Ph.D. grad studies grief Black college athletes face as sport ends
- May 29, 2021
- Posted by: BeTranced Online Holistic Healing Centre
- Category: Blog
By way of his analysis, a Mercer University Ph.D. graduate hopes to carry consciousness to the grief that Black faculty athletes — notably Black Division I faculty soccer gamers — face after their sports activities careers finish and assist enhance their total well-being.
Dr. Marlon Williams, a Double Bear, simply accomplished his doctoral diploma in counselor training and supervision from the College of Professional Advancement (COPA) and earned his grasp’s diploma in medical psychological well being counseling in December 2016.
“He has been maybe essentially the most distinctive and spectacular pupil I’ve had in my total educating profession,” stated Dr. Don Redmond, COPA affiliate professor of counseling and founding director of the Faculty’s Center for the Study of Narrative. “As soon as Marlon is launched to a brand new thought or expertise, he absorbs it and makes use of it in methods which might be distinctive, inventive and deeply private.”
Dr. Williams already has an in depth background in training, with a lot of his work associated to prevention intervention for medicine, violence, bullying and gang exercise. He helped lead a substance misuse intervention program for center and highschool college students within the DeKalb County College District; labored with non-custodial fathers and low-income, first-generation faculty college students as an academic program specialist and program coordinator at Georgia State College; and targeted on pupil attendance, self-discipline, grades and interventions at Ronald E. McNair Center College in Decatur.
Since 2014, Dr. Williams has dealt with self-discipline and college tradition and local weather at Flat Shoals Elementary College in DeKalb County as a pupil help specialist.
“I’ve had a extremely fulfilling and profitable profession in training, however I had a need to comply with my ardour and provides again to a inhabitants and sport I’m very enthusiastic about. That sport is soccer, and I’ve all the time had an curiosity in serving to folks,” he stated.
By way of his private experiences and guiding younger college students by way of challenges, he acknowledged a necessity for extra help for athletes as they transitioned by way of life. Dr. Williams earned his undergraduate diploma in enterprise administration from the Georgia Institute of Know-how, the place he additionally performed soccer. As an outdoor linebacker, he was a four-year starter and performed on the 1990 Nationwide Championship staff.
“After I completed taking part in soccer, there have been some issues that I might have used when it comes to serving to with emotions of my profession being over and adjusting to life with out sports activities. I used to be additionally seeing what a lot of my teammates have been going by way of. I wished to return to highschool and study extra about addressing these challenges holistically,” he stated.
Sports activities counseling supplied the holistic strategy Dr. Williams was searching for and would enable him to assist athletes carry out effectively not solely academically and athletically however within the chapters following their sports activities careers. On his first night time of sophistication at Mercer, he knew he had chosen the best grasp’s program in addition to the best college.
“Whereas I used to be at Mercer and studying about theories and totally different challenges folks have, it actually dawned on me that grief was what I used to be experiencing when my soccer profession was over,” he stated. “I wished to seek out out if it was simply me or if others have been feeling the identical factor.”
Dr. Williams was awarded the excellent graduate pupil award for medical and psychological well being counseling, which gave him automated admission into the Ph.D. program. As he started work on his dissertation, he determined to do a qualitative analysis examine and use narrative principle, which relies on the idea that persons are storytellers who make sense of their lives and join with others by way of tales.
“I felt like as a substitute of doing a quantitative examine, I wished to do a examine that basically captured the richness of those tales and narratives. It was a very good resolution as a result of speaking to the contributors, it was wonderful the issues that have been revealed,” he stated.
He was first launched to narrative principle and narrative remedy throughout a 2015 examine overseas journey to Europe with the Heart for the Examine of Narrative. The ideas actually resonated with him since he’s been telling his personal tales by way of poetry since age 14. Dr. Williams lately offered the keynote lecture for the Heart’s seventh annual Narrative Showcase.
“Marlon took the theoretical basis of his introduction to narrative principle into his doctoral work by embedding this interdisciplinary strategy all through his superior coursework, culminating with him combining qualitative analysis, narrative principle, narrative remedy and the psychological impacts of the grief of Black soccer gamers transitioning out of sports activities right into a dissertation that I imagine will change into a seminal examine,” Dr. Redmon stated.
Dr. Williams interviewed 10 Black former Division I faculty soccer gamers between the ages of 29 and 50 from throughout the nation. All of them skilled non-bereavement grief for not less than six months and a few for so long as 20 years. The lack of their careers, social community and id all contributed to the burden they felt, and lots of didn’t have anybody to speak to about what they have been going by way of.
Dr. Williams, who has printed two books of poetry, is now engaged on a e book that ties collectively his private experiences as a collegiate athlete with the findings from his examine. He hopes to finally do a quantitative examine to see simply how prevalent grief is amongst Black former faculty soccer gamers nationwide and later conduct the examine with former athletes in different sports activities.
He needs to assist all athletes take advantage of their lives after their sports activities careers finish and supply psychological well being practitioners, coaches and households with a greater understanding of what athletes are going by way of and easy methods to navigate the challenges. It’s a possibility to enhance the end result and well-being of athletes total, since entire and wholesome athletes are essentially the most constant ones.
“I need to empower different counselors and do analysis towards one thing that advantages us as a group of counselors and a rustic,” stated Dr. Williams, who’s educating social and cultural points in counseling as an adjunct professor at Mercer this summer time. “With melancholy, nervousness and loneliness going approach up amongst faculty college students due to all of the issues happening proper now, I need to assist not solely athletes however college students and other people normally.”