Alumni Profile: Colin Moge ’16

Feb 15, 2024
Colin Moge, class of 2016. He smiles in front of a plain, gray background, as part of his headshot. He is wearing a black sweater with a white shirt underneath. He has short, blond hair and blue eyes.

Colin Moge '16.

Colin Moge graduated from Westfield State in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology before pursuing and earning his master’s in 2019. In his second year of the graduate program Moge applied for, and was granted, the Western Massachusetts Counselors Association Graduate Scholarship, which awards $500 to the recipient.

Moge described himself as “lucky” to receive the scholarship as it was a significant amount of money. His lucky streak seemed to continue, however. At the end of the congratulatory dinner, after officially accepting the scholarship, two counselors from West Springfield High School approached Moge and asked him to consider an internship. He said yes.

I was really focused on secondary education because I feel strongly that it’s an area and environment where my skill set would have been met with success,” he said,” he said. Fortunately, after completing the internship in 2019, Moge was then asked to join the team of counselors at the high school. “It’s incredible. It was very, very cool,” he added.

Moge was initially drawn to psychology in the wake of his own high school experience, where he said he “struggled” to find his footing. After graduating from high school, Moge took a two-and-a-half year break before pursuing higher education, which he believes gave him the time and experience to better prepare for college on both an academic and social level.

When Moge started at Westfield State, he chose to major in English due to an interest in teaching, though he soon searched for ways that would enable him to merge his future degree with that of his interest in psychology in school settings.

“I really think that the time between high school and starting college was helpful because it gave me the clarity of knowing what I wanted to explore, but it also gave me clarity about not having a sense of direction about something that really pushes you back into the classroom,” he said. “It set me on my path.”

Now, as a counselor for West Springfield High School, Moge has implemented several programs, such as the Attendance Incentive Program and Mentor/Mentee Program in addition to his collaboration with the school’s Renaissance Program, which highlights academic accomplishments, effort, and behavior in students.

Both the Attendance Incentive Program and Mentor/Mentee Program focus on affirming and rewarding students’ commitment to creating a supportive, enriching environment, with the Attendance Incentive Program being based on a raffle generated by students’ total school attendance per quarter. Randomly selected winners with the highest percentages can win things like school swag or even AirPods, and participate in competitive sports games against other classrooms, students, and staff.

Meanwhile, Moge describes the Mentor/Mentee Program as a “team effort” with his colleagues and involves the training of 30 junior and senior students before pairing them with either first-year or transfer students in order to promote an inclusive, connected environment.

First awarded the Western Massachusetts Counselor of the Year, Mogo was subsequently awarded the state-level, Massachusetts School Counselors Association’s (MASCA) 2024 School Counselor of the Year. In February of 2025, he will attend the National School Counselor of the Year Gala in Washington D.C. and represent Massachusetts before “competing” with other state winners for the national title.

“It was humbling,” he said. “I don’t want to speak for everyone in the building, but I think we’re all here for a reason. We want to help students and help them find success. You don’t necessarily think about what you’re doing as deserving of any particular award or commendation, so it’s something that means a lot to me. It’s a testament to the students and our school, and what we can accomplish when we unify our voices for a good cause.”

As far as Westfield State’s influence on Moge, he recalled two separate projects which he believes to have honed his skillset before accepting the current position he holds at West Springfield High School. The first was a practicum at Westfield Technical Academy, as it was his “first real step into seeing the day-to-day work that a school counselor does.”

The second was the group of graduate students he bonded with throughout his time pursuing his graduate degree. “It was really formative,” he said. “They made sure I felt like I was on the right path.”

For current and prospective students, Moge encourages people to “step out of their comfort zones and networks.” “From my experience, there’s an overwhelming population at the University that are willing to help, not because they’re obligated to do so, but because they have the best interest of students at heart. I think that’s challenging to find in a lot of capacities. If students have the opportunity to attend, do so, and have those conversations and connections within the campus community that can lead to amazing events.”