The Perfect Fit
Monique Masutier came to Berry College knowing she needed more than a traditional psychology degree to prepare for her dream career as a counselor and dance therapist. What she found was an educational experience she could tailor to her passions and scholarship assistance in memory of someone who shared them.
Like many first-generation college students, Monique began her quest for the right school by simply looking for an institution that offered small class sizes and had a close-knit community. With her first visit to campus, Monique knew she had found those qualities and more in Berry.
“I felt like an individual,” she said. “I wasn’t just a number.”
That individuality was essential for Monique because following her dream required a program with the
kind of academic flexibility found in Berry’s interdisciplinary studies program. She was able to create her own major, one that united the three fields of study essential to her future – psychology, kinesiology and dance. She also had the opportunity to gain firsthand experience working in Berry’s Counseling Center and as a peer educator, through extracurricular activities as a choreographer for the Berry College Dance Troupe, and as a volunteer teaching creative movement at the Boys and Girls Club of West Rome.
Berry was the perfect fit. But at the end of Monique’s sophomore year, financial difficulties nearly forced her to transfer to another school that could not begin to match her personalized program. Her Berry experience was saved when she was awarded the Becky Musser Hosea Scholarship, which enabled her to remain at the school she loved.
Becky, who died in 1992, served with passion as Berry’s associate director of counseling. Her memorial scholarship, which is given annually to a student with significant financial need who plans to pursue a career in counseling, was started shortly after her death by Berry faculty and staff to honor the spirit of her work. Hosea’s brother, Peter Musser, a member of Berry’s Board of Trustees, has made generous contributions to the scholarship fund annually, ensuring that students like Monique have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
For Monique, the scholarship has been especially significant.
“This scholarship isn’t just a little bit of financial help to me, it’s huge,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to stay at Berry without it. I would be in a completely different place in my life.”
As Monique prepared for her May 2013 graduation, she looked eagerly ahead to her future and the graduate school and career opportunities within her reach. She has been accepted into the dance/movement therapy and counseling master’s degree program of Columbia College in Chicago.
“I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if I had gone somewhere else,” she concluded. “I can’t thank the donors enough for their generosity.”
Story by student editorial assistant Casey Cox
Originally published in Berry magazine