Morgridge College of Education (MCE) held its annual Hooding Ceremony in the Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall Commons on June 8, 2017. A total of 35 PhD and EdD graduates and candidates received the honorary doctoral hood from their faculty advisor.

After Dean Karen Riley’s welcome, each graduate was hooded by their faculty advisor and given a chance to share comments with the audience. Common themes of the doctoral reflections focused on overcoming obstacles, the impact of MCE faculty, the support of the student cohort, and the goal of creating more equitable opportunities for all.

The Hooding Ceremony is a symbolic passing of the torch from one generation of academic doctors to the next. Please see the entire Hooding Ceremony photo gallery on Flickr.

Kayanne Klipka, a 2017 graduate from the LIS program, is a featured student on DU’s special Commencement website. The following story, written by Jeremy Jones from DU’s Marketing and Communication Office, appears below.

As students across the country prepare for commencement, many will be faced with the important question of “now what?” Whether it’s continuing with their education, entertaining job offers or taking time to see the world, many are relying on a firm plan to guide their next steps.

For Kayanne Klipka, however, there is an excitement in not knowing exactly where the future will take her. Instead, she’ll let her own curiosity guide the way.

“My plans after graduation are to hold plans loosely,” says Klipka, who is earning her master’s in library information science (LIS) from the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education. “I’ve got an insatiable sense of curiosity and a pretty adaptable attitude. Hopefully with [my degree], my laptop and connections made at DU, I’ll be off on some pretty interesting adventures.”

The only adventure Klipka has planned at this point is a summer trip to Medellin, Colombia, where she plans to learn Ruby (a computer programming language), salsa and Spanish. After that, your guess is as good as hers — and that’s the way she likes it.

Spending time to experience another culture is well-deserved for someone who has spent the last two years working hard to earn her master’s while at the same time proving her theory that “all librarians are actually mad scientists,” a humorous statement she takes somewhat seriously.

Klipka has learned a lot as a graduate student, and having basically lived out of Ruffatto Hall during that time, she jokingly admits that she now knows which microwave heats soup most effectively and what corners are best for squeezing in a quick power nap between work and class.

“But seriously, my tenure at DU has been unique,” says Klipka, who worked as a graduate research assistant at the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy. “While most of my library school colleagues are graduating with a couple years of traditional library experience —which no doubt will serve them incredibly well in their careers — I’ve been practicing research data management on a true academic research team. I really think it has expanded my thinking about research and where else my library school skills can be applied.”

At Marsico, Klipka worked on a project referred to as LT Studies, or “learning trajectories.” Over the course of two years, she and other DU students spent time in preschool classrooms conducting math instruction with small groups of children using two different methods: traditional and learning trajectories — a more conscientious and tailored approach based on a child’s development, Klipka says.

In addition to her studies, the people Klipka has met, worked with and learned from have made her DU experience a memorable one.
“There have been so many people helping me through these last two years. I have felt wholeheartedly supported by my advisor Mary Stansbury, Professor Krystyna Matusiak and Kate Crowe, curator of special collections and archives,” Klipka says. “These women have helped me find my research interests, encouraged me to build collections around student activism and racial and ethnic minority students, and write and present research at conferences.”

Klipka also praised Stansbury for her receptiveness to the feedback she provided about the LIS program.

“I urged the LIS faculty to center more curriculum around serving diverse populations and recognizing our own biases. In response, Dr. Stansbury fought for funding to integrate the Intercultural Development Inventory into part of LIS student requirements,” Klipka says, adding that the integration enables students to recognize their own perspectives while becoming more interculturally competent.

With just a few days remaining until commencement, Klipka is preparing for her summer and is looking forward to seeing where her curiosity takes her. For those preparing to enter graduate school, Klipka encourages them to explore all the possibilities.

“Grad school is exactly what you make of it,” she says. “If you know what you want to do when you’re coming into a grad program, work like crazy at it but always leave yourself open to new opportunities.”

Libby Malone, Child, Family & School Psychology (CFSP) alumna (EdS ’15) is featured in the Career Spotlight of this month’s National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Early Career Professionals Digest. Malone works for the Denver Public Schools at West Early College in Denver, CO. She is versed in teaching mindfulness to students in classroom settings, using culturally responsive interventions and assessments, and strives to explain assessment results in parent-friendly language.

In the interview below, which originally appeared on the NASP Communities website, Malone talks about her first-year challenges and gives advice to professionals entering the field.

Where do you work?
I work as a school psychologist for Denver Public Schools at West Early College, a 6th-12th grade innovation school. My school is in a large old high school building and we share the campus with two other schools, another 6th-12th grade program and a 17-21 year old program for students who are behind on credits.

What are your areas of expertise at this point in your career?
At this point in my career I feel confident explaining assessment results in parent friendly language, teaching mindfulness to students in a classroom setting, and using culturally responsive interventions and assessments for families and students.

What challenges have you faced in your early career, and how have you handled them?
A challenge that I faced during my first year of practice, and am still working on, is managing anxiety. During my graduate program my professors touched on self-care and mentioned the need for leaving work at work, but it wasn’t something that we discussed in depth. During my internship, I felt confident in my abilities as an independent practitioner. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time with my supervisor and relied on her more as I think it may have eased some of the anxiety I experienced during my first year.

The anxiety started right before the school year when I experienced my first panic attack. I became cold, but sweaty and my heart raced while a feeling a complete dread washed over me. For the next two months I struggled to sleep at night as I would catastrophize every negative outcome that could happen to my students. I worked in an urban, Title I school with students who had experienced trauma and the effects of poverty. My school also had a center for students with Serious Emotional Disabilities so I had students who were challenging behaviorally with some severe case histories along with all of my other students, many of whom had high levels of social emotional needs, as well. I would be fine during the day, I did my job effectively and managed student needs with confidence; however, I would go home and question everything I had done, what I could have missed, if I was an imposter, etc. The panic attack that I had experienced in the summer became an almost nightly ritual and I was exhausted physically and emotionally before we made it to Thanksgiving Break.

As the year went on I began to reach out to my colleagues and friends more, exercise regularly, and tried therapy. While the anxiety would still flare up, whether from a hard day or from the fear that since I wasn’t currently anxious I must have missed something, I had fewer of the sleepless nights and all-consuming feelings of dread.

What advice do you have for other early career school psychologists?
My advice for other early career school psychologists is to lean in to your support networks. You are not alone with the weight of your work. Personally, I have school counselors and a school social worker that I work closely with. Debriefing, sharing tasks, and sometimes just venting with them has made me a better practitioner along with decreasing my anxiety about being solely responsible for anything that happens to our students. During that first year I wish I had felt more comfortable opening up to my friends from graduate school about how I was feeling, but I was ashamed of my inability to control my own emotions when my entire job focused on helping students learn to control theirs. In my second year, I have opened up to my friends and we use each other as sound boards around interventions, assessments, and more. I now realize that many of them had the same worries and experiences I did and I had nothing to feel ashamed about.

Something else that has helped me this year is reminding myself that although my job is important and I am a necessary part of my student’s school day, if I have advocated for their needs, reported safety concerns, and addressed any immediate issues presented to me, I have to be okay with the job I have done for the day. It is unfair to my fiancé, who is also a school psychologist, and myself to go home and catastrophize about every student I interacted with that day. I am responsible for supporting them during the school day and making sure they are safe, but I cannot feel responsible for everything that happens in their lives outside of my sphere of influence with them. I still have a hard time convincing myself of this fact, but it has increased my ability to sleep at night and function during the weekends exponentially.

I am great at promoting coping skills and self-care to my colleagues and families. Learning to use those skills myself has been challenging, but I know I am getting better and becoming a more effective school psychologist through this practice.

How has your NASP membership benefited you?
My NASP membership has benefited me by allowing me access to more resources for my students and my practice. I appreciate the early career emails, the member exchange digest, and the reduced prices offered on conventions, conferences, and many other resources available for purchase. I know that NASP recognizes me as an early career school psychologist and understands the financial strains that we may face and offering a reduced price membership has made it possible for me to keep my membership current.

Curriculum and Instruction students, Elizabeth Carey and Desiree Seide, were selected for the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s (CDHE) inaugural Aspiring Educator Honor Roll and were acknowledged at the state capitol on Monday, May 8.

In celebration of Teacher Appreciation week, the ceremony recognized two outstanding students from Colorado’s 22 educator preparation programs. CDHE Executive Director Dr. Kim Hunter Reed gave remarks in the West Lobby of the capitol.

“This ceremony recognizes the tremendous impact our future educators will have on their students and the state of Colorado broadly,” said Dr. Reed. “Educators are training the next generation of artists, engineers, scientists and health professionals that will power our economy and enliven our communities. They truly make all other professions possible. We want all teachers and administrators—and especially our young educators—to know Coloradans support and appreciate their invaluable work.”

Elizabeth Carey

Elizabeth Carey, Curriculum and Instruction graduate student, was born and raised in Chicago, IL and received her undergraduate degree in psychology from University of Denver in 2016. Carey has excelled academically in the Teacher Education Program, where she worked to build professional and caring relationships with both her mentor teacher and her students at Cory Elementary. As an apprentice teacher in Denver Public Schools, Carey has demonstrated commitment to honoring her students’ diversity and unique needs. She maintains a high degree of professionalism and strives to craft differentiated lessons for her students that meet and exceed the Colorado Academic Standards.

Desiree Seidel

Desiree Seidel, Curriculum and Instruction/Teacher Education Program graduate student, is a passionate and gifted educator who knows how to create a classroom that is engaging, challenging, and responsive to the individual learning needs of her students. She combines her beliefs on teaching, pedagogical techniques, rapport with students, content knowledge expertise, and professionalism into a highly effective classroom teaching style. Her teaching is guided by the belief that all students can learn and it is her responsibility to find the right balance between teacher learning-objectives and student learning-abilities. Seidel graduated Cum Laude from the University of Denver with a bachelor of arts degree in English with a concentration in education and minors in Spanish and psychology.

First-year Morgridge College of Education Counseling Psychology MA students, Helen Chao and Courtney Hadjeasgari, were selected as 2017-2018 STAY Fellows, and will receive up to $6000 each to support their training as mental health professionals and practitioners. The fellowship also provides a one-year membership to APA and the opportunity to participate in specialized training at next year’s Psychology Summer Institute in Washington D.C. in July 2018.

The APA STAY (Services for Transition Age Youth) Fellowship is an award program funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and offered through the Minority Fellowship Program to only the most deserving students in terminal master’s programs in psychology whose training prepares them to provide mental health services to transition age (16-25) youth.

Courtney Hadjeasgari

Courtney Hadjeasgari

Chao and Hadjeasgari are recognized as exceptional students who have strong interests in social justice and helping others through direct service.

At a young age, Chao witnessed firsthand how mental illness affected people’s lives, and decided that she needed to equip herself with skills and knowledge to help those around her who were suffering. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 2015, which furthered her interest in the field.

Hadjeasgari found her passion for counseling psychology during her two years of service as a Teach for America corps member. Teaching third grade in rural North Carolina, Hadjeasgari was able to understand the systemic problems that needed solving in the education system, while making a profound and immediate impact on the lives of students, families, and communities. “I witnessed the high need for clinicians in behavioral health and discovered my true passion for working with the ethnic minority youth population here. I knew that going into counseling psychology is where I needed to be,”  Hadjeasgari said.

Chao was first attracted to the University of Denver and MCE when she moved to Denver to provide direct service as a Young
Adult Volunteer
where she worked with a refugee resettlement agency, and at a day shelter for seniors without homes. That

Helen Chao

Helen Chao

experience solidified her commitment to social justice, and she found that MCE and DU provided her the best opportunity to continue to work toward social justice, and that the university’s creed of Inclusive Excellence rang true. During her initial admission interview Hadjeasgari appreciated how welcomed she felt by the Counseling Psychology faculty, and her research interests strongly aligned with many of those faculty members.

Both students have already contributed greatly to the program and department. Chao has been integral in the creation of the Counseling Psychology Social Justice Committee (more information on their contributions here), and co-leads Campus Conversations, which provides students and community members across disciplines a chance to interact and discuss issues of social justice and inequity. Hadjeasgari has been an active member of Dr. Pat Garriott’s research team, and has made many valuable contributions to the team’s research.

When asked if they have any advice for prospective students seeking a graduate program in Counseling Psychology, Chao says that it’s important to find a program that “walks the walk” when it comes to social justice and diversity.

“It’s important to find a program that nurtures and welcomes students and encourages student engagement,” Hadjeasgari. “Prospective students should go with a program that they feel a strong connection to, and that feels right. Speaking in-depth with as many professors as you can is important, since these are the educators you’re going to be learning from, and they will be leading you through your graduate work . . . The people you meet in graduate school are the ones who help you achieve your goals, present you with opportunity, and guide you along the way.”

The Counseling Psychology program, Morgridge College of Education, and the University of Denver congratulates Chao and Hadjeasgari for their dedication to social justice and mental health as recognized by this prestigious award.

Morgridge College of Education (MCE) faculty member William E. Cross, Jr., PhD was selected as the University Lecturer by the University of Denver (DU). The University Lecturer award was first given in 1955 and is one of the University’s most distinguished honors, based solely upon creative contributions and scholarly work. “Dr. Cross honors MCE and DU every day and we could not be more proud to have him as our colleague,” Dean Karen Riley said.

Professor Cross is a leading theorist and researcher in the psychology and identity development of minorities. His book, Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identityis considered a classic in the field of racial identity. He is the President-Elect of American Psychological Association’s Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues), an Elder of 2013 National Multicultural Conference, a CUNY Professor Emeritus and a Distinguished Lecturer at Georgia Southern University.

As part of the University Lecturer designation, Cross recently presented a spring lecture entitled, “Black Psychology: Normal People Negotiating Faustian Dilemmas.” The presentation explored the notion that historically, many African Americans have minimized their own prestige to fit the expectations of white society. Cross used the example of the seminal jazz artist, Louis Armstrong, who “pretended” to be unable to read music, so racist white patrons could go on believing that music, jazz and rhythm are instinctual to black people. For many scholars, the discourse on the psychology of black people begins with damage and self-hatred. Cross’s lecture, however, offered a corrective by arguing that most social scientific research show black people to be normal people ensnarled in “Faustian” predicaments.

Professor Cross is a passionate member of the DU community and exemplifies the high standard of excellence found among MCE and DU faculty. His positive impact extends beyond the classroom and into the communities he engages with as he strives to make the world a more inclusive place.

Library Information Science Program Alumna (MLS ’78), Janet Lee has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will use the opportunity to take her expertise in open access publishing to the University of Aksum in Ethiopia.

“I plan to explore avenues of scholarly publishing in Ethiopia that ensure that faculty are provided an opportunity to share their knowledge, perspectives and values and that students and colleagues have unfettered access to their collective scholarship,” Lee said.

In a country where there are only 35 open access journals, the cost of academic publishing and databases make robust research challenging for many university faculty. Lee’s work seeks to change that, and in doing, enhance the economic development opportunities that accompany such scholarly publishing.

Lee is no stranger to the country of Ethiopia, nor to developing innovative solutions.

Her original introduction to the country was as a Peace Corp volunteer from 1974-76, during which time she helped create a small school library. Follow up trips solidified her commitment to the region and led to her establishing a library in northern Ethiopia during her sabbatical there in 2010.

Lee currently serves as Dean of the Regis University Dayton Memorial Library and works closely with DU librarians on a variety of initiatives. She serves as editor of Colorado Libraries, is on the founding board of Collaborative Librarianship Journal at the Anderson Academic Commons, and is co-edits the Jesuit Education Journal at Regis University.

Lee credits her University of Denver education with providing the foundation for a successful career and offers words of advice to current MCE students, “Take advantage of opportunities and stretch beyond your conventional limits. Explore, take chances, what is the worst that could happen?”

Morgridge College recognized the innovative service of community partners and adjunct faculty at this year’s Appreciation Breakfast held in the MCE Commons. This annual event seeks to honor this group commonly referred to as MCE’s Power Bank.

Honorary recipients include:

  • Dr. Heather Bean – Counseling Psychology

Bean has taught 15 different courses to M.A. and Ph.D. students in the Counseling Psychology department since 2014. She is recognized as an exemplary educator, colleague, and psychologist. As a Lifespan Development course teacher, Bean interacts with the entire Clinical Psychology community, helping identify strong students who deserve recognition, as well as struggling students who need extra support. She consistently receives high ratings on instructor evaluations, with students strongly agreeing that she is fair, enthusiastic, available, and a highly effective and knowledgeable instructor. The CP department honors her hard work and contributions to the department, college and university.

  • Dr. Sarah Melvoin-Bridich – Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Dr. Bridich is a 2013 graduate of the ELPS Ph.D. program, having received her B.A. from Harvard University, and her M.A. from Columbia University. Bridich has taught several courses for doctoral cohorts, including ADMN 4821 School Reform & Current Issues, during which she brought educational innovators from across the region into class to share their very current struggles and victories with new doctoral students. She is currently serving as a faculty committee member on a dissertation committee and is an active researcher and consultant in the field. She serves as the Board President of The New Legacy Charter School in Aurora.

  • Education Commission of the States – Higher Education Department

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) is a non-profit intermediary public policy organization serving as the operating arm of an interstate compact focused on education policy. Through its Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development Institute, ECS is a leading voice in public policy, sharing resources and expertise to more effectively serve students across US higher education. The partnership between ECS and the Higher Education Department has benefited students through service-learning opportunities related to higher education policy, as well as internships in policy analysis. ECS has hired HED alumni and current students into full-time policy positions, strengthening the partnership across our organizations.

  • Tara Bannon – Research Methods & Information Science Department

Bannon received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and  her masters in Library & Information Science from Morgridge College in 2007. Bannon enthusiastically commits to every opportunity, including writing for the database NoveList, chairing the Colorado Association of Libraries’ Readers Advisory Interest Group and becoming an adjunct at the University of Denver. Since she started teaching Adult Materials and Services in 2010, Bannon has been a Field Mentor nearly a dozen times. Bannon currently works at the Park Hill Branch Library, where she has been the Senior Librarian since 2011. Awarded the Nell I. Scott Employee of the Year Award in 2013, Bannon continues to innovate and inspire. Bannon’s current pursuits include intentional community building through deliberative dialogue and civic engagement.

  • Dr. Richard Charles – Teaching and Learning Science Department 

Charles holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is the STEM Coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools. Charles has taught the secondary and elementary mathematics courses for the Teacher Education Program for the past two years. He is currently teaching Diversity, Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education. In addition to teaching courses for the Morgridge College of Education, Charles’ partnership with Dr. Richard Kitchen and others on an NSF Noyce Capacity Building project resulted in a number of TEP students gaining valuable experience as a student teacher at Overland High School, one of the most diverse high schools in Colorado. Recently, Charles partnered with Drs. Alvaro Arias (Mathematics) and Richard Kitchen on a new NSF grant proposal that would fund digital, mathematics-based games and puzzles.

This year’s Appreciation Breakfast was chaired by Clara Sitter; committee members include William Cross, Nick Heckart, Karen LaVelle, Maria Riva, Mary Stanbury, Tamera Trueblood, and Paul Worrell.

Morgridge College Admissions Office hosted their spring Interview Day for prospective graduate and doctoral students. Each year MCE admission counselors host ten Interview Days, during which prospective students are interviewed for acceptance into their chosen program, and are introduced to the Morgridge College culture and mission.

This is the first year that the Admission Office has held an Interview Day this late in the year. According to Director of Admissions, Jodi Dye, this additional interview event was added to serve two key purposes.

“We added this later Interview Day so we could offer in-person interviews, as opposed to a rolling remote interview process. It also allowed us to bring applicants to campus to demonstrate, in a meaningful way, the value and impact of Morgridge.” Dye said.

The abbreviated Interview Day exposed students to a campus tour, faculty interaction, a current student panel, and the Morgridge commitment to inclusive excellence. MCE Interview Days are the final step in the student journey to becoming a part of the Morgridge family of change agents.

 

 

Kim Hunter Reed, Ph.D, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, has joined the University of Denver’s Higher Education Department (HED) as an affiliate faculty member.

Dr. Reed has a substantial background in higher education and served as deputy undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Education during President Obama’s administration. There, she led the department’s work on diversity and inclusion and directed the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Her work with the initiative focused on building the capacity for the nation’s 105 HBCUs through promotion of best practices that increased student success, improved competitiveness in federal grants and contracts, and expanded corporate partnerships to advance faculty and student engagement.

Prior to her work with the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Reed held numerous higher education positions in Louisiana, including chief of staff for the Louisiana Board of Regents and executive vice president of the University of Louisiana system.

“Dr. Reed’s experience in state and national policy related to diversity, inclusion, and student success is a perfect fit with our programs,” stated Ryan Evely Gildersleeve, Ph.D., Department Chair for the Higher Education Department. Dr. Reed will bring her talent, leadership, and national stature to the Morgridge College of Education this spring where she will teach a course on Public Policy in Higher Education. She will also co-coordinate a national policy symposium, hosted by HED, tentatively scheduled for spring 2018.

“Developing our future higher education policy leaders provides both a special opportunity and tremendous responsibility,” said Reed. “I look forward to joining this collaborative community, engaging with students and the outstanding faculty.”

The Counseling Psychology (CP) Department has distinguished themselves by having eight CP students receive acceptance into the highly competitive National Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors (NMFP-AC). The fellowships are awarded by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) and seek to increase the number of culturally-competent master’s level addiction counselors available to serve underserved and minority populations.

Morgridge student recipients will receive tuition stipends of up to $15,000, receive support to attend the NAADAC Annual Conference and participate in training and mentorship projects designed to enhance their inclusion competency in working with diverse cohorts and transitional age youth.

Cochran Riley

Riley Cochran

Riley Cochran is a 27-year-old student from Denver, Colorado. He enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, attending local sporting events and connecting with others through social and professional events. A graduate of the University of Colorado Denver’s undergraduate program, Cochran majored in psychology and minored in sociology. He is currently anticipating a June 2017 graduation from the University of Denver’s Counseling Psychology program with a master’s in Clinical Mental Health. After an adolescence full of challenges and character growth, Cochran developed a passion for wanting to help others facing the complex intersections of life. He has a specific interest in helping transitional-aged youth involved with the judicial system and struggling with addiction. Cochran currently holds a position as an addiction counselor at Arapahoe House, an organization providing multiple levels of American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) care to a diverse population of clientele within the state of Colorado.

View Resume

Christelle Cook

Christelle Cook is a life-long Coloradan who plans to stay in the state as she pursues her mental health career in the coming months. Cook completed her undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology through the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently finishing her final year of a master’s program at the University of Denver in Counseling Psychology. Throughout this program Cook has worked in practicum and internship sites that focused on substance use treatment with adults and crisis stabilization with adolescents. She is grateful for this recognition and looks forward to investing herself in the Colorado mental health profession.

View Resume

Demi Folds

Demi Folds is a second-year master’s student at the University of Denver in the Clinical Mental Health Program with an Addictions Specialization. She earned her BS in psychology from the University of Georgia. Before starting graduate school, Folds tutored student-athletes, worked at a methadone clinic and traveled abroad. She is currently a student intern at a private practice center, providing psychotherapy and brief substance abuse interventions. In her first year of her master’s program, Folds worked with underserved youth at a Denver high school. She is passionate about working with those struggling with and affected by substance use disorders and enjoys conducting research on addictions and underserved populations. Folds plans to eventually obtain her PhD in Counseling Psychology and continue counseling and serving disenfranchised populations.

View Resume

Megan Kenney

Megan Kenney is from Maple Grove, Minnesota, and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in 2015 with a double major in Psychology and Child Adult and Family Services. Following graduation, Kenney continued her studies at the University of Denver where she is in her second year of the Counseling Psychology program in the Clinical Mental Health track working towards an addictions specialization. Aside from school, Kenney enjoys the Colorado mountains, snowboarding, hiking, running, and yoga, along with spending time with friends and family. Following graduation in June 2017, Kenney plans to pursue her passion of working with adolescents and underserved populations.

View Resume

Elizabeth Kidd

Elizabeth Kidd is a second-year master’s student at the University of Denver and will be graduating with a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in June 2017, with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a specialization in addictions. She is an intern at Progressive Therapy Systems,  a sex offender treatment provider. During treatment, Kidd focuses on the dysfunctional response cycle, anger management, and emotional regulation, along with cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic therapy. Prior to her internship, Kidd was a practicum student at Dakota Ridge High School where she worked with adolescents who had substance abuse issues, social anxiety, and difficulties in school. Kidd also works at DU’s Counseling and Educational Services Clinic providing couples counseling and working with clients who identify as LGBTQ. Kidd plans to continue seeking minority populations throughout her counseling career.

View Resume

Kathleen (Katie) Larkin

Katie Larkin is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and is completing her master’s at the University of Denver in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Addiction Specialization. Larkin’s goal is to obtain a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) Level III licensure in Colorado. As a child of foster parents, Larkin has personal experience with the foster care system and saw first-hand the impact that addiction can have on both youth and families. It was this experience that pushed her towards a career in the counseling field. Larkin developed her clinical experience working in community mental health with the Salvation Army as a counselor for homeless men with addictions. She is currently working in an acute psychiatric unit in a hospital setting in Denver. Larkin is honored to receive this fellowship and to apply the experience to her  professional career.

View Resume

Stephanie Nisle

Stephanie Nisle is pursuing her master’s in counseling psychology with a specialization in addictions at the University of Denver. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois in 2012 where she participated in a semester abroad French language immersion program in Aix-en-Provence, France. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant analyzing residential substance abuse treatment facilities. Nisle has also worked in the addictions field providing group and individual counseling to adults and adolescents with co-morbid disorders. Additionally, she has spent the past eight years working and volunteering with at-risk and special needs students. The combination of her teaching and work experiences, have led to the formation of her research interests related to personal, environmental, and behavioral factors that contribute to adolescent development and substance abuse. In the future Nisle aims to develop programs and interventions to create greater empowerment within these communities.

View Resume

Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson was born and raised in Colorado and graduated with a BA in psychology from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is a second-year master’s student at the University of Denver in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Addictions Specialization program. Thompson worked for four years for the State of Colorado caring for mentally or physically disabled, severely mentally ill, and disabled sex offender clients. She completed her practicum at Creative Treatment Options as an outpatient addiction counselor and currently works at Arapahoe House, working with clients who suffer from addictions in withdrawal management.  Thompson also serves as an intern at Jefferson Center of Mental Health, working as an outpatient clinician for adults and children. Thompson’s experience growing up in an addictive environment makes her passionate about the value of treatment and prevention.

View Resume

When you hear the title, “school counselor,” you might think of someone who makes student schedule changes and hands out college applications. While school counselors are responsible for scheduling and post-graduation guidance, they do a lot more than that. Per the American School Counselor Association (ASCA): “school counselors are certified/ licensed educators with a minimum of a master’s degree in school counseling, making them uniquely qualified to address all students’ academic, career and social/emotional development needs by designing, implementing, evaluating and enhancing a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student success.”

Not only has the role of school counselor grown, so has the need for school counselors across the country. The ASCA recommends a ratio of 1 school counselor to every 250 students. As of 2014, there were only 3 states in the U.S. that met that recommendation, with the majority of states well over a ratio of 1:400. In Colorado, the ratio was 1:395.

School districts and states across the country have taken notice of the deficit in school counseling, and many have made funding available in an attempt to fix the problem. Since 2008, Colorado has allocated over $13 million through the School Counselor Corps Grant Program (SCCGP) to secondary schools and school districts with particularly high dropout rates and low graduation rates to increase the amount of school counselors and counseling opportunities for their students.

In 2015, the U.S Department of Education awarded over $24.8 million in grants for 67 school districts across 26 states for school counseling and school mental health services. In late 2016 in Indiana, Lilly Endowment Inc. issued a request for proposals from schools in need of counseling resources, and will potentially award up to $30 million in funding across the state to hire more counselors and improve school counseling services.

What does this mean for jobs in school counseling? The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 22,500 new jobs in the field, and an 8% growth overall by 2024. How can you prepare yourself for a job in school counseling? You need a Master’s degree in school counseling, which you can earn here at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver in our Counseling Psychology Master of Arts program. Our program prepares students for the School Counselor License in Colorado through the Colorado Department of Education, and allows you to work as a school counselor for children and young adults (up to age 21). Through this degree program, students have the opportunity to take interdisciplinary coursework in the areas of counseling and child development, and to complete a supervised practicum and internship in a school setting.

March 3rd, 2017 – One of my favorite teaching texts is a short quote from Terry and Renny Russell, two brothers who came of age exploring the canyons and rivers of the desert southwest. In their book On The Loose they write: “One of the best-paying professions is getting ahold of pieces of country in your mind, learning their smell and their moods… It feels good to say ‘I know the Sierra’ or ‘I know Point Reyes.’ But of course you don’t—what you know better is yourself, and Point Reyes and the Sierra have helped”.

My personal interests and educational background is grounded in the natural sciences so the brother’s reference to “pieces of country” resonates with my academic and lived experience. The natural world, ecological processes, and nature-based metaphors are important sense making strategies in my teaching. When I walk into a classroom with the eyes of a naturalist I’m often looking for interconnections, patterns, unique contributions of individuals, and shifting centers of generative energy; for me the components of a vibrant classroom ecology.

In the field of curriculum studies Christy Moroye calls the similarities between the inner dispositions of the teacher and the external curriculum of texts, assignments, and assessment the “complimentary curriculum”. In essence, the heart of the teacher and the pedagogical space are one and the same, which creates an authenticity that students sense and are drawn to. There is little difference, except location, between my curiosities about the natural world and my observations of interconnected learning in a college classroom. I don’t intend to reduce student and teacher behavior in the classroom to the scientific and mechanistic metaphor of ecology; that would not do justice to the complexity of deep learning as faculty and students mutually interrogate a text, and each other, as they form and sharpen their instructional relationship.

To paraphrase the Russell brothers, it feels good to say that I know the classroom or I know my students. This type of pedagogical knowing is contingent on a sort of deep observational intimacy similar to the way the brothers learned to read and respond to the land they were traveling through. In the classroom this close read of learners is essential to effective teaching as faculty adjust, revamp, and retool their curriculum and instructional style to more effectively match their instructional intentions to the varied learning needs of students. But as the opening quote suggests, knowing the classroom is only half of the story. The rest of the narrative is the process by which deep observation and instructional intimacy changes the self-perception of the teacher.

Teachers teach with the hope of changing students intellectually and emotionally but change can and does happen both ways; at the end of a class the teacher is changed commensurate with her level of deep engagement with students. Again paraphrasing Terry and Renny Russell, it feels good to say that I know the classroom or I know my students. But of course I don’t—what I know better is my teaching self and my students have helped.

Last month Jonah Li., one of our talented Counseling Psychology grad students, presented “Building Rapport Across Cultures.”
at the 2017  DU Research and Performance Summit (DURAPS). In his presentation Jonah discussed a perception-changing counseling experience that he had with a challenging client.

Researcher: Jonah is a master’s student in Morgridge College of Education’s Counseling Psychology program.

Current Research: My research interest is in using positive psychological interventions and spirituality to build resilience and promote well-being among diverse clients and ethnic minorities, including international students and Asian students, in the lens of multicultural counseling.

My current research mainly falls into two areas: positive psychology and multicultural counseling. For positive psychology, I aim at building resilience and promoting well-being for clients in face of difficulties. One representative research, which is my master’s thesis, is exploring the moderating roles of subjective happiness and meaning in life on the relationship between perceived stress and well-being and distress. For multicultural counseling, I aim to discover strengths, positive experiences, quality of life  promotion, and quality relationship promotion among diverse clients, including LGBT clients, college students, international students, patients with Parkinson’s disease, couples etc.

Collaborators: To achieve the above research directives I work with Dr. Chao, Dr. McRae, and Dr. Owen and their research teams. While working with them I have had the opportunity to learn more about the life stories of minority groups.

DURAPS Presentation: My presentation covers a counseling experience that I had while working as a clinic counselor during the 2016 fall quarter. I was a year and a half into my master’s program when I met a middle-aged Caucasian male client who was dealing with problematic gambling behaviors and romantic relationship concerns. During our first two sessions I faced challenges in building rapport with my client in terms of my age and counseling competence. I am an international student originally from Hong Kong and also dealt with some challenges relating to my racial identity. During our sessions I heard responses like

“That movie I watched was really inspiring…oh sorry! I forgot to tell you that you were not even born that time!”
…and
“I have seen different therapists, including useful therapists and useless therapists…”

To face these challenges I used unconditional positive regard and showed a caring attitude toward my client. Concurrently, I calmed myself and tried to work with my client by exploring his gambling issues and investigating the pros and cons of his behavior. From there, my client gradually built more trust in me, feeling that my work had a positive impact on his process. He even started asking for my opinion about his problems. In later sessions, I initiated cultural dialogues and showed my humility, asking questions like

“how would my cultural identity play a role in our relationship?”
and
“you may know more about that than me. Tell me about your experience about that.”

These questions helped further address our cultural differences and helped me build rapport with my client. Finally, my client provided positive comments about my work and requested that I be his counselor for the next quarter. The whole clinic team witnessed the difference of our rapport and the client’s perception towards me, which was a really encouraging experience in my counseling practice.

Research Advice:

Think critically. This is the most important part of doing the research, in terms of research questions, designs, methods, analyses, and writing the results. You may not want to ask the repeated questions that were addressed by other researchers or not significant in the literature or practical in society, but they are incredibly important. Thinking critically helps form a good research question and generates a quality research study.

Want to present your research at DURAPS? GSG welcomes complete or work-in-progress submissions. Be sure to submit your abstract by 2/27!

Second year Ph.D candidate, Brooke Lamphere, has a long history with the University of Denver (DU). In 2010 she completed her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology and Psychology. She then went on to complete her Master of Arts in Sports and Performance Psychology through the Graduate School of Professional Psychology here at DU in 2013. As a DU Alumna and second year Ph.D student in the Counseling Psychology program, Brooke knows and appreciates the connections the university makes within the greater Denver community. Connections that support marginalized and underrepresented populations, which she cites as a major factor in her decision to continue her education here. Brooke highly values the support received from faculty who encourage her to personalize and take ownership of her degree at DU. Her positive experiences in her undergraduate and Master’s programs at the university, combined with the emphasis on collaboration over competition in Morgridge, made it easy for her to choose the Counseling Psychology program for her doctoral work.

Brooke was first attracted to the field of counseling psychology based on her wide interest about the human condition, and her specific interests in strengths-based approaches to treatment, social justice, and multiculturalism in the field. She also likes being able to combine her interest and experience in sport, health, and positive psychology under one discipline. She loves the environment of working and studying in a university, and hopes to pursue a career in academia, both in research and teaching.

Brooke has had some interesting and eye-opening experiences in her clinical training thus far. She currently works as a psychology graduate student trainee at AF Williams Family Medicine Clinic, where she works with a diverse client-base present with a wide variety of physical and mental health issues. AF Williams Family Medicine works under an integrated healthcare model, in which all aspects of physical and mental health can be addressed by a collaborative team under one roof.  Brooke also has experience working with Eating Recovery Center’s Behavioral Health Hospital programs for adults with eating disorders, and other comorbid mental and physical health issues. This experience has broadened Brooke’s perspective, both personally and professionally, and reminded her to practice consistent self-care and self-compassion.

Brooke is very actively involved in research teams in the department, and has co-authored several manuscripts, one of which was recently accepted into the Journal of Health Psychology. She has completed extensive work with Dr. Trisha Raque-Bogdan on the psychology of cancer survivorship and the utility of self-compassion. She also works with the Marsico Institute lab on their Early Learning Trajectories team, and as a team member in Dr. Jesse Owen’s Relationships and Psychotherapy research lab.

For prospective students who are looking for a counseling psychology graduate program, Brooke recommends not only finding a fit with research interests and career goals, but selecting a program that aligns with your personal and professional value system. Brooke feels that the Morgridge College of Education and the University of Denver create opportunities to work collaboratively toward our goals of fostering an inclusive and socially just academic environment that respects and honors diversity in experience, interest, and identity.


1 2 3 4 5 16
© 2016 University of Denver. All rights reserved.
MENU