Alumni Experiences


"Meridian University is a gift to this moment in our history. The rare breadth of the intellectual journey it offers, and its exquisite attention to the ripening of the whole person, set a stunning example for graduate studies."


Headshot of VANESSA N.

I think Meridian’s platform is amazing. It’s self-paced and online, but you do get a lot of contact with the faculty and with your peers. The faculty are so supportive and very attuned to your needs and interests. They know how to bring out things you’re afraid to admit at first. The peers are so supportive. Every time we have zoom classes or the intensives, it’s just totally life-changing. Meridian taught me a lot about myself. It was a big step in knowing who I am as a person and how I can bring this person into my professional career in the future.

Vanessa N.
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Take a moment to imagine the most meaningful educational experience possible. Then, like me, imagine embarking on the life changing journey of going to Meridian. Engaging in the educational process at Meridian provided me the invaluable opportunity to enhance my willingness to participate in daily life as both a learner and a teacher. In a unique and compelling fashion, Meridian’s staff and faculty mentor students towards developing those capacities necessary to become a powerful and effective psychological practitioner who can serve the larger community with compassion and respect. Embracing Meridian’s encouragement of its students to strive towards cultural leadership in both professional practice and personal life, continues to be a challenging experience fully worth its immeasurable reward.

Susan J. Gulbe Walsh
PH.D., Counseling Psychologist, University of California, Santa Cruz
Headshot of SLOAN B.

I remember my first week in at Meridian, we jumped right into the art of Psychotherapy and I was blown away by that. I deeply value that kind of education because I think it really gets into your bones. When I think about working with individuals, I can’t imagine relying on an education that would do it any other way. I know that the capacities that have been cultivated within me as a result of this experiential, transformational learning have really served my needs personally, and I feel more confident about how I take that into the world and working with clients.

Sloan B.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of ROSA N.

I have very much enjoyed all of the classes I have been taking so far and I enjoy the faculty. One thing I can say that I have not experienced until now was such kindness, compassion, and empathy with faculty. The staff at Meridian are very mindful to speak to you on a very personal level. The most challenging aspect of Meridian is looking into yourself and exploring all those things in yourself that you may or may have not known that has been inside you. The most exciting part is also the flip side of this. You just get to this level where it clicks in a way that makes you think: I’m glad I’m here and I want to keep going.

Rosa N.
M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Thirty years ago I became a Marriage and Family Therapist. Decades later, seasoned by life experiences, I returned to graduate school to deepen my own journey. I found a program at Meridian that integrated, within its academic requirements, challenges that engendered a richer and more expansive level of beingness to my life and work. The psychology program at Meridian is truly a transformative program.

Rich McCuthchan
Ph.D., M.F.T, Psychotherapist in Private Practice

Meridian offers a lot around learning your own countertransference and transference so that you know that you're affected, how you're affected, and also how to take care of yourself. And that actually super helped me through these really difficult cases. Meridian helped develop a higher capacity for relating to other human beings, no matter what their walk of life is.

Mardi Storm
M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Headshot of MICKI M.

How I got to Meridian was doing my research and looking for universities that had values I align to…and I think the reason it aligns with why I care about higher education is because I’m very interested in the transformation of higher education. It’s a leadership doctorate that I’m in, and I feel that you’re a leader in your family and in everywhere in the world. I think how I’m showing up is more consistent and aware of others and the community. I’m walking a little softer in the world because of my doctorate work.

Micki M.
Ed.D in Organizational Leadership
Headshot of MICHELLE G.

So far, my experience has been pretty phenomenal. It’s an incredible program. One of the things that’s really special about Meridian is the cohort culture. What’s called for is your presence, to be with the as-is in the moment, and to allow whatever’s in the room to arise without trying to fix, move, or change it. That capacity, I felt like I came into Meridian with, but I’m going to be leaving at a whole other level of ability to do that. The learning here is kind of meant to throw you for a loop and let you sit in that, and when you come out the other side, there’s a transformation that’s taken place.

Michelle G.
M.A. in Psychology

Years after completing my doctorate, the education I received at Meridian continues to offer me guiding principles, as well as deepened capacities for self-awareness and tolerance, which I draw upon each and every day; my education feels like a living organism that continues to ripple forth. Furthermore, the power of Meridian's learning community structure catalyzed me to bring my psychological training into the political realm, towards work I never imagined myself doing: the healing of my own, local community.

Mary Fullwood
Ph.D., M.F.A., Co-Director of the Terra Foundation, Los Osos, California

The school’s cohort learning model has deeply affirmed my sense that transformative learning is dependent on community; and the school’s emphasis on cultural leadership has enabled me to bridge my work in organizations with my yearning to support social change. Mary Oliver’s line — ‘One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began’ — applies to me as a result of my experience here. The combination of theory, a learning cohort, and faculty who embody the teachings, created an environment in which I transformed my capacity to experience life and to practice my vocation. I went to ‘great’ schools before this but this is where I truly learned what I needed to live in the world and serve my community.

Mark Nicolson
MA, MBA, Co-Founder, Leadership DNA and Ventana Group
Headshot of MARCELA U.

My horizon has been widened by being a student here. I have learned to look at the world and myself differently. It’s very experiential and experience-based, which makes it very personal, but also I can take this personal experience and widen it and apply it in different ways to work with people or groups. It’s not just knowledge based; it’s grown into my bones and muscles and being, and I have grown with it. Meridian also taught me to actually value differences, to value diversity, look at diversity as a building material for community and society, and be creative in how we can create unity while preserving diversity.

Marcela U.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of MANDY J.

My main goal in my career is to work in the diabetes and mental health fields, find that overlap, and do some heart-centered diabetes work. One thing that stands out about the faculty at Meridian is the amount of presence and space that they hold in our courses. Being at Meridian feels like swimming in a school of fish with other people that are all sort of going the same direction as I am, even though we all have our specialties, and I think that space has been very valuable to my creative process and my work and what I’m passionate about.

Mandy J.
M.A. in Counseling Psychology

As an older student with an advanced degree from a traditional institution, I sought an interactive, experientially oriented Ph.D. program. Meridian's gifted faculty delivered an evocative curriculum, exceeding my expectations, providing me with the canvas on which a deeply transformative experience was created. The initiatory nature of my educational journey at Meridian not only broadened my therapeutic skills, but it also deepened my personal capacities. As I finish my clinical hours toward my licensure as psychologist, I draw on my training on a daily basis. The program provided me with practical therapeutic interventions and strategies, but its most lasting and profound gift was the development and expansion of my empathic imagination. I am grateful that I chose Meridian University to pursue my dream of earning a Ph.D. I can think of no other experience, outside of having my child, that has so profoundly affected my personal growth and maturation process.

Joy Policar
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice

The Meridian experience was about more than just getting a degree. It was an invitation to explore and connect deeply with what matters most in this world, and to get grounded in the fundamentals of what it means to be alive as a human being. By answering this call to adventure, I found much more than an education. I found myself.

Joshua Holcomb
M.A, President, Eclectic Health
Headshot of JON W.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I came here. I guess I expected that things would be very personal and that there would be a lot of depth in the work. That has met my expectation. I hoped that it would be really fun, but it’s even more fun than I expected. That’s been a wonderful and pleasant surprise. I’m called to this work in Psychology, and so now it’s like I’m answering and I get to, in a sense, come home to something I’ve been moving toward for all my existence. So, I feel so grateful and blessed to be able to study that and to have access to all the things I’m doing here.

Jon W.
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Headshot of IRENE IVES

Meridian provides an extraordinary curriculum that has benefited me both personally and professionally. Community learning was completely transformative, catalyzing capacities in me which were previously undeveloped. Because of Meridian’s excellence, my education did not stop at graduation. I have bone knowledge and wisdom that continues to inform, guide, and inspire me in my work as a psychotherapist and educator. I am excited for anyone choosing Meridian for their graduate education because I know they will receive a rigorous yet meaningful education and expansive understanding of psychology and its true purpose of caring for the soul.

Irene Ives
Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Headshot of HEATHER R.

Each term, I am pleasantly surprised with what emerges from myself and what I get to witness emerge from others. My experience at Meridian has been defined completely by the people. I’ve been so fortunate to have the most wonderful classmates: so interesting, so diverse, from all over the world, from all different backgrounds and cultures. And that blending of voices and experiences creates such an interesting mix and transformative experience for myself. Add to that, the really extraordinary staff and professors that we get to interact with, and we create this container to guide us on this journey.

Heather R.
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Headshot of HEATHER B.

When it comes to transformative learning, what I really notice is kind of exactly how they say it: it’s just landing in my body. I don’t have this stress or urgency to memorize facts. Because it’s landing in such a way, it stays with me and translates to my outside of school experience, too. One thing that I have also really appreciated about the faculty is that they really leave space in their classrooms for folks to challenge and disagree not only them as the faculty, but with each other, and use those times of challenges or disagreements as learning opportunities to see how we can expand our awareness and capabilities to be with the other. Coming in, I didn’t have experience of online education. I was very surprised at what could be cultivated in the online format. I truly did feel seen and heard by my fellow classmates and the faculty and really felt like some deep transformative work was happening.

Heather B.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of GRACE F.

Meridian spoke of cultivating cultural leadership, and that really caught my attention. Something that was new and unexpected was the use of and focus on ritual and the learning around liminality. I feel like I’m really learning and growing in that area, and it’s enrichening my capacity to work with groups and individuals and to facilitate the process. Now, I’m aware of when ritual would be appropriate, I have ideas for what could be useful, and I also have more trust for the process and what develops in the moment because we have practiced that.

Grace F.
M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Headshot of GLORIA R.

I’ve always wanted to fuse dance and Psychology. I think what this joint program [with Tamalpa Institute] offers me is choice, flexibility, and connecting with a network I wouldn’t have before. I have choice in how I utilize therapy, how I utilize expressive arts, and in how I want to help people. My goal after Meridian is to be an expressive arts therapist. I feel like Meridian has really prepared me for that in being able to garner how I have been affected by others, my own memories, the stories of my own cohort, the concepts and theories and topics we’ve discussed…And that awareness is going to take me on for the rest of my life and my vocation.

Gloria R.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of FRAN S.

Since starting Meridian, my life has changed. I have more clarity in my intention, thinking, and everything. Because I come from a different culture, I have not had experiences with students from such a big diversity and I’ve learned a lot from them. My experience with transformative learning is quite scary. There have been a couple of times I have actually gone out of my comfort zone. I thought it was scary, but at the same time, I really enjoyed the process. I think in the experience at Meridian, you have to keep looking into yourself.

Fran S.
EdD in Organizational Leadership
Headshot of EVELYN S.

The transformative experience here feels like a safe walk, like you're walking with a friend who just cares and wants to see you get to the other side because they've been there and they know how wonderful it is. So, it feels like a real, sweet, gentle invitation. Organically over the time I've been here, my family relationships have just come even more alive... The aspect of the shared learning that's happening is so rich. I find myself in awe most of the time for the depth of knowledge and experience that's in the space with me. There are just some really heartfelt folks here that seem to get, at a deep level, that it's about humanity; it's about really being here for ourselves and others in a way that we all thrive. The teachers in general, I found to be amazing individuals. The work they're doing in the world inspires me.

Evelyn S.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of EMILY M.

I chose Meridian for a lot of different reasons. I know that I can slam through a traditional curriculum; I've done it my whole academic career. But, I almost want to say that there was a sense of a calling to try something different. It just didn't seem like an interesting enough idea to pursue a Ph.D. in the same way that I've pursued all of my prior education. I was attracted to a lot of things about Meridian that I knew would be particularly challenging for me, which is that transformational learning platform. Participation and being asked to become vulnerable around certain topics has been an exciting challenge.

Emily M.
Ph.D. in Psychology

After being an established Marriage and Family Therapist I had a deeper knowing that something was missing. I wanted to do soul work within the context of community. My cohort life at Meridian provided the opportunity for my desires to manifest. The program’s curriculum, which emphasizes expression through ritual, imagination, and creativity within the complexities and challenges of community-making, invited the awakening of my soul. I engaged in relationships in ways I had not known in my family. This experience has opened my heart, freed my spirit, supported my growth, and allowed me to be more effective in my work as a healer.

Dianna Grayer
Psychotherapist in Private Practice

This endeavor, although one of the most challenging of my life, has supported me in the development of my capacities that has allowed me to grow leaps and bounds...The course work, the transformational learning experience, and my dissertation process, along with the support of the professors, faculty, and staff, has empowered and enabled me to be the best that I can be, so that I may continue to support and be of service to human beings in need. I am deeply grateful

Caroline Cárdenas
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of CYNTHIA G.

My overall experience at Meridian thus far has been quite transformational because the methods of presenting the teaching material, the assignments, and the classes has been quite profound. All the classes, all the teachings, and all the readings have helped me in such a way as to build my self-awareness muscle, and that has been quite palatable in my life. I appreciate the level of engagement that they [program faculty] put through with the class. I also appreciate their insights and perspective on things, but one of the things I appreciate the most is their vulnerability. That creates a kind of bond and openness, like safe space between the students and faculty. It's been quite meaningful to learn from my classmates as well.

Cynthia G.
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

My studies at Meridian University gave me not only the capacities to understand systems but also the skill set necessary to design new structures and ways to collaborate.

Claudia Meglin
MBA Graduate
Headshot of CLARA Y.

I'm definitely more grounded in myself. I know more who I am because I know if I want to show up more powerful and more purposeful in my professional life, I need to be more authentic. Through this course, I am more okay with the ebb and flow of things and more recognizable when authenticity shows up in the other person and myself, and we have that special moment. I'm so much more empathetic. One thing I'm amazed by is that we got students from all over the world. I got to meet a lot of people seriously very different than me. They bring so much diversity to the classroom and make the collective energy so much more powerful, and a miracle happens sometimes. I can definitely see it's the faculty's calling to do what they're doing. It's a loving, opening, deep listening space they created for all of us to grow if you choose to.

Clara Y.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of CLAIRE L.

I love the assignments, the readings, the exercises and group discussions, and the dialogue with the faculty and my classmates and some guest lecturers. I love all those experiences. I think it is very valuable and eye-opening as well as touching the depth of my heart. I feel like studying at Meridian and using the format of transformative learning is really another level of learning. The whole process is a holistic process for me to become a better person and leader for the world or community I live within. Here, I feel like the faculty are all human. Even in the class, the feedback they give us- I would say they are really like our guardian angels leading us in the process of learning. Just like the faculty, I love my fellow classmates as well because they are from different walks of life, have age differences, are doing different work, and have different experiences in life. It's like a 'we study together, let's grow together, let's learn together': I like this atmosphere and environment that Meridian has built.

Claire L.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of CARTER S.

It's been a really beautiful experience at Meridian to dive into putting my whole being into the learning process- instead of just listening to a lecture or reading a book, actually experiencing the learning process in my body, my mind, and expression- and weaving that all into something that I can carry with me when I leave. Professionally, it's given me a lot of fuel and ideas and concepts that I've taken into my work and used not only with my clients but with designing programs where I work. There's a lot of encouraging of imagination and experience, while also rooting us into solid foundation.

Carter S.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of CAMILLE M.

My time at Meridian has tremendously impacted how I am able to be present with clients... I think first and foremost there is an openness and excitement that I've been able to develop in myself for new and emergent possibilities in learning. I feel like I'm in the midst of people [Meridian faculty] who have so much of their personality and experience shining through, but also so incredibly open to learning and seeing what's unfolding with others, and that's really powerful. I experience a really responsible way of holding authority and developing community among learners. So much understanding and experience that's been shared information has been incredibly helpful and really stays with me in my personal life and work. There's a depth of authenticity that has been really important.

Camille M.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of BRIAN T.

The capacity of left-right brain integration has really developed for me here, so that I can give imaginative answers that are also grounded in left hemisphere sensibilities like linguistic and analytical sensibilities. Meridian has really helped me bridge the imaginal and analytical. I'm actually feeling, for the first time in my life, genuine success. There's a sense that my vocation- my calling and what I'm meant to do here on this planet- has now aligned with how I make money and take care of myself. That coming together was really, really blissful. What more could you ask for? Meridian has been central to that.

Brian T.
Ph.D. in Psychology

I did not find a better partner for that journey that I was on. It was speaking the language and opening the doors to all of these other people speaking the same language, too. Honestly, that's been one of the largest experiences for me. It was like an instant, ancient and present community.

Angela Taylor
Ph.D. in Psychology
Headshot of ALISON D.

Through personal development as well as soul searching, I decided that I wanted to be able to use dance to be able to go to more people. So, we were working bringing movement into schools as well as volunteering doing after school programs with art and children. It was really fulfilling and I really loved it and wanted to expand that. It feels like I got to choose and personalize a graduate program for myself exactly what I wanted to do. That in itself just feels exciting. I'm doing two programs at once [Tamalpa Program] and they both influence and inform each program. Both through the learning through reading and lectures, but also learning through experience in the class, I'm getting a richer knowledge of how I react to things and my own experience in the moment.

Alison D.
Ph.D. in Psychology

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