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Serena Neslusan

LMHC, Clinical Supervisor, Crossroads Agency, Worcester

When Serena Neslusan attended QCC as a young mother, she said some people were skeptical whether she would be able to complete her degree.

“Maybe it was some of those skeptics that initially gave me the motivation to seek an education, but part of me wanted to prove people that I could,” Ms. Neslusan said. “QCC was the perfect college for me as a young mother as I was able to go part time, it was close by, and my son was able to attend pre-school right on the QCC campus.”

One of her professors encouraged her to pursue a bachelor’s degree, so she applied to Worcester State, now Worcester University through the QCC consortium. After completing her associate’s degree in Liberal Arts in 2003, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then attended Assumption College for a master’s in Counseling Psychology, concentrating in cognitive behavioral therapy. She completed her graduate internship at Spectrum Health Systems, in Worcester.

A few years after graduate school, Ms. Neslusan obtained a LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Clinician) in the state of Massachusetts. She worked at Adcare Outpatient in Worcester, Mass., as a substance abuse counselor.

While at Adcare, she started an early recovery group for individuals who had bariatric surgery and were also struggling with addiction issues. The support group was the first of its kind in New England.

In 2013, after four years at Adcare, Ms. Neslusan moved on to work in private group practice. Then she became Clinical Supervisor at Crossroads Agency in Worcester, which provides substance abuse counseling to individuals in the community. The agency works collaboratively with a local Suboxone Clinic providing counseling to individuals with opiate dependencies (i.e Percocet, heroin).

“I have never forgotten where my education started, and I am proud to say that I started at Quinsigamond Community College. The professors were caring, the school was affordable and it was very easy to transfer my courses to Worcester State. After graduate school, I started working immediately in the field of addictions,” Ms. Nesulan said. “My career is very challenging at times, but I have always been up for a challenge and my job is also very rewarding. It is a very beautiful thing to see patients transition from hopelessness and fear to being sober and empowered.”

The Brimfield resident said her son recently took a placement exam at the QCC Southbridge campus, because he wants to take online courses during high school. “I couldn’t be more proud to have my child attend Quinsigamond,” she said. “If it wasn’t for QCC, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”