2012 Tillman Scholar

Erin McMenamin

Marine Corps
University of Southern California

Military family service demands patience, compassion and hope. Ten years of marriage, five moves, and three children taught Erin service also requires great stores of resilience. In 2010, at a Commodore’s brief that detailed the realities of Post Traumatic Stress, Erin recognized a call to increase mental health treatment for service members and their families. Wanting to use her experience to help others, Erin decided to return to school to become a therapist in the field of mental health, with the hope of teaching military families to harness their inherent resilience to overcome the stressors of their challenging lifestyle.

Erin began classes at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work in 2012. With a concentration on Children and Families and Military Studies, Erin pursued a Master’s in Social Work. When her spouse deployed for a year during her coursework, Erin recognized the importance of finding strengths-based strategies to help her family navigate the stress of deployment. Graduate school was a transformative experience for her: she was able to understand the science of her emotions, as well as recognizing the universal connection in healing wounds from trauma and stress. Erin graduated in 2014 with an MSW.

Erin is a resident-in-training to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, working in private practice in Norfolk, VA–home of the world’s largest naval base. Erin works with military and civilian families and specializes in treating anxiety and depression. Erin is also completing coursework to earn a certification as a Registered Play Therapist.