The Charger Blog

New Counseling and Psychological Services Director Says Students Never Cease to Surprise and Amaze Her

Meet Paige Bartels, LCSW, interim director of the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, who is looking forward to spending time at the beach this summer and who is intrigued by the castles in Ireland.

May 12, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Paige Bartels (center) hiking with her sister and daughter.
Paige Bartels (center) hiking with her sister and daughter.

The lifeblood of the University of New Haven are the faculty and staff members who dedicate their lives to helping our students reach their goals. Periodically, we’ll introduce you to a member of the staff so you can learn more about them – beyond their day to day work.

Next up is Paige Bartels, LCSW, interim director of the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, who has proudly introduced her cat, Rory, to members of Charger Nation.

Renee Chmiel: Do you have a mentor or someone who has inspired you?

Paige Bartels: My sister. She’s nine years older than me, and she has been through more than her fair share of life challenges. Watching her tackle them, grow from them, and continue to be who she is inspires me to do the same. She’s so supportive, always there for me, and I learn from her all the time – and have for my entire life.

Paige Bartels and her daughter at the beach.
Paige Bartels loves spending time at the beach with her daughter.

RC: What do you like best about being in Connecticut?

PB: I love the seasons. I have lived outside of Connecticut and New England before, and each time, I find my soul missing the turning of the seasons. Just when I think I can’t take another season any longer (the winter is getting too dreary or the summer too hot), the season changes and I have something new to enjoy. I also truly love the landscape of Connecticut – going for a drive and just seeing the beauty our state has to offer – and the variety of activities means there is always something different to engage in.

Paige Bartels and her family.
Paige Bartels and her family enjoy some time outdoors

RC: What are your plans for this summer?

PB: This summer I am hoping to find some time to breathe and rejuvenate. This year has been a year of stretching and growth, and I am excited to have some time to breathe a little more deeply, and more regularly. I am hoping to read and spend time outdoors. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is take my daughter to the beach. We can walk there, and we spend hours playing in the sand and waves, and we often order lunch or dinner and enjoy it together on the beach at sunset. I also love finding new, fun ice cream spots and testing them out!

RC: If you could live at any other time or place in history, where and when would it be?

PB: Growing up, I always wanted to live in early America (think: Laura Ingalls Wilder/ Little House on the Prairie). Now, I think I’d love to experience life in another country. The world is so big and there is so much to see: communities, cultures, landscapes, other ways of life. I would love to experience life (not just tourism) elsewhere, but the options are too vast to really pick just one! I love places rich with history and would also have loved to live when the castles in Ireland were homes. Maybe I wouldn’t live in a castle, but in that time and place.

Paige Bartels at a class of 2022 paint night.
Paige Bartels at a Class of 2022 paint night event.

RC: Did you have any pets growing up? Do you have any pets now?

PB: Growing up I had two cats: Socks and Ashley. Socks was the sweetest, fluffiest cat I’ve ever had, and Ashley, literally, hated everyone. She was a spitfire! I also had a dog, Pepper, who was a black lab and so sweet and lovable, and a parakeet named Joshua (unsure what exactly his personality was, now that I think about it).

Now, I have a cat, Rory. Most of my clients and colleagues have met her virtually! She’s an old gal who is one of my best friends.

RC: What is your favorite holiday?

PB: Probably Christmas. There’s something I love about the Christmas season. As a family, we go for many drives to see the lights at Christmastime, and we make family time a focus of the season. We see family often, both on and around the holiday, and it doesn’t hurt that my birthday is close as well as those of several other family members! Christmas morning is all about my daughter opening her gifts and enjoying family stopping by.

Paige Bartels and her cat, Rory.
Paige Bartels and her cat, Rory.

RC: What do you like best about your work at the University of New Haven?

PB: Primarily, interacting with the students. They never cease to surprise and amaze me, and I love getting to know them and being given the opportunity to support them deeply. I often get a close-up view of students’ growth and change, which is an incredible process. I also strongly value my collegial community, both in the counseling center and with other campus partners. I have loved building strong connections with others here.