Meghan Tuttle started one of many careers as a clinical coordinator and lecturer in the Department of Human Services at Washburn University in January 2019. Besides teaching, Tuttle is also a licensed clinical and family therapist who owns her own photography business. Since January, she has begun to settle into her role here on campus. She has made a difference in the program by making personal connections with her students.
Tuttle, a Kansas native, was born in Wichita but moved around quite a bit when she was younger, because of her father’s job as a construction worker. Deciding to return to Kansas for her higher education, Tuttle earned a Bachelor of Arts from Kansas State University and a Master’s of Science from Friend’s University.
Tuttle has been trained in family and marriage therapy, systemic theories and mental health diagnostics. She has learned to maintain timely and accurate case records within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) ethical code. She prides herself in speaking Spanish fluently.
For Tuttle, teaching wasn’t even on her radar. It just fell into place. The position became available and she thought the job sounded interesting. Within the Department of Human Services, Tuttle is a Clinical Coordinator, which means she helps students find placement within internships. She teaches several classes including Skills – Helping Professionals, Diagnostic Substance Abuse Disorders, and both internship and practicum classes.
Most of Tuttle’s courses are online, as she only comes to campus on Wednesdays and Fridays, although she maintains a strictly organized work week. On Mondays and Thursdays, Tuttle works on Washburn-related tasks. On Tuesdays, Tuttle practices therapy. On Wednesdays, she comes to campus to teach and hold office hours. Fridays are filled with meetings.
Tuttle’s teaching philosophy is all about equipping students to succeed. She wants to teach her students and help them reach their goals. Social justice and change are topics she focuses on. Since starting her job at Washburn University, Tuttle has learned a great deal about her weaknesses. It is a challenge to effectively make use of her time. She loves working with people, and since she started teaching, she feels like she has become more empathetic.
Tuttle’s Wednesday class is an internship held in Benton Hall. It has seven students who get along well. The students connect with one another as well as with Tuttle. She treats her students as equals, and as budding professionals.
“I like how open the class is, and everyone feels comfortable sharing whatever is going on in their internship,” said Misha Reed, a senior human services major. “In the best way, we have a lot of crosstalk, we ask each other questions and are really supportive of each other.”
Growing up as one of four kids, Tuttle describes herself as the clown in the family. When she was younger, she wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Though it wasn’t a practical career choice for her, she brings humor into her everyday life. Being in the human services field, Tuttle is exposed to many negative stories. She finds the best way to cope is with humor and creativity.
Having a creative outlet is extremely crucial. She believes it is important for students, and encourages her students to make time for themselves. Her kids, yoga, lifting weights, cooking, baking, and the book club she has with her friends, are some of the creative outlets Tuttle enjoys.
“You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle formally was a student therapist at Center on Family Living, an intensive in-home therapist at Kaw Valley Center Behavioral Healthcare, a Kansas intensive permanency program therapist at St. Francis Community Services, and a substance use therapist and batterers intervention program facilitator at Pawnee Mental Health Services.
Tuttle works as a licensed clinical therapist at Katie’s Way. She is also a licensed clinical couple and family therapist at Andrews and Associates.
“One of the reasons we wanted to hire her is because she had amazing clinical experience, and she is our clinical coordinator. So, we wanted someone who has lots of real-life experience and she really fit that bill,” said Deborah Altus, professor and chair of the Department of Human Services. “But also, she’s very bright, and a deep thinker. We knew that she would be an excellent instructor.”
Besides her undying passion for helping others, Tuttle has a passion for storytelling through photography. She has owned a photography business, Meghan Tuttle Photography, since May of 2017.
Tuttle’s colleagues believe she brings a joy and energy into the department in which her students thrive.
Tuttle said that the key to success is to make time for herself and her creative outlets, something she highly encourages her students to do.
Edited by Jason Morrison, Adam White,