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Alumni Success Stories

The following testimonials represent the diverse learning experiences, academic achievements, and post-graduation successes of the alumni of the Department of Counseling.

If you're an alumnus/a of our department, we'd like to hear from you! Contact our faculty or department chair to share your academic, professional, or personal success story.

Lorena Martin

Lorena MartinM.S. Mental Health Counseling | Class of 2009

Lorena Martin, Ph.D., is the first Director of High Performance for the Seattle Mariners baseball team. She previously worked as Director of Sports Performance Analytics for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. In her work with the Mariners, she leads the players’ physical and mental training by integrating data from conditioning programs, sleep routines, nutrition recommendations, and medical reports from primary physicians and orthopedic surgeons. Using this data, she generates findings with a goal of improving performance while also reducing injuries. “For me, it is about solving an equation, each professional athlete’s own customized equation for optimal performance, which I have termed Precision Athleticism,” she said. 

Martin graduated from Nova Southeastern University’s College of Psychology in 2009 with an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling. She earned her undergraduate psychology degree from the University of Miami and returned there for her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego Health and was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI). Martin has also taught courses in subjects like sport psychology, sports performance analytics, and biostatistics. In 2016, she authored the book Sports Performance Measurement and Analytics: The Science of Assessing Performance, Predicting Future Outcomes, Interpreting Statistical Models, and Evaluating the Market Value of Athletes. Martin sees a bright future for her profession. “I believe that my profession will prosper as a result of a significant reduction in player injuries and improved player performance,” she said.

Christopher Checke

Christopher CheckeM.S. Counseling | Class of 2002
M.B.A. Health Services Administration | Class of 2005

Christopher Checke, M.S., M.B.A., owns a Fort Lauderdale-based practice that serves adults, teens, and elders via individual counseling, couples, and family work. His areas of interest include relationships, positive psychology, shame resiliency, shame-based psychopathology, addictions, self-affirming identities, and sexual health. He has been interviewed by local media outlets in South Florida. He is also a member of the Board of Governors for the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse. On the future of his profession, Checke said: “This is a very exciting time for the field of behavioral healthcare! Healthcare practitioners across multiple disciplines are integrating services and coordinating care more effectively in the communities they serve.” He believes that advancements in trauma research and treatment, as well as research into more effective diagnostic measures, will have a positive impact on behavioral healthcare.

Checke cites the clinical training from NSU Associate Clinical Professor Ana Martinez, Psy.D., as an influence on his work. During his time at NSU, he most enjoyed the Group Therapy & Practice course. He also has some advice for current students: “Don’t always listen to what the mainstream suggests is the truth. Forge your own path based on your beliefs, not someone else’s beliefs. Honor your deepest wisdom and let that be your guide.”

 

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