Joined USJ: 2013
From Marte Ostvik-de Wilde’s outside observation, the University of Saint Joseph appeared to be a close-knit, student-focused community. Once inside, she was pleased to discover that “not only is that what USJ absolutely promotes, but it is actually happening on campus and that is really nice to find.” She appreciates the opportunity to supervise small groups of students and the extra time she can spend giving critical feedback. While Ostvik-de Wilde loved her experiences at large research universities, she knew she was ready for a smaller setting where she could make personal connections.
As a Communications major, it was in a Broadcast Journalism class where Ostvik-de Wilde realized that she was not drawn to the news she reported on, but instead was captivated by the people she interviewed and the stories they told. She wondered how she could connect her love of personal stories with her love of education and decided that school counseling was her calling. “It is a perfect fit — I get to be part of the K-12 environment and also connect with students one-on-one and in groups.” As a school counselor in an urban area, she loved working with real needs and challenges, the chaos that often accompanied it, and the diversity of things she could do.
Passionate about the impact a school counselor can have, Ostvik-de Wilde said, “I want our profession to continue to grow and be considered critically important because the need is there in K-12 schools. Our kids are struggling in so many different areas.” She feels strongly that school counselors need to demonstrate the high expectations they have for students, as well as a belief that students are worthy and capable of choosing their own journeys. She is excited to educate counselors who go out into the community equipped with a high level of confidence, knowing that what they contribute is important.
While Ostvik-de Wilde misses being a school counselor, it was her love of the job that brought her to teaching — a profession she comes to with passion. Her key message to students is, “You are a counselor first; the focus —School or Clinical Mental Health — is secondary.” She instills in them the skills needed to make meaningful and effective connections with people. “Be empathetic, genuine, reflective of who you are, willing to learn about the other person, and a good listener.” Ostvik-de Wilde encourages her students to trust in their skills and let their responses happen naturally. This philosophy, she believes, is appropriate for all environments, fulfills core values, and facilitates growth for those in counseling.
Ph.D., University of Maryland
M.A., The Ohio State University
B.S., Boston University