ASC Centers operate through an interdisciplinary team of school personnel, Appalachian graduate students and Appalachian faculty who, together, discuss each student referral’s issues and needs. Here, Dr. Kurt Michael, second from right, and Jennifer Wandler, Watauga High School social worker and ASC coordinator, look at a computer file as other ASC Center team members look on. Photo by Marie Freeman

Dr. Kurt Michael says he got “a front-seat view of human suffering” while volunteering for a crisis line for three years as a psychology major at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“It was harrowing. But it also showed me there are things you can do to be helpful,” said Michael, Appalachian State University’s Aeschleman Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

That early glimpse into people’s despair, as well as family and friends’ experiences with mental health issues, moved him to explore the science that can help bring about healing. Jobs in addictions counseling and juvenile corrections further fueled his curiosity and led him to pursue advanced degrees in psychology.

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Originally published Nov. 29, 2018.

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