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WAXAHACHIE, TX

November 2, 2017 | Charis Saenz


Jennifer Collison
Jennifer Collison
 

SAGU alumna Jennifer Collison is utilizing her background in psychology to develop the leadership skills of administrators and influencers in the business world. 

“It’s largely been translating psychology as we know it, in terms of how might think of counseling and psychology in the academic sense, and applying it to the business environment,” says Collison. 

Collison is a Senior Leadership Development and Learning Consultant at a global science and technology innovation company. She customizes learning solutions and develops leadership training and programs for the companies within the corporation’s network. Through these development vehicles, Collison helps leaders improve interpersonal aspects in their companies in order to better their workplace environment. As a result, company leaders learn how to better build trust in teams, facilitate and maintain positive employee morale and resolve workplace conflicts in constructive ways. 

“We teach and coach leaders,” she says. “In a business environment, sometimes you get so busy and so task-oriented that you have to remind yourself to recognize the humanity around you.” 

Collison graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Soon thereafter, Collison moved to Chicago to pursue a masters degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology which helped broaden her worldview. She began to recognize how she could use her expertise to benefit a wide range of industries within the business world.  Collison says that her time at SAGU helped her to be open to different ways in which she could apply her training to life after college. 

“I had professors who challenged me to consider a lot of different types of opportunities,” says Collison. “Dr. Armistead, who was one of my favorite professors, would ask me a lot of questions, and often. ‘What do you want to do?’ he would ask. That planted the seed for me to consider what my future could look like outside of a more traditional view of the practice of psychology in therapy.” 

Dr. Armistead, the Program Coordinator in the SAGU Psychology department, says that he has witnessed Collison succeed in her career field and in the Kingdom of God. “(Jennifer) has internalized a good, foundational understanding of the integration of psychology as an academic discipline and her faith, which has only served to enable her to mature further in her Christian walk and effectiveness in marketplace ministry,” says Armistead. 

Collison believes her role as a leadership consultant provides her with a unique opportunity in the marketplace. “I’m contributing to a broader culture of the overall organization, but I’m also building one relationship at a time through my interactions with others,” she says. “Authentic connection can be my testimony in places where my language may not explicitly be able to represent that.”

In September, Collison visited the SAGU campus and led a breakout chapel on team building for the Psychology, Counseling, and Business departments. She emphasized the importance of self-awareness, understanding others and collaboration in building successful and diverse teams. 

“Taking time to understand someone's story, their context, and why they exhibit the behaviors they do can not only help a team be more effective but can help us in the journey to extend grace toward one another,”  says Collison. 

Dr. Jeff Logue, the Department Chair of the Counseling Psychology department, says that Collison’s presentation showed students how to be a Christian in the place of secular business, a realm where religious discussions can be a sensitive issue.    

“She illustrated how believers can continue to be salt and light in a secular world without ever having to compromise their Christianity,” says Logue. “She expressed the need to include others since we all have a place in the body of Christ. This affirmed what current students are learning about unconditional positive regard, acceptance and validation in the Counseling Psychology department.” 

Collison has now been in the professional field for seven years and has been a leadership consultant for a year and a half. As she works in an environment where worldviews are diverse, she says that she values how SAGU balanced a Biblical foundation with the freedom to ask questions about faith. As she reflects on her professional experience, she urges to students to get involved in their respective fields as soon as they can. 

“I recognize now that there’s wisdom that comes with learning things through doing them, and so my advice would be to get your feet wet as soon as possible,” she says. “Start to dip your toe in the water of what life outside of school will look like. Then you have the benefit of balancing experience with education.” 

To learn more about the Counseling Psychology department including degrees offered and other helpful counseling/psychology related resources, click here


Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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