Dr. Becky Brannock received a bachelor’s degree in education, vocational economics at Southwest Missouri State University in 1980 and then went back to Southwest Missouri State to receive her master’s degree in Guidance and counseling in 1983. Brannock went on to receive her Ed.S. in counseling at Pittsburg State University in 1990, and later attended the University of Arkansas to receive her Ph.D. in counselor education in 1995.
Brannock returned to Pittsburg State University twenty-five years ago to begin teaching future counselors.
“When I look back at my years at Pitt State, my greatest experiences are the relationships I’ve built with my students, with my colleagues, just people across campus,” Brannock said. “Pittsburg State is a tremendous place to work, it really is. It’s been like (a) family and home to me for the past twenty-five years and you know I’ve just been very proud to be a member of the faculty and to have done what I’ve done for so long and to still love what I do even coming two and a half weeks from retirement.”
During her time at PSU, Brannock has worked as a professor, director of the school counseling program, and for a few years she was director of the honors college.
“Having been a student here and knowing the reputation of the department, it was a strong department at the time and continues to be a strong department,” Brannock said. “We graduate quality people that we are sending out to, what I believe.., is the most significant most important fields that’s out there.”
Brannock had a leave of absence from 2000-2001 where she was employed as the director of counselors in Webb City. While in that role, Brannock continued to teach practicum and internship students at Pitt State and after that year returned to her roles on campus.
“I’ve had so many others who have retired, and I’ve watched colleagues and friends go through that process..,” Brannock said. “…Coming in to know it was my last year, knowing this is my last time for this, this is my last time for that class, (was) bittersweet… because I still enjoy what I do and I’m going to miss it but I feel like once you’re an educator, you’re always an educator so I’ll find other ways to utilize those skills and still teach in some way.”
Brittany Peters, a graduate student in school counseling, has had Dr. Brannock as an instructor off and on for three years and did her advisement with her last year.
“I think she’s great,” Peters said. “She teaches in a way that gets the material across in an understandable way, but I think the part that stands out about Dr. Brannock is her willingness to build the connection with each student. I feel as if she is a huge supporter of me and my education, which is very special.”
After students graduate, Brannock stays in contact with them, as evidenced by the number of past students returning to give presentations in her classes.
“As a faculty member in our department, I’ve taught a number of… undergrad (classes) and grad (classes) but my primary role has been as director of our school counseling program and I pretty much have done that throughout,” Brannock said. “…Everything that I’ve done, I’ve thoroughly done and thinking back to those experiences, it was building those relationships with those students, some of which I still hear from today.”
Previous students boast about Brannock during their presentations and Brannock boasts about each past student and their accomplishments before, during, and after each presentation.
“She is very passionate about the field so you can see that passion when she teaches, which I think in return excites others in this program and field,” Peters said.
After Brannock leaves, Dr. Cebrail Karayigit will be taking over as Director of the School Counseling department.
“I am very excited for that,” Brannock said. “He has been in our faculty for the past four years and with retirement approaching I’ve been helping with the training process throughout knowing that I’ll be passing the torch on to him this year and I think that he’s going to do a fantastic job, I really do…”
Brannock plans to work on getting her second children’s book published, traveling with her husband, and having a flea market booth in Carthage.
“I just feel very blessed and humbled and so proud when I look at the graduates who have gone through our program and knowing the caliber of work they are doing in their programs and with their students,” Brannock said. “Today was a prime example in class with having those four school counselors sharing their programs with our class and hearing the good work they’re doing out in their communities… That’s what it’s all about, just keep passing it on. It’s that exponential component, if they can pass on their knowledge and what they know to their students, it just keeps getting passed on, passing it forward.”