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Scottish graduate student finds his footing on the Statesboro Campus

At 18 years old, Scotland native Scott Malcolm moved to the United States on a soccer scholarship, attending a small private school in Mississippi. When he graduated, he faced two options: go home and pursue a soccer career or continue his course abroad. Malcolm chose to pursue educational career goals at Georgia Southern University.

“I picked three places to apply to see if I could get into their sports psychology programs,” he said. “After I visited Georgia Southern, I felt wanted by the University. I had never been to Statesboro and a stroke of luck brought me to what has been the best decision of my life.”

Malcolm earned a master’s in sport and exercise psychology from Georgia Southern in 2019, during which time he served as an assistant coach to the men’s soccer team. After completing his master’s, Malcolm wanted to take the next step to helping athletes stay in shape mentally while coping with pressures from their sport and distance from home. That’s when he began the clinical mental health concentration of the master’s in counselor education in the College of Education.

“It’s a different perspective,” he explained. “I already had a master’s degree, so I wanted to better learn the skills of how to do what I wanted to do. I have learned and grown a lot, and the professors here made me feel so supported. My parents are supportive but they don’t know the system and how it works, so Georgia Southern has given me a family away from home.”

Malcolm’s first internship placement was at a local behavior health organization.

“It was my first counseling experience that I didn’t have sports as a crutch,” said Malcolm. “I can talk about sports for days, but I was in an addiction recovery center with people of all ages. I learned so much. They were able to let me in as a new, young counselor and share with me. It was hard to leave.”

In the spring, Malcolm was able to work with the University’s Counseling Center, which solidified his choice to work with college students as a future counselor. 

Malcolm will finish classes this summer to complete a M.Ed in Counselor Education and then pursue a full-time position with an organization that is willing to sponsor him for a H-1B visa, allowing him to work in the United States while seeking dual citizenship.

“It’s scary if I am being honest,” said Malcolm of his potential future in the U.S. “My life is here now, and I have sacrificed years without seeing my family due to COVID and earned my degrees, but I am trying to remain positive. Whatever happens I am so glad I did it because I am in a position now to go after the career I want. This experience confirmed what I want to do.”

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