Simpson University Counseling Graduates Receive $18,500 Stipends

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. - Three recent graduates of Simpson University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP) program have received $18,500 stipends for their work with mental health patients.

Teri Watts, Kao Syvirathphan, and Chloe Lucas applied for and were awarded MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) Education Stipends for 2016-17 through the Greater Sacramento MFT Consortium, of which Simpson University's MACP program is a member.

“These three students have demonstrated outstanding achievement in learning and applying the concepts of community mental health covered by the Mental Health Services Act,” said Dr. Addie Jackson, Simpson’s dean of adult and graduate professional studies. “All three embody Christ’s teaching to be salt and light in a hurting world.”

The stipends – funded through the Mental Health Services Act under the Office of Statewide Health and Planning Development – are awarded to MFT students who want to pursue a career in public mental health practice by providing services to underserved populations in identified areas of need in California. Recipients commit to a year at a mental health service agency, either as an employee or a volunteer.

Watts completed her practicum training at Alternatives to Violence in Red Bluff, Calif., working with clients affected by domestic violence as well as, adolescents in a high school setting. Upon completing her degree, she was offered a full-time position there as a clinician.

Kao Syvirathphan Kao Syvirathphan

Syvirathphan worked for Shasta County Mental Health for more than 10 years before entering the MACP program at Simpson in 2014. He has a heart for providing mental health services for those in the Mien community.

“Receiving the stipend award helps to reinforce the importance of Simpson’s desire to be a ‘Gateway to World Service’ by working with underserved mental health clients in a rural community,” he said.

Syvirathphan applied for the stipend to help offset his educational expenses.

“I am the eldest son and the first in my family to attend college,” he said. “Due to limited financial resources with no grants or scholarships available, I was working full-time to support my family while completing my master’s.”

Syvirathphan also earned a bachelor’s in business and human resource management from Simpson’s School of Adult Studies, ASPIRE program, in 1999.

Lucas completed a research master’s thesis titled “Parenting in a Transracial Foster Home: Supporting Ethnic Identity Development” as her MACP capstone project. She has a particular interest in working with diverse populations, Dr. Jackson said.

All three graduates completed their degrees this fall. For more information about Simpson University’s Master of Arts in Counseling program, visit



Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737