Carolina People

Carolina People: Mari Diaz

Mari Diaz is inspired by students who come into CAPS seeking psychological services: "They're bright, hardworking, service-oriented and often motivated to work on themselves."

Mari Diaz

PSYCHOLOGIST AND COORDINATOR OF TRAINING COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

14 years working at Carolina

 

 

What’s a typical day like in your job?

Each day is different. I oversee four advanced doctoral psychology interns as part of our yearlong internship program. I coordinate the different training elements for those interns. And I provide clinical services, such as seeing students who walk in to Counseling and Psychological Services as well as providing individual therapy to students. 

How does your WORK support Carolina’s mission?

At CAPS, our goal is to ensure that our students have access to our services, and they are treated with compassion and respect. We want each student to be able to have the support and assistance to reach their goals. We work as a team, and so each of us works diligently to provide an inclusive environment. I train future psychologists to provide multiculturally sensitive, ethical and caring services. In my clinical role, I help students learn skills to better manage their concerns and build insights and awareness to their areas of growth and strength.  

What do you like most about your work?

I’m inspired by the students who come into CAPS seeking services. They’re bright, hardworking, service oriented and often motivated to work on themselves. I appreciate my kind and dedicated colleagues and the way we collaborate to provide quality services to students and trainees. I enjoy my role in training and mentoring future psychologists and being able to give back to the field.

What kinds of initiatives are you working on?

Our interns provide lots of outreach and services that are customized to different populations on campus. One of our interns focused on helping Covenant Scholars with learning stress management and self-care techniques. Another intern focused on student-athletes supporting LGBTQ student-athletes and teammates by teaching inclusive language. I’m proud of the work our interns have accomplished.

How did you come to specialize in psychotherapy?

My grandmother played a strong role in my choosing a profession like psychology. Growing up, we were really close, and she would often talk about how one of the best things you could do with your life is to be able to be of service to others. And she did not have many resources or have the opportunity to pursue education when she was growing up. But she set an example of helping other people. I’m able to combine the science of psychology and the compassion and empathy, which is at the heart of the work that we do at CAPS.

Carolina People is a regular feature in each issue of the Gazette that asks one of your fascinating colleagues five questions about the work they do for the University. Do you know someone with an interesting or unique job at Carolina? Please email your suggestions to gazette@unc.edu and put Carolina People in the subject line.