Lieutenant JG Austin Hallsey

Name Austin Renee Hallsey Ph.D.

Position Chief Counselor

Rank Lieutenant JG


Character Information

Gender Female
Species Human
Age 36

Physical Appearance

Height 5'7"
Weight 126 lbs.
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Brown
Physical Description Austin is tall with a medium build and pale skin. She prefers to wear her long hair up whether on or off-duty and has been told her eyes seem to be those of a much older soul. She prefers to run and swim to keep in shape, though she’s not obsessive about it, and would much rather read than exercise.

Family

Spouse None
Children None
Father Jax Gates
Mother Marley Gates
Brother(s) None
Sister(s) None

Personality & Traits

General Overview Dr. Hallsey has a wonderful sense of humor, which she uses frequently to help people feel better about themselves. She is warm and friendly, always taking the concerns of those around her to heart. She can be very outspoken, and is not afraid to share her opinions with anyone, feeling one of the most important things a counselor can do is offer a completely objective perspective on important issues. She prefers to be as independent as possible, though she is not too stubborn to ask for help when she needs it.
Strengths & Weaknesses Over the years, she has grown slightly more reserved, no longer quite as quick to talk about her life before her sobriety but if asked, she will make no excuses about her life as an alcoholic. She is proud of what she's been able to overcome, but she is eager to move on and focus on her career, knowing that every day she has the potential to lose control of her life. She is a firm believer in personal accountability and is not afraid to use tough love if it will help others avoid learning important life lessons the way she did. She is more sensitive than most people know, but it's a side most rarely see, as she knows others depend on her to remain in control.
Dr. Hallsey is a recovering alcoholic, but she has a very strong desire to stay sober by helping others. Being a counselor is an around the clock job and because others depend on her guidance, the thought of taking another drink couldn't be further from her mind. She doesn’t view her “scandal” as an embarrassment but rather a reminder of someone who was too quick to throw away her life. She feels she's been given a second chance, and is committed to making the best of it.
Ambitions Austin’s greatest ambition is to remain sober for the rest of her life. She would also like to one day find a partner to share her life with.
Hobbies & Interests Austin loves to read mysteries, psychological thrillers and just about everything on her professional interests, including the latest research.

Personal History Austin Renee was born to Jax and Marley Gates in the city of Blue Lake, located on Risa. Jax was on leave from Starfleet Academy when he met the attractive Terran native on the pleasure planet, and he quickly initiated what they mutually agreed was to be a casual fling. Six months into the relationship, Marley became pregnant, and although she was completely resigned to raising the child on her own, pressure from Jax's parents guilted him into a marriage of convenience.

Jax spent most of their early marriage in San Francisco attending the main campus of Starfleet Academy, while Marley chose to stay on Risa as a bar owner so she could give her daughter the security of a permanent home. From the very start, the long distance relationship was wrought with problems that were only exacerbated by Jax's love for gambling, drinking. and exotic women. When Austin was seven, Jax walked out on his family, citing he had forgiven himself for the sins of his youth and needed to move on with his life. From that point forward, though it was difficult adjusting to life as a single parent, Marley put all her energy into raising her daughter.

Austin lacked nothing while she was growing up. Though she had several opportunities to become a party girl amongst the Starfleet tourists, she preferred to spend time with her mother, who because she was still relatively young, was more like a best friend than a mother. Austin attended the Risa Preparatory Academy through high school, studying a variety of subjects, most notably, psychology and law. It wasn't until she was sixteen that she decided she wanted to enter Starfleet and serve as a psychologist in the JAG Corps. This worried Marley, as she feared the decision would weaken their very close relationship, but the determined Austin would not be swayed now that she was tiring of Risian life.

She was accepted in the fall of 2373 to Starfleet Academy as a counseling major with a minor in Federation law, and after graduation in 2375, she was selected for a two year internship at Starfleet Medical Academy under its Graduate Behavioral Science Program. Knowing the JAG Corps would still be an opportunity she could pursue two years later, she accepted the prestigious position. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, specializing in trauma counseling with a particular interest in forensic psychology. Though the trauma counseling curriculum was designed for aspiring doctors and psychiatrists already intimately familiar with complexities of twenty-fourth century medicine, Austin survived the difficult academia, having received greater insight into how trauma to the mind affected trauma to the body and vice versa.

After receiving her doctorate, she submitted her application for her first Starfleet posting.

Unfortunately, the stressful two years took its toll on the relationship she shared with her mother, whom she spoke to only rarely via subspace. In hindsight, Austin would later regret not seeing the evidence of bipolar disorder in her mother, but up until a year after her daughter's graduation, Marley faithfully controlled her illness with medication. As a child, her mother's spontaneity made the elder woman an ideal companion, and on those days when Marley showed signs of depression, the sensitive Austin assumed her mother was lonely for Jax. Just before Austin left for her first assignment, her mother surprised her with a month long vacation to Betazed, citing a need to bond with her before she left the nest and ventured into the great unknown.

The two had a great time but Austin was anxious to prepare for her new assignment, so when her mother received word that the Risian hotel she owned was unexpectedly short-handed, Austin was all too relieved to spend the rest of her vacation by herself in a small apartment on Bajor, awaiting the arrival of the USS Ottawa, her first post. Two weeks before Austin was to board the Ottawa, she received word her mother committed suicide, an apparent overdose of anti-psychotic medication that until that moment, Austin didn't even realize her mother needed.

It was a difficult blow that would later haunt her, but the shock and anger she felt was enough to keep her sufficiently numb long enough to get her mother's affairs in order before boarding the Ottawa. She did seek counseling, but refused to let it affect her career plans, so despite a painful loss, Austin forced herself to move ahead, knowing the greatest tribute she could give her mother was to become a successful Starfleet counselor. Austin was grateful for the opportunity to stay busy caring for others, as it gave her less time to mourn the absence of both her parents. Austin gradually learned to deal with lonely off-duty hours through alcohol consumption, and although she was a regular in Ten Forward who liked to party with the best of her shipmates, she was careful not to let her drinking habits impact her career.

Although she never really outgrew her love for a good time, by the end of her first year, she had taken on a host of new responsibilities. She was promoted to Chief Counselor, and she also married Security Officer Scott Hallsey, so for a time her life as a wife and officer kept her from feeling lonely.

Less than a year into her marriage, Scott was transferred to the USS Ranger a tactical cruiser which did not allow families. The distance was hard for Austin and she found herself fearing abandonment as her father had done so many years before. She eventually returned to drinking and because of her life experiences, she found herself accusing her husband of cheating constantly, which only made Scott resent her. The marriage gradually fell apart, and by the time her first anniversary came along, the two had already agreed to a trial separation.

Austin realized belatedly she wanted to save her marriage and on a sudden shoreleave, she decided to surprise her husband and announce her desire to reconcile. When she arrived on Starbase 114, where the Resolute was docked for repairs, she found Scott in bed with a fellow female Security Officer, dashing all hope that they could ever rekindle their relationship. This realization was the final straw for Austin and when she entered a local bar known as the “Dilithium Chamber" she had every intention of drowning her sorrows.

To this day, she doesn't remember much about what happened next, but when she sobered up, she was told she had punched her commanding officer after revealing, loudly and belligerently, she was investigating him for sexual harassment and sexual assault. The CO was eventually court-martialed, but Austin was charged with assaulting a superior officer. She fully expected to be tossed out of the service, but in exchange for exposing her commanding officer, she was permitted to stay in Starfleet, albeit after being discreetly sent to rehab at the Allegra Clinic, an affiliate of Starfleet Medical that specialized in working with traumatized and troubled Starfleet Officers.

Scott and Austin divorced, and they parted somewhat amicably, though both will admit they still carry scars. Under the guidance of her therapist, Austin thrived, quickly regaining her desire to help herself by helping others. Over time she learned how to deal with her grief, and when she was released six months later, it was with a renewed spirit and determination to resume her career as a counselor.

Her first posting after rehabilitation was aboard the USS Calypso, where she regained her self-confidence and re-established herself as a dependable, skilled clinician over the next three years. From there, she decided to take a position with the Allegra Clinic, the very clinic that helped her find her way back. During her four years there, not only did she grow as a trauma therapist, she also had the opportunity to work closely with the Federation legal system and to bear witness to the number of Federation and Starfleet members who weren’t as lucky as she was to get a second chance. This experience and her passion for helping trauma survivors led her to take an assignment as the Chief of Mental Health Services at Raxnar Penal Colony where she met and worked with Maxwell Pierce.

Little did she know that four years later, he would not only be released, but that four years later, he would ask Austin to serve as his Chief Counselor aboard his ship, the USS Nomad.
Service Record 2358 -2371: Risa Preparatory Academy
2371- 2375: Starfleet Academy – Psychology Track, Law (minor)
2375- 2377: Starfleet Medical Academy – Ph.D. Clinical Psychology (trauma and forensic psychology specialization)
2377 – February 2378: Chief Counselor, USS Ottawa
February 2378 – July 2378: Medical leave, Allegra Clinic
July 2378 - 2381: Counselor, USS Calypso
2381 – 2385: Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Allegra Clinic
2385 – 2388: Chief of Mental Health Services, Raxnar Penal Colony
Present, Chief Counselor, USS Nomad