Eon Parks '22 Receives Iona's Marriage and Family Therapy Award for Academic Excellence

Student Success

Iona College’s nationally accredited Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program announced Eon Parks ’22 as this year’s recipient of the program’s honorary award for academic excellence. The award is presented to a third-year student prior to the end of the spring semester. Each year, Iona College’s MFT staff make the decision based on a student's academic, clinical, and collaborative performance, as well as efforts that go above and beyond program requirements.   

“It is never an easy decision to choose one student from a cohort of many exceptional students,” said Dr. Christiana I. Awosan, MFT program director. “But this year Eon really caught our eye with the exceptional growth and development he went through as well as his dedication to serve a population in dire need – foster youth who are soon to age out of the foster care system. Eon has been a great collaborator both in the therapy room and classroom with his colleagues.” 

Parks dedicated his career to serving vulnerable individuals and families well before being accepted into the program, working as the lead administrator for Martin de Porres Youth and Family Services for nine years.

“I can simply describe my experience in the Iona MFT program as remarkable,” said Parks. “The instructors, quality of instruction, and supervision exceeded my expectations. I am pleased with the experiential learning that my cohort colleagues and I received, as I believe we are fully prepared to do well as marriage and family therapists. One of the joys of the programs is that you get a chance to spend a great deal of time learning with and from the experiences of the instructors and your colleagues.”  

Throughout his time in the MFT program, Parks was eager to develop his academic and clinical skills to better serve the families he works with. His drive to ensure that families have more access to quality mental health care as well as his humility to step into an internship position at the organization he has been an employee with for so long, is telling of his selflessness and compassion to help vulnerable youth.

Iona’s Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy degree prepares students for rewarding careers as licensed therapists across New York State. With supportive faculty, a COAMFTE-accredited curriculum and an emphasis on hands-on preparation, Iona graduates are fully equipped for a career counseling couples and families through interpersonal challenges.
Ready to apply? Begin your MFT application.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.