Linda Relyea

Colorado Springs native received her master’s degree from Adams State University

ALAMOSA, CO. (June 28, 2022) – After graduating magna cum laude with degrees in English and psychology, from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado Springs native, Natalie Dagan knew she wanted to pursue a master’s degree. “I stumbled upon Adams State University.” As a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited, online-based university, she was intrigued.

Clinical mental health counseling was exactly the career she wanted to pursue. “The quality of education did not disappoint.” She received her Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling at the 2022 spring commencement ceremony.

Dagan felt welcomed into the Adams State community immediately. “The professors, whether adjunct or otherwise, were supportive, intelligent, and highly motivated to see their students succeed.” After becoming seriously ill, her connection with kind and supportive professors allowed her to continue her studies, from her hospital bed.

All Adams State counselor education faculty and staff were instrumental in Natalie’s success. In particular, she appreciated the leadership by Mark Manzanares, Ph.D., then department chair. “He was a phenomenal teacher. He saw my strength and desire to learn, thus becoming an excellent mentor.” With his support, Natalie gained confidence in herself and her skills. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA, as a member of Cappa Sigma Iota, and with several job offers.

“I also am leaving with a burning desire to return to Adams State to earn my Ph.D.”

Dagan appreciates the support of family and friends. “My parents have been pillars of support for me my whole life. I can honestly say I could not have overcome what I have and accomplished what I have if they weren’t in my life. Because of them, I am strong. They have been in my corner through thick and thin and I could not ask for better parents. The same can be said for my friends, both old and new.”

Through the program, Dagan discovered a new group of people. “This is a community of people that truly understands that feeling of otherness and harnesses it into strengths. I can honestly say that those in this program, students and faculty alike, are some of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever met.”

Natalie dealt with hardships from daily stressors to the pandemic to a near-death experience, and came out stronger. “This could not have been accomplished if it were not for my family, my friends, and of course, Adams State University.”


To download full image, right-click and choose “save image as”

Natalie Dagan