Allison Beecher leads through her love of dance and color guard
From an outsider’s observations, there are few commonalities between dance, color guard and psychology. For senior psych major Allison Beecher, her extracurricular involvement at KU has helped her develop professional skills.
After meeting Dr. James Jackson on Accepted Students Day, Beecher enrolled in KU as a psychology major on track to become a high school psychologist.
“I didn’t have the best high school career,” she said. “The reason I started on the track to become a middle school or high school counselor is because mine weren’t there when I needed them. I wanted to be the counselor that I didn’t have.”
However, she realized through coaching a high school color guard that she did not want to work with kids. She decided to switch to criminal justice psychology.
“I want to work with people after they get out of jail to help them get back into society with a smoother transition,” Beecher said. “But I also want to do research on those in prison and their mental health status.”
She carries her desire to help people to her dedication and leadership in her extracurricular activities.
Beecher is the founding member and president of the Golden Independent Indoor Color Guard, the vice president of Golden Bear Dance Company and the secretary of the Recreation and Sport Club Council. In all of her organizations, she likes to foster a welcoming and comfortable environment.
“While there always will be stress that comes along with learning new things or learning work or drill for guard, it should still be a fun experience,” Beecher said. “I think it’s really important to make these clubs places that people go to for a stress-free kind of night and to do something that they enjoy.”
Her leadership skills have helped her succeed in applying for internship programs and prepare for entering the work field.
“All three of my roles are not the ones that I can hide in the background for, they are the ones that I have to be upfront about–talking to people, working with people constantly, even if I don’t know them,” Beecher said. “I’ve gotten a lot of compliments for my grad school and internship interviews because I’ve become so used to talking to strangers. It’s definitely been extremely helpful and I definitely think that’ll help me for the rest of my life.”
Beecher plans to attend graduate school in Europe for her masters after graduating from KU. She credits her extracurricular activities for helping her progress professionally and personally.
“Getting involved in clubs has been the best thing that I’ve ever done for my school career and just for me in general,” she said.