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Many students have asked for resources on crisis and trauma response. Two of our faculty, Casey Bario Minton and Melinda Gibbons in Counselor Education, created this list of counselor and mental health resources that provide information about mental health, crisis, and trauma for our counseling students. The sites provide a range of information on psychological first aid, daily coping, social distancing, and career search information, all related to our current crisis.


Counselor Education and Supervision PhD candidate, Haley Ault, presented her group’s research and received honors at the recent Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC) Conference.

Photo of Haley Ault holding certificate for a grant awarded from AARC at the 2022 conference

EPC Counseling Education and Supervision doctoral candidate, Haley Ault, was awarded a grant at the recent AARC 2022 conference.

This year’s AARC Conference saw University of Tennessee doctoral candidate, Haley Ault, awarded with the Multicultural Assessment in Research and Counseling Grant, one of two grants that the organization provides. This annual grant is awarded to a student conducting research that has a multicultural or social justice focus, and will support Haley’s dissertation research on “how school counselors serve as systemic change agents within their schools.”

Haley also notably presented at the conference with EPC Professor and Department Head, Dr. Casey Barrio Minton, and others, “regarding her contributions as a co-author of the new Responsibilities of Users of Standardized Test (RUST) 4th edition (a national standards document).”

Haley, who expects to graduate in Summer 2023 with a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, additionally presented to the conference her current findings from co-leading an interdisciplinary research team with EPC Professor and IP/PIPES Supervisor, Dr. Melinda Gibbons, that is studying “rural Appalachian school counselors’ experiences with career and college readiness programming.” Haley is working with three other doctoral candidates on this project: Mary Wynn, Kody Sexton, and Bobby Lange.

Ms. Ault continues to make contributions to the field, and recently had a publication she co-authored with Dr. Barrio Minton and student, Etta Gantt, accepted into the Teaching and Supervision in Counseling Journal entitled, Anti-racist considerations for teaching CACREP assessment and diagnosis courses.

EPC doctoral candidate, Haley Ault, standing alongside a poster from her recent presentation for AARC

Counseling Education and Supervision doctoral candidate, Haley Ault, presented her team’s research at the 2022 AARC Conference.

Haley is a proud “Vol for Life,” and also received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She spent six years as a middle school counselor before beginning her PhD.

In her spare time, she especially enjoys the Tennessee outdoors, as well as date nights with her partner, Thomas, and time spent with her goldendoodle, Beau.

For those looking for the perfect study spot, Haley highly recommends Knoxville’s Golden Roast Marble City coffee shop, and afterwards, grabbing a bite at Not Watson’s.

The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling is thrilled by the opportunity to highlight its many distinguished students, like Haley, in its programs.

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The Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling is pleased to announce newest faculty member, Patricia Higgins. Dr. Higgins will serve as Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Master’s in Educational Psychology degree beginning June 1, 2022.

Dr. Higgins joins the department with a twenty-year background in International Education. She most recently served as the International Admissions Specialist for Pellissippi State Community College and as Adjunct Instructor for the University of Tennessee Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling.Graphic that says "Welcome to the Team, Patricia Higgins, PhD" and includes a headshot of Dr. Higgins.

Dr. Higgins earned a PhD in Educational Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education from the University of Tennessee in 2019. Additionally, she holds certification in English Language Teaching Leadership Management from TESOL and was awarded the Friends of Educational Psychology & Counseling Research Grant in 2019.

Upon the distinguished retirement this summer of current Ed Psych Online Co-Coordinator, Dr. Cathy Hammon, Dr. Higgins will assume the role of Ed Psych Online Co-Coordinator.

Dr. Higgins is passionate about applying her extensive experience and research to the EdPsych Online graduate program at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Higgins lives in East Tennessee with her partner, Matthew, and fur-kids. She enjoys gardening for pollinators, watching classic films, and soaking in the beautiful East Tennessee outdoors.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling is honored to gain Dr. Patricia Higgins on its team.

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The Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling is pleased to welcome newest faculty member, Hyunhee Kim.

Kim joins the department as an Assistant Professor, and will teach courses in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Counselor Education beginning in fall 2022. Profile photo of Hyunhee Kim, PhD, newest faculty member of the Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling

Kim earned a dual major BA in Education & Ethics Education from Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea in 2003, as well as a Master’s in Educational Counseling from Seoul National University in 2008. A PhD in Counselor Education will be awarded from The Pennsylvania State University (CACREP-accredited) in 2022.

Kim holds additional certifications as a Professional Counselor from The Korea Counseling Association, and School Counseling and Teaching Certificates from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Korean Ministry of Education. She was named the 2018 “Emerging Leader” by the NARACES, and received the “Exemplary Doctoral Research & Practice Award” from the AARC in 2020.

Hyunhee’s research primarily focuses on the role of relationships in educational settings. “I am particularly interested in developmental assets and protective factors that help students thrive, regardless of the adversities they may encounter.”

Hyunhee credits her upbringing on the beautiful Jeju Island, South Korea, for her deeply instilled values of “peace, collaboration, and adaptability,” which she looks forward to contributing as a Tennessee Volunteer and leader. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her family, practicing yoga and meditation, and enjoying music.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling is honored to gain Hyunhee Kim on its team.

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Leia Cain

Educational Psychology & Counseling’s Dr. Leia Cain, Assistant Professor of Evaluation, Statistics & Methodology, discussed some of her research on February 9 in the first virtual lecture of a series hosted by The Commission for LGBT People and the UT Pride Center.

Leia Cain, an Assistant Professor for the Educational Psychology & Counseling PhD Program in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement, kicked off the UT Pride Center’s latest lecture series on February 9 with a compelling talk entitled, “Spilling the (Sweet) Tea: How Southern U.S. Queer Students Thrive in Icy University Climates.”

Cain holds a PhD from the University of South Carolina. Her current research focuses on “LGBTQ+ Student and Faculty Experiences in Higher Education.”Photo of a mason jar filled with sweet tea and a straw, set on an outdoor table.

Among the topics discussed in the lecture, Cain shared her recent research on the positive and negative experiences of LGBTQ+ students and faculty in Southern culture, and how institutions can be more inclusive.

For more information about this lecture, and to register for upcoming lectures, visit the UT Pride Center in the Student Union, room 373, M-F 8am-5pm.

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Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), Loidaly González-Rosario (she/her/ella) received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in August, 2021.

Headshot of Counselor Education Alum, Loidaly González-Rosario

Dr. González-Rosario recently graduated from the CACREP-accredited Counselor Education PhD program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is now serving as an Assistant Professor at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma and a second Graduate Certificate in International Children, Youth and Families from the University of Tennessee.

She received her MS in Counselor Education from Florida International University in 2016, and her BS in Elementary Education, with ESOL Endorsement, from Florida International University in 2013.

Loidaly is from Miami, Florida, and is fluent in Spanish and English.

Her passion is for “social justice advocacy, community action, and supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students in the public school system.”

“I use the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies to ground my work. I strive to uplift the voices of youth and families in research and advocate for families across systems.”

Loidaly was an active volunteer at the CentroHispano de East Tennessee during her studies in Knoxville, for which she led the development of a youth mentorship program, and created a bilingual mental health resource guide of language-accessible services in East TN.

She was the recipient of the National Board of Certified Counselor’s Minority Fellowship in 2019, which is awarded to a doctoral student to “increase the impact of service to marginalized populations. Loidaly has also been the recipient of the SACES Emerging Leaders award in 2020-2022, as well as other distinguished awards and fellowships.

Loidaly enjoys gardening, reading, crafting, and hanging out with her “fur-babies” in her spare time. Looking for great food when studying in Knoxville? Loidaly recommends Sticky Rice Cafe and La Herradura.

The Educational Psychology & Counseling Department at the University of Tennessee is extremely proud to be apart of the scholarly journeys of its students, like Loidaly, and will continue to follow Dr. González-Rosario’s endeavors with enthusiasm.


Full Interview:

Degree/Program/Concentration

PhD Counselor Education, 2021              

Hometown

Miami, FL

Awards, Accomplishments, Publications, etc. you would like to share

Most Notable are the National Board of Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program and the Counselor Education & Supervision Fellow

Current Occupation or Career Goals

Currently an Assistant Professor at Western Carolina University in Asheville, NC

Would you like to share your hobbies and personal interests with us?

Gardening, Reading, and Crafting are some of my joys in life. Also, snuggles with my fur babies!

Tell us about your research interests

My work centers around social justice advocacy, community action, and supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students in the public school system. I use the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies to ground my work. I strive to uplift the voices of youth and families in research and advocate for families across systems.

What is something you love/loved doing in the Knoxville area, or a restaurant you would recommend?

Knoxville is such a unique place to live! Some of my favorite things to do was connection with small non-profits like Centro Hispano de East TN and volunteering my time for the benefit of the entire community! Also, some great restaurants to try out are Sticky Rice and La Herradura! They were monthly, and sometimes weekly staples to my survival in grad school.


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