Shon D. Smith, clinical assistant professor in Counselor Education, has recently drawn national attention in his field for two major achievements involving separate divisions of the American Counseling Association (ACA).
Smith was recently elected president-elect for the ACA’s Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, which strives to improve cultural, ethnic and racial empathy and understanding through programs that advance and sustain personal growth.
He also has been selected to receive the 2017 Mary Smith Arnold Anti-Oppression Award from the ACA’s Association of Counselors for Social Justice. The award honors professional counselors and educators who have an exemplary record of challenging multiple oppression in the counseling professions and in their local schools and communities.
For the latter honor, Smith was cited for his leadership as president of the Florida Counseling Association following the controversial 2012 shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, and the subsequent acquittal in 2013 of Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman. Smith facilitated the FCA’s response to join the NAACP, local law enforcement and other community groups in a peaceful dialogue for healing, growth and empowerment and positive relationships with area police departments. The alliances and training sessions began in Sarasota and Manatee counties in 2013 and last year expanded to Alachua and Marion counties.
Smith, who has a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Duquesne University, is the past chair of the ACA-Southern Region, representing 22,000 of the 56,000 ACA members. His research interests include multicultural and social justice competencies, leadership and advocacy within the counseling profession, and working with military families on adjustment and re-adjustment issues.