College of Education, Health and Human Sciences


Emma Burgin, Ph.D., is the program coordinator for FUTURE. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee in Counselor Education and Supervision. Her master’s degree in Clinical/Community Psychology is from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her bachelor’s degree is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her experience includes working as the Internship and Transition Coordinator for FUTURE and as a clinical mental health counselor in various outpatient and inpatient settings. Her research interests include postsecondary education for students with IDD, mindfulness and acceptance-based counseling, creativity, professional development of counselors, etc. Outside of work at FUTURE, Emma also serves as a clinical mental health therapist at a local psychiatric hospital. She enjoys reading historical fiction novels, going to concerts, playing with her pug mix puppies, watching Tar Heel basketball, and traveling. She can be reached at eburgin@vols.utk.edu.

Mary Jo Krile, M.S.Ed., is a special education Ph.D. candidate and in her second year of teaching the Digital Literacy courses in FUTURE.  She is originally from North Dakota. Her education background includes a master’s and bachelor’s degree in special education.  Prior to her move to Tennessee, Mary Jo was an elementary special education teacher for 3 years and a high school special education teacher for one year.  Mary Jo enjoys teaching the Digital Literacy courses and her overall goal is to help students in FUTURE become independent in a technology driven society.  


Arden Szepe, M.A., NCC, is a graduate teaching assistant in the FUTURE program, currently teaching career and life planning courses. Arden is a second year doctoral student in the Counselor Education program at the University of Tennessee. She earned her master’s degree in counseling and human services from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and is a National Certified Counselor. Her experience includes working as a mental health counselor in various settings with adolescents and families. Her research interests include career development over a lifespan, adolescent development, clinical supervision, etc. In her free time she enjoys spending time outside with her two dogs, reading, traveling, and cooking. Arden can be reached at aszepe@vols.utk.edu.


Wes Allen, M.S., LAPC, NCC, is a first year doctoral student in the Counselor Education department at the University of Tennessee. This is also his first year at the FUTURE program, and is teaching the Life Skills course. He is beyond excited at the opportunity to be able to help the students gain skills that will help them to be successful in school and as they continue to transition into adulthood. He has a wonderful wife and a new baby at home. His family is his strength and inspiration, and he will forever be grateful for their unending support. In his (limited) free time he loves to read, so please bring him any book recommendations you have! He also loves to be outdoors, and you can usually find him at the Market Square Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings (probably in line for a tamale). He looks forward to continuing his work with FUTURE next year and hopefully beyond!


Margaret Crewdson, B.A., is a first year PhD student in the School Psychology program at U.T. This is her first year working with the FUTURE program as the Academic Support Specialist. She graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has experience tutoring students with disabilities. Margaret is so excited to be an advocate for the FUTURE students and help them get the most out of their education here at U.T. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and tutoring children in the Knoxville area. Margaret can be reached at mcrew@vols.utk.edu.


Ashley Scheyder, B.S., is the Internship Support Specialist at FUTURE. She is a graduate student in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences pursuing her Master’s in School Counseling. She recently graduated from Johnson University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and has experience advising and working with college students. Through continuing in higher education she aims to create a positive learning environment for students by encouraging diversity, community, exploration, and personal leadership. Beyond her academic passion for counseling, Ashley enjoys traveling and experiencing new places with family and friends. Ashley is excited to help FUTURE students succeed at their sites through assisting in communication with supervisors. Ashley can be reached at akenne30@vols.utk.edu.


Stefanie Perosa, B.A., is the Peer Mentor Coordinator for FUTURE. Her role is to build capacity by recruiting, scheduling and managing volunteer peer mentors that work with the FUTURE students, as well as increase the visibility of the program around campus. She graduated from Stetson University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography and an Art Minor. She is currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member alongside a large group of others around Knoxville and East Tennessee. Over the course of the year, Stefanie hopes to become a more efficient communicator, a better supporter, a more enthusiastic and engaging recruiter, and would like to develop a more organized and intentional way of thinking and working. By doing so, she intends to help our volunteers become more fulfilled and effective mentors.


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