EMILY SMERCHANSKY ‘13
Mental Health Therapist, Travco Behavioral Health
For Emily Smerchansky ’13, her connection to Hiram College began in high school when her teacher, Jennifer Melfi ’05, spoke highly of her own student experience at Hiram. Smerchansky was looking for a college where she could devote time to attention to both her degree and basketball, and she learned that Hiram would offer the right balance of academics and co-curriculars for her. In addition to playing on the women’s basketball team, she majored in psychology and soon found that she was more than prepared to continue her education. “Hiram’s curriculum for psychology set me up to succeed in my master’s program with ease,” she says.
Before attending Youngstown State University to earn her master’s in mental health counseling, Smerchansky spent two years with Habitat for Humanity. While she spent the majority of that time building houses in the Youngstown, Ohio area, she was also given the opportunity to travel to New Orleans, where she worked with a team to build 10 houses in 10 days in recognition of the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
After completing her master’s, Smerchansky joined Travco Behavioral Health and began working with eleven- to eighteen-year-olds who had suffered severe abuse. As the head therapist at Travco, she works with her group of patients to process their trauma and teach them essential coping skills. “There are several aspects of my job that I enjoy,” Smerchansky says. “I love seeing the adolescents I work with be able to improve their ability to manage their emotions and participate in daily activities.” She is even able to bring her passion for athletics to her job, by conducting therapy sessions while shooting hoops.