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Meet Ben Jessell, marriage and family therapy master’s student | #parenting

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Media Contact:
Katie Lacey | Communications Specialist | 405-744-9347 |

Ben Jessell’s passion for marriage and family therapy allows him to directly impact
families in Oklahoma. Through his research and involvement in the Co-Parenting for
Resilience Program, Jessell is fulfilling his purpose of advancing family science
within marriage and family therapy.

What are you studying and researching?

I am a second-year master’s student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at
Oklahoma State University. My research primarily focuses on co-parenting and parent-child
relationships in families who have experienced divorce and separation. During my time
at OSU, I have completed a study involving co-parents’ experience during COVID-19
and currently am working with data collected in the Co-Parenting for Resilience course
at OSU.

What is your role in the Co-Parenting for Resilience program?

I am a graduate research assistant for Dr. Matt Brosi, which involves developing research
that better informs the education offered in the program. I am also certified in teaching
the Co-Parenting for Resilience course for all parents who have experienced divorce
in Oklahoma.

Why is this program important?

Simply put, this program is important because it provides extremely beneficial information
regarding parenting. Co-Parenting for Resilience program is not only relevant to divorced
or separated parents, but also to all parents. Many who participate in the program
say the same thing: they wish they had the opportunity to take the course before getting
married or having children. It’s no secret that parenting can sometimes be difficult,
but with the helpful information offered by the co-parenting course, parents can feel
more confident in engaging in a relationship with their child and the child’s other

What is the most rewarding part of your research?

One of the most rewarding parts is knowing I am contributing to the development of
a program that is going to benefit many people in the long-term. As parents become
more confident in practicing parenting skills, their children will too when they become
parents. Another rewarding part of my research is simply the opportunity to directly
engage with parents. Although data is very useful in understanding parenting experiences,
getting to talk directly to parents is extremely informative and provides a unique
opportunity to understand the difficulties and triumphs parents experience.

Why did you come to Oklahoma State?

I am from Stillwater and have always enjoyed it. I did my undergraduate degree at
Oklahoma State in Human Development and Family Science and quickly fell in love with
the department and field. I applied to several different master’s programs and quickly
found that OSU has the warmest environment and is the best place to continue to grow
as a professional and person. I’ve found that OSU is filled with people who are passionate
about the work they do and the people they work with.

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