FIYou: Priya Kirpalani

Name: Priya Kirpalani19034823866_cceef7b6ea_k

Hometown: Paramaribo, Suriname

Job Title/Department: University Psychologist/Counseling & Psychological Services

Location/Campus: SHC 270

In a nutshell: I started my career at FIU in 2010 as a post-doctoral fellow. After completing my training year, I was hired as a University Counselor. Over time, I transitioned into my current role as a University Psychologist. As part of my role at CAPS, I coordinate the Group Therapy and Body Acceptance Programs. I also provide supervision and training to pre-doctoral interns.

Number of years at FIU: 5 years

What do you enjoy most about your job?  The favorite part of my job is interacting with students in the therapy room. I feel truly privileged to get the opportunity to impact students and make even a small difference in their lives. In turn, I feel like they also positively impact mine, particularly with regards to my personal and professional growth and development.  

What should students and your fellow faculty/staff should know about your department? CAPS offers individual, group and couples counseling as well as psychiatric, testing, consultation and advocacy services. Most importantly, CAPS services are confidential and free for registered FIU students. To obtain services, visit our website at, call us at 305.348.CAPS, or visit us at MMC in SHC 270 or at BBC in WUC 320 to make an appointment.

Where is your favorite spot on campus? Why? The Graham Center (GC). For some reason, it reminds me of an airport. Growing up, my family traveled a lot so I have fond memories of airports. As such, I enjoy interacting with the diversity of students and staff constantly moving through GC.

How do you help make FIU “Worlds Ahead”? I help make FIU “World Ahead” by helping students cope with the multiple stressors they face during their academic careers. More specifically, I help students seek support from one another in my role as a group counseling leader. Ultimately, FIU graduates will be able to translate these skills outside of the academic setting and into the “real world,” making them better adept at managing life stressors.

Family snapshot: I was born in Paramaribo, Suriname. As a child, I moved to South Florida. I have a younger brother, who is an FIU graduate. About two years ago, I married my husband, who is from Turkey.

Word that best describes you: Energetic

First paying job: Helpline Counselor at 211—First Call for Help. I responded to callers’ requests for information and community services, as well as provided crisis intervention.

Favorite TV show: It depends on the season. Right now, it’s Season 3 of Orange is the New Black.

What is playing on your iPod? I listen to pretty much everything.

Your proudest accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment was completing my doctorate degree.

What do you do when you are not working at FIU? I like spending time with my husband, family and friends. I also enjoy being physically active. Currently, my favorite workouts include Orange Theory and hot yoga.