The next time you walk by Brogan Hall, look for the young kukui nut tree on the building’s mauka end.
The tree — traditionally a symbol of enlightenment and spiritual guidance — was planted to celebrate the new permanent home of the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology degree program at the Hawaii School of Professional Psychology at Chaminade University.
The program’s faculty, staff and students attended the tree planting on November 6.
Dr. Sean Scanlan, director of Chaminade’s Psy.D. program, said the kukui nut is the perfect representation of the Clinical Psychology program at Chaminade. He added that the tree was planted following a suggestion from a student in a place where it will have lots of room to grow.
“The kukui tree was used by Native Hawaiians for candlelight and has become an emblem of the importance of seeking out opportunities for personal and academic growth,” Scanlan said. “As a symbol of enlightenment, the kukui tree we’ve planted at Brogan Hall will continue to grow and thrive in the years and decades ahead just as the Clinical Psychology program will flourish at Chaminade into the future.”
During the small ceremony, the students added soil to cover the kukui tree’s roots as a symbol of being the basis for the program to grow. The Psy.D. faculty and staff then poured water from an ipu as a symbol of their role in instructing, mentoring and supporting the students.
In March, Chaminade University announced it would host the Hawaii School of Professional Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program following the abrupt closure of Argosy University. Chaminade immediately welcomed approximately 100 students and faculty members into the program as it worked to ensure a seamless transition for those working toward their doctoral degree – and those helping them get there.
Today, the Psy.D. at Chaminade is a five-year, intensive program designed to build students’ skills and knowledge as they train to become clinical psychologists. Early courses in the program provide the foundation for the field, while later classes focus on therapy, research training and an internship.
Dr. Lynn Babington, Chaminade president, said serving as a hub for high-quality mental health instruction – and a source for excellent mental health providers who will serve their communities – is in line with the University’s mission to work every day to change the world for the better.
“The planting of the kukui nut tree at Brogan Hall is a powerful symbol that underscores our commitment to ensuring the Psy.D. program at Chaminade continues to grow and meet the mental health needs of our state,” she said. “We are excited about the next steps in building out this program and can’t wait to see how psychologists trained at Chaminade impact people’s lives in positive ways.”
For more information on the Psy.D. program at Chaminade or to apply, click on the Psy.D. program page.