PhD Candidate Sean Flanagan Appointed to Journal of Career Development’s Graduate Student Editorial Board

IMG_7265Sean Flanagan, a doctoral candidate in the BU School of Education’s Counseling Psychology PhD program, has accepted an appointment to the Journal of Career Development‘s Graduate Student Editorial Board. The board is a newly formed body within the Journal‘s editorial apparatus, and is tasked with providing “timely, scholarly, and educative reviews of approximately 10-12 manuscripts per year.” Mr. Flanagan’s appointment will last for two years, with the option of renewing at the end of his term.

Dr. Lisa Y. Flores, a professor at the University of Missouri College of Education and editor of the Journal, invited Mr. Flanagan to join the board based on his “prior scholarship and […] expertise in career development.” As Mr. Flanagan notes, this role is a “chance to gain a deeper understanding of the publication and review process, expand and reinforce my methodological and content knowledge within the field, and continue building out my professional network.”

Describing himself as “aspiring psychologist interested in the nexus between theory, research, practice, and advocacy,” Mr. Flanagan sees this appointment as complement to the scholarly, clinical, and service work that make up his doctoral experience at the School of Education.

As a master’s student studying mental health counseling at Boston College, he joined Dr. David Blustein’s research team as a graduate assistant and participated in a number of research projects. Through that work, he developed an academic interest in the importance of work on people’s lives, and in the importance of equity and access to career development and work opportunities.

At SED, under Dr. Kimberly Howard’s advisement, Mr. Flanagan pursued that interest further, exploring the increasingly complex ways that children and adolescents conceptualize the processes of career choice and attainment, the role of school-based mental health services in K-12 and higher education, and strategies for using evidence-based practices to shape career and workforce policy.

More recently, Mr. Flanagan has worked with Dr. Jon Zaff, Executive Director of the Center for Promise and Mr. Flanagan’s current doctoral advisor. At the Center for Promise, he has found the opportunity to “merge my interests in career/workforce development and positive youth development through applied research exploring the developmental supports that young people need to thrive in high school, postsecondary education, and work.”

Mr. Flanagan’s scholarly work lead him to co-authoring two chapters in 2017’s The Handbook of Career and Workforce Development Practice and Policy, and co-authoring articles in Journal of Veterinary Medical Education and International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance. As a Doctoral Research Assistant within the SED-affiliated Center for Promise, Mr. Flanagan has contributed significantly to three recent reports:

  • Turning Points: How young people in four career pathways programs describe the relationships that shape their lives
  • Relationships Come First: How four career development and workforce readiness programs prepare young people for work and life
  • The Impact of Comprehensive Community Initiatives on Population Level Youth Outcomes: A systematic review

Mr. Flanagan is careful to point out that such scholarly work is only one aspect of his doctoral experience. Through his practicum work at Northeastern University’s Career Development department, he has conducted individual career counseling and group-based career development workshops for undergraduate and graduate students. Outside of Northeastern, he has gained clinical experience in community mental health, hospital- and academic-based medical settings, college counseling settings, and the Boston Public Charter High Schools. Next fall, he’ll begin a doctoral internship at the University of Michigan’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

Service and advocacy with his profession are also important to Mr. Flanagan. He has become actively involved with the APA’s Society for Vocational Psychology, the National Career Development Association, and the American Educational Research Association. His service to these organizations includes student leadership roles within the APA and the Massachusetts Psychological Association.

For a scientist-practitioner seeking a career that will include aspects of research, practice, and advocacy, this appointment is another step toward that goal. As Mr. Flanagan explains, “The recent appointment to the Journal of Career Development Student Editorial Board represents an opportunity for me to continue to express my commitment to service in the fields of counseling and vocational psychology by contributing to the important peer-review process of one of the field’s flagship publications.”