College of Education faculty and graduate students returned last week from a professional counseling conference in San Francisco bearing three major awards.

Kristina DePue

Lesley Hull

Alena Prikhidko

Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society for the counseling profession, awarded:

  • Outstanding Faculty Researcher of the year to Kristina DePue, assistant professor of the College of Education’s counselor education program;
  • Outstanding Practitioner to Lesley Hull, adjunct professor and counselor in private practice in Jacksonville;
  • Outstanding Newsletter (large chapter) to Chi Sigma Iota’s University of Florida-based chapter. While the editor of the newsletter is no longer with UF, co-editor Alena Prikhidko, a graduate research assistant who is working on a doctorate in counseling and counseling education, accepted this award.

For DePue it was her second major award for her research to measure the strength of relationships between graduate students and their supervisors and their clients. Last fall, she won a top research award from the American Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Her four-member team also included Ren Liu, a doctoral student in the UF College of Education’s Research and Evaluation Methodology (REM) program.
David Miller, director of the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education, wrote in his recommendation letter that DePue’s research is “a noteworthy and impactful study that contributes greatly to the counselor preparation and supervision literature.”
Hull, upon hearing the news that she won the practitioner award, wrote: “I am absolutely stunned! That is a huge honor and I’m incredibly flattered.”
Stephen Kennedy, chief operating officer of Chi Sigma Iota, said the award recognizes a  full-time practitioner who, among other things, “publishes, presents at professional meetings and educates other practitioners about successful clinical practices or theories.”
Peter A. D. Sherrard, associate professor emeritus of counselor education, wrote that Hull “enthusiastically seeks to enhance the quality of the profession, as demonstrated in her various professional involvements, especially as a marital therapist and adjunct assistant professor at UF.”
Thomasville, North Carolina-based Chi Sigma Iota’s mission is to promote excellence in research and professional counseling worldwide.

Writer: Charles Boisseau, 352-273-4449