive professionals can make your career. My supervisors took a personal interest in my success, and really supported and pushed me to advance myself in my career.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I have always had a few irons in the fire professionally. I guess I am never satisfied just doing one thing! I have always loved animals and believed in the power of animals to help humans and the power of humans to help animals, and I have always loved higher education and working with youth and college students. Their energy is always so inspiring. And I really love being a therapist, to help people heal, explore, learn, and grow to take care of themselves and be better people, especially in the areas of intimacy, sex, sexuality and sexual health. I feel like my field of specialty lies within all those areas.
Right now I work at the University of New Hampshire in Cooperative Extension as the New Hampshire 4-H Animal and Agricultural Science education coordinator, managing all the youth development programs in 4-H that focus on animal and agricultural science. I also maintain a small part-time private practice where I provide individual and relationship counseling focusing on sex therapy. I am very close to becoming a certified sex therapist and hope to focus my counseling work on that field, and I teach the graduate-level sex therapy class at the University of New Hampshire.
- What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
I loved my time at Hofstra University. You get a lot of perks and opportunities when you go to a private university so close to New York City. I have a lot of advice for students (after all, I am a therapist!) but the biggest piece of advice would be to connect to a few professionals, whether professors, supervisors, mentors or bosses, and really develop strong relationships with them. I would be nothing in my career if it wasn’t for the genuine and unsolicited interest of professionals who “took me under their wings” and helped me get to where I needed to be professionally. And with that being said, I hope to pay that forward to young professionals in my field. I am incredibly grateful for the connections I made while at Hofstra University.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Opportunities. I had a lot of opportunities at Hofstra that I am incredibly grateful for. Being so close to New York City and many other universities and colleges, Hofstra’s location offered a lot of easy opportunities to develop myself professionally in my field and beyond. Also, Hofstra had great opportunities on campus with conferences and seminars. I always loved the Creative Arts Therapy Conference!
- How do you balance work and life?
Constantly! I learned the hard way when I had major health issues before I was 30 that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else! I am very lucky to work at the University of New Hampshire, which really focuses on supporting its employees in having a good work-life balance. Because of all the opportunities and initiatives the University of New Hampshire has, I am able to balance my work and life well. I do a tremendous amount of self-care and constantly remind myself to work to live, not live to work!
- How has your job influenced your mentality as a person?
As a therapist, it is impossible to not be influenced through my work. I am a passenger to major life changes that people are trying to make every day, and that inspires and challenges me to grow as a person as well. After all, you can only take your clients as far as you have gone or are willing to go yourself! My job has a major influence on who I am.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing to in the future?
I hope to work for the University of New Hampshire for a very long time. I really enjoy working for such a fabulous institution that really cares about its employees. I hope to get my doctorate from the University of New Hampshire in experiential education, and eventually I hope to be doing work on an international scale, most likely in international sexual health or animal and agricultural science education. I would ideally like to bring what I have learned in my career to developing countries and make a difference on a bigger scale.
Rhiannon Beauregard (M.A. ’07) is New Hampshire’s 4-H Animal and Agricultural Science education coordinator through the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. She also is a licensed marriage and family therapist who operates a small private practice where she specializes in working with couples and individuals in the field of sex therapy. She is a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and is a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She is advanced certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and is dually qualified as an equine specialist and a mental health professional in the field of equine assisted psychotherapy, which uses horses as a tool in mental health counseling. She is an AAMFT clinical supervisor and EAGALA mentor, and is very close to becoming certified as a sex therapist through AASECT.
Rhiannon's love of animals and working with youth led her to explore a career related to working with both. She received a Bachelor of Science in special education from Boston University with a concentration in disability studies, specifically therapeutic horseback riding for individuals with disabilities. She is a Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) international therapeutic horseback riding instructor with a specialty in competition for riders with disabilities. In 2008 Rhiannon was part of the United States Delegation to Hong Kong, China, for the 2008 Paralympic Equestrian Games. She worked at Pal-O-Mine Equestrian in Islandia, NY, for seven years as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, the coach of the Pal-O-Mine Equestrian Team, an equine-assisted psychotherapist and teacher, and a professional grant writer.
Rhiannon has been working in the field of higher education for more than a decade, starting as a work-study student and moving up the ranks to administration. She was an office assistant for two years and a resident assistant for two years at Boston University. She was a residence hall director for three years and the assistant director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic for four years at Hofstra University. In 2012 she was an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Hampshire in the Family Studies Department teaching the graduate-level sex therapy course. Her position at the University of New Hampshire as the 4-H Animal and Agricultural Science education coordinator melds her love and passion for youth development, animals and higher education all into one perfect career!
Rhiannon enjoys traveling; riding her horse, Yomen, whom she has owned for 18 years; hanging with her pug, Isabelle; and practicing yoga and meditation. She currently lives in New Hampshire.