Faculty Q&A: Malik S. Henfield

By School of Education Posted Fri, 03/23/2018 - 16:13

The USF School of Education recently sat down with Malik S. Henfield, faculty coordinator of USF's school counseling master's program, to learn more about what got him into the field of counseling, and the advice he would share with aspiring school counselors. Check out our conversation below!

What was your first job?

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and was able to get working papers at 14. I worked as a mentor to small kids attending a day camp during the summer. I recall it being a lot of fun and a lot of work!

What got you into the field of counseling?

To be perfectly honest, I graduated from undergrad and was overwhelmed with student loans. I had a friend who was enrolled in a school counseling program and he told me that if I went to graduate school, I could get my loans deferred. I looked into applying to a school counseling program based solely on the conversation. However, once I enrolled, I found it easy for me to build relationships with people in my classes, my professors, as well as faculty, staff, and students during my internship. I realized school counseling was "my thing" and never looked back.

What is your favorite part about being part of the USF School Counseling program?

The people! I absolutely LOVE everyone in the program! We are such a supportive, collaborative team!

What is one thing you are currently working on that excites you?

I have so many projects but the one I find the most satisfying is the work I do with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Executive Director Sheryl Davis is one of the most creative, awe-inspiring, caring people I know. She has her hands in everything! Through her, I have been able to conduct research with Black students and their families and co-present the findings at conferences all across the U.S. The Commission is a results-driven organization, which is in line with my base sensibilities. It's a great fit!

What is something that people may be surprised to learn from you?

I love cartoons! My 2 year old daughter gets to watch one cartoon per day while eating her breakfast so I've become a big fan of Thomas & Friends, Dora the Explorer, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and, of course, Sesame Street. My personal favorites are more of the adult variety such as The Boondocks, Family Guy, American Dad...pretty much anything Adult Swim-related.

What's something you know now that you wish you had known before you started graduate education?

I wish I knew I was good enough. I spent a lot of time in graduate school, and even the early stages of my professional career, doubting myself. If I knew I'd end up where I am now, I would have been a lot more confident in my abilities and taken more educational risks.

Have more questions for Dr. Henfield? Contact him today!