Texas Tech University

Family Legacy: Faculty Member’s Family Follows Footsteps to Impact the Community Through Therapy and Counseling Services

Mallory Collins

September 26, 2022

Sterling Shumway

Sterling Shumway’s two daughters carry on the family legacy by graduating from the Couple, Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program

Sterling Shumway, Ph.D., LMFT, is an associate professor in the Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences (CFAS) department. Specifically, he teaches Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies courses including Couple and Family Dynamics of Addiction and Supervision Practicum. Shumway received his master's degree in Human Development and Family Studies and his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, both from Texas Tech.

In his role, Shumway works with students and community members to educate and work with them through the recovery process. Shumway said that addiction and recovery impact individuals, whether as part of their personal lives or some broader experiences and interactions. He hopes by understanding addiction and its impact, it can help the process of recovery shift in a more positive direction.

“Educating students as to the impact of addiction makes a big difference for their own personal understanding and condition, but also helps them to traverse difficulties that arise within families and other relationships,” Shumway said. “Inspiring them to be clinicians and researchers will have an impact on this field in a multiplicity of ways that will actually make a difference.”  

Shumway was not the only one in his family to pursue the Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences pathway. His two daughters also both graduated with their master's in Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy (CMFT) from Texas Tech. Raquel Shumway Cruz and Natalie Shumway Benavides graduated from the program in 2019 and 2022. 

As recent graduates of the CMFT graduate program, they were able to obtain a strong clinical focus with opportunities to conduct therapy and counseling sessions under the guidance of faculty. With that knowledge and experience, they both have a therapy practice here in Lubbock and work with individuals, couples and families. Shumway is proud to have his two daughters follow in his footsteps to serve and help people in the Lubbock community.

“Knowing they are both highly trained, very capable and willing to help others who struggle, would make any father proud,” Shumway said. “Having my two daughters, and a son who would like to follow the same path, has created a common purpose and experience that bonds us in very important ways.”

The Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences department is full of experienced scholars with a wide range of clinical specializations. Shumway said he enjoys working with many of his colleagues that are clinicians and do research and practice related to community and family dynamics. 

“I am surrounded by people that are interested in broader and more systemic ways of thinking and intervening,” Shumway said. “There is a very collegial feel in the department and college and an understanding of the needs of the human condition.”

Faculty, staff, and students with these degrees continue to work towards impacting the community through a variety of therapy and counseling training, education, and experience. Like Shumway and his daughters, graduates from the CFAS department strive to improve and enhance the human condition.