Tell us about your academics, affiliations and research.
I am a doctoral candidate in the Counseling and Counselor Education program and anticipate graduating in May 2019. I have a master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida. I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern in the state of Florida. My research interests include diversity issues in counseling and counselor education, assessment and program evaluation.
What does this award mean to you?
Getting this award affirms the importance of the research that I am doing and reiterates that my study has the potential to contribute something significant to the profession. I’m proud to have received such positive feedback and support from the college of education and the field of counselor education.
How do you hope your research will impact society?
Counselors from diverse backgrounds are significantly underrepresented in the counseling profession. As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, counselor educators are challenged to not only prepare culturally competent practitioners, but to train racially and ethnically diverse counselors. I hope my research identifies specific factors that affect the experiences of underrepresented students in order to develop strategic plans and interventions to successfully retain these students. In the long run, I believe my research will impact society by increasing the number of underrepresented counselors that can meet the needs of a diverse society.
What advice would you give to someone interested in our counselor education programs?
The counseling programs at UF have consistently been ranked one of the top 10 in the U.S., so I would encourage someone interested in our programs to meet our students and faculty and find out what makes us one of the best in the nation. Our faculty have the knowledge and experience to help students pursue a career as a counselor or counselor educator specializing in a variety of areas.
Is there anything that you’d like to add?
I would especially like to thank my dissertation chair, Dr. Jacqueline Swank, for her unwavering support and encouragement. She has been instrumental in my success over the last two years and I am so grateful to have her as a mentor.