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Principles of love guide life of ambitious Educational Psychology student

by Eli Saleh / Nov 15, 2013

Love and be loved. These four simple words embody the philosophy that Milo Dodson strives to live by. Originally from Covina, Ca., Dodson expresses the importance of giving compassion and encouraging others to receive it as well. He recently completed his doctoral work in Counseling Psychology at the University of Illinois.

Even around the age of 13, Dodson felt he was being called to help work for the greater good. “I wasn’t sure how it would take shape, but I had a strong premonition that I was being called to serve,” Dodson states.

Little did Dodson know that his yearn to help the greater good would lead him to a career in Psychology. In 2008, Dodson graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Africana Studies. He then decided to join the Illini family and complete his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology.

“What I really felt was so powerful for me to make the decision to come to the University of Illinois is that the Counseling Psychology program is in the Educational Psychology Department, which is ranked fourth in the country,” Dodson states. “It’s not just the (prestige), but really the strong sense of connectedness that the faculty have with the students, not just in my program but throughout the College of Education.”

With the help of Dr. Helen Neville, Dodson completed his dissertation, which he “designed in hopes of investigating how different ideologies, identities, and cultural group norms can influence attitudes, language, and communication of the word “nigga.” After endless hours of statistical analysis and data crunching, Dodson is able to breathe a sigh of relief after successfully defending his dissertation.

Dodson has his own advice for students interested in completing their Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the university.

“Lean on others when needed. It’s important to not isolate yourself, whether it’s in your research, clinical work, or personal life. Also, be your own biggest advocate. When times are hard, feel comfortable in voicing the difficultly,” Dodson states.

In order to manage his busy schedule, Dodson believes that procrastination is never an option and certain things need to be a priority, including living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it be working out at the gym or exercising his mind in creative writing or poetry, Dodson manages to maintain a positive outlook while squeezing in an occasional nap.

Milo’s dream is to start a talk show that focuses on the importance of mental health and how to achieve a strong sense of well-being. By using a holistic method, Dodson would like to feature a variety of experts on the show—from yoga instructors to other clinicians.

Next for Dodson is a pre-doctoral clinical internship at the University of California Irvine. He hopes to continue his outreach work, and establish and build strong connections with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.