Sgt. Kenneth Roche has never struggled to maintain his personal motivation.
By the time he arrived at SJC Long Island in 1999 to pursue a psychology degree, Roche was already an accomplished member of the Suffolk County Police force and had spent over a decade serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I wanted to expand my professional background, and challenge myself,” explained Roche, who earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Joseph’s in 2003, before moving on to obtain a master’s in mental health counseling.
Today, he owns South Shore Mental Health Counseling Services in Islip, where he is part of a team of therapeutic counselors. He also remains with the Suffolk County Police Department.
In his counseling work, Roche said he strives to help his clients enhance their strengths and gain personal insight — toward building a better future for themselves.
Roche Credits SJC’s “One-on-One” Attention
When reflecting on his education at SJC Long Island, he emphasized that it was the one-on-one attention, the rigorous and well-rounded curriculum, and the sense of concern and care exhibited by the SJC staff and faculty that made his collegiate experience so memorable and worthwhile.
“The professors were always very attentive, back when I was a student and even now,” said Roche, who reached out to his professors at SJC for career guidance when he opened the mental health center.
Because of his strong ties to St. Joseph’s, he returns each October to speak at an alumni career panel called “Psyched for the Future.” Roche is involved in SJC’s alumni job shadowing program, as well as SJCMentor, the College’s alumni mentoring program. The programs give students a platform for professional success and a good idea of the jobs that are available for the various majors, he said.
As much as he values his academic experience at SJC Long Island, meeting his future wife Samantha was the best thing that happened during Roche’s years on the Patchogue campus.
Roche said that they both had a passion for psychology. Like Roche, his wife also continued her studies in the field, becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. He attributes much of the success of his private practice to his wife’s constant involvement in the construction and progression of the mental health center.