Student Testimonials

At the University of Vermont, each of our End-of-Life Doula students has a unique story to tell.  What will your story be?

“I absolutely loved this course. I learned and grew so much. I didn’t expect to feel so connected to the other students since it was online, but it was so deep and so personal. I’m really glad I did this and am looking forward to putting all I learned to use and work with the dying and their families to make their transition personal and meaningful.”

-Wendy Viggiano, 2022 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“I loved that this course was directly associated with the University [University of Vermont] as it will have a greater degree of respect.”

-Holly Jones, 2022 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“The End-of-Life Doula program creates a community where the individual student is encouraged to have an open discourse regarding their learnings. Thanks to the UVM Professional and Continuing Education program, I am prepared to take my learnings and apply it in service to others.”

-Glenn Loomis, 2022 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“This program was incredibly useful in broadening my understanding of end-of-life care. The learning materials were current, the instructors responsive, and the program ran smoothly. You can see how much love, care and preparation has gone into this course. Thanks so very much to my instructors for creating a safe and comfortable learning environment.”

-Ann Duckett, 2022 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“I very much appreciate the learnings from this course. It will not only support me in my work with End-of-Life Care but the learnings support me in being a kinder and more compassionate human. We could all benefit from this.”

-Jennifer Fedorov, 2022 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“I will be using the skills from this class to complement my yoga therapy and Ayurveda practice, especially when working with cancer patients. How to hold space, meet the client where they are, and the importance of leaving your own issues at the door.”

-Karla Alexander, 2021 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“Hoping to start out volunteering to do respite or at the respite house. Possibly work my way into doing this type of work when I retire. This course far exceeded what I was expecting. I was deeply moved by the content. Would recommend this course to anyone interested in end-of-life. It was inspiring!”

-Melodie Lafromboise, 2021 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“This is an intense, self-reflective program that promotes (I would say requires) personal introspection and growth. I have been forever changed in how I approach my own death and the death of others, and how I discuss death with others. The structure and presentation of the program are well thought out, comprehensive, and always with a sensitivity to the students and the clients we might one day be serving.”

-Richard Ingram, 2021 End-of-Life Certificate Graduate

“The guidance for the discussion boards and the encouragement for interaction supported an online community that felt more real than any I have participated in before. I felt like I really began to know my fellow participants and vice versa. The variety of course material was excellent with articles, videos, etc. I appreciate how comprehensive the curriculum was for learners! I really enjoyed the discussion boards with my cohort. Learning online can be really challenging at times but this course, the facilitation, and the participants in the community made it such a heart-opening experience.”

-Marianne Mullen, 2021 End-of-Life Graduate

This program far exceeded my expectations. The content was comprehensive and well organized. The format and assignments were highly experiential and gave opportunities for practice of Doula skills. The instructor modeled Doula work and created a community of learners who companioned each other throughout. Highly recommend this program.

-Judith D., RN, Hospice Volunteer, 2019 End-of-Life Doula Graduate

This carefully created program is beautifully empowering in its nature – providing amazing resources and methodologies to support both the individual dying and their loved ones, as well as the doula themselves. I appreciated the balance of content and research, with many ‘real world’ examples so it was not just theoretical but useful and most often relatable. Most of all I appreciated the tenderness of it all, nurturing a conscious awareness of Beginners Mind and the sacred honor this calling provides.

-Debrah F., 2019 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

This course was so comprehensive and filled with detailed information about how to be an end-of-life doula, but even more than that, it allowed us all to dig and do some deep inner work that helped bring out the heart and soul of what being a doula really means.

-Diane B., Hospice Volunteer, 2019 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

These skills will enhance my work as a hospice volunteer. I will bring a stronger sense of when and how to apply touch, how to talk about sensitive subjects around death and dying, and how to use respectful active listening in my work. In addition, I may use some of the skills learned in legacy work and care coordination in professional doula work.

-Helen H., 2019 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

This course offered something that I haven’t had before, the time to self-reflect. This course makes you think a lot about mortality and your own death. I feel that it provided me a great background and foundation when I open my own practice this winter.

-Melissa G., Practicing Professional Doula, 2019 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

It was a wonderful class. I was brand new to on line classes but this was easy to work and the instructors were patient when I needed any help at all. It covered so much material but in an organized and thorough manner. It was an altogether great experience that I will take into my work and into my life. I am so grateful.

Elizabeth D., Actor and 2019 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

I have been a hospice nurse for over 20 years. I wasn’t sure how much I would receive from this course. Well, I received more than I bargained for. I did not realize how burnt out I was until I took this course. I had become mechanical, I love hospice work, but it can be draining. There are long hours, and usually not enough nurses, so we all chip in to meet the needs of our clients. This course restored my love for this work, and my compassionate and loving heart was revived.

-Lisa M., RN, MDiv, Practicing Doula

“This was such a valuable course and exceeded my expectations tremendously. The material was of such high quality, the content was very well organized and it provided me with a skill set I can use in many various ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. It’s not just a course to become a doula, it’s a course to help you determine your interests, where you want to focus, and how to contribute. It’s changed my outlook and part of who I am as a person.”

-Karen L., 2018 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

This course was incredibly well designed and delivered. I am full of appreciation for the instructor and her devotion to the students, the course content, her depth of insight and unwavering support. As an adult learner holding a BA degree as well as countless hours learning thru other opportunities (yoga teacher training, personal training, grad school courses etc) this was by far the best experience I’ve had in my endless years of seeking knowledge. 

-Tessa C., 2018 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate

Things in life are never coincidental. About three weeks after my husband passed away from stomach cancer, on my first day back to work as a massage therapist, I had a new client. I happened to mention that she seemed overwhelmingly sad. She told me that her mother had been sick and had passed away three weeks ago. She told me that they had hired a “death doula” and it was amazingly helpful to her mother and her family. I said “Wow, that sounds like amazing work, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.” That’s when she told me about the University of Vermont and the End-of-Life Doula program. I immediately went home and signed up.

When we began in September, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had never done online training and was a little scared. For anyone a little nervous about online learning this staff walks you through each and every detail. This has been an amazing journey that has helped me to not only grieve, but know that the feelings that I was experiencing were normal. The reading assignments were beautiful as were the live sessions and various videos that we watched. I am currently a massage therapist/reiki practitioner who has my first client who is terminal and doing well. Since she is still very mobile, I am seeing her every two weeks for reiki and talks. I have met with her family and I will be present for her transition. I cannot say “thank you” enough to the University of Vermont for providing this beautiful transition in my life.

-Melissa A. V., 2017 End-of-Life Doula Certificate Graduate