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University-Assisted Community Schools


School Counseling

Sinead is currently seeking her MS in counseling, with a dual-track concentration in the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs. Originally from Knoxville, TN, she received her BS in child and family studies and psychology at UT Knoxville, and joined EPC in 2015. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Accomplishments

Volunteering at Pond Gap Community School: I created and lead a counseling group for children with incarcerated parents.

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Current Occupation

Youth Minister
Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan
Knoxville, TN

I am in my third year leading the youth programming at Good Samaritan. I coordinate educational, service, and recreational programs for the youth, and have implemented a social justice oriented curriculum that includes socially-responsible mission trips each summer.

Personal Interests

When I’m not at school I enjoy volunteering in the community (Children’s Hospital is my favorite!), spending time with friends exploring all the great things to do in Knoxville, and playing with my Italian Greyhound, Nelly.

Future/Vocational Goals

I hope to work with children who have experienced trauma and their families. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in the dual-track program here at UT, as it has offered me many different learning opportunities for working with children in elementary school, middle school, and community settings. One of the reasons I selected UT was the Grief Outreach Initiative and my experience with mentoring a grieving child was very influential.

What sold you on this program/department/university?

I applied to schools all over the country, but when it came down to my final decision, I was surprised to find that UT had more of the components I was looking for than any other school. The dual-track option was very important to me, as I know I want to work with children, but I am interested in having the holistic view of both school and community settings. I was surprised to find that many of the schools I was interested in did not offer this, and I kept realizing how unique UT was in offering this option. Additionally, the Grief Outreach Initiative and the graduate certificate in Grief, Loss, and Trauma was appealing. I plan to work with children experiencing those very issues, and having this certificate so easily available in the program was another draw. Finally, the opportunities to work with the University-Assisted Community Schools in the area was something that really made UT stand out. Having the opportunity to volunteer in local high-need schools and to really put my skills into practice in the real world has been immensely beneficial for me as a counselor in training.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program/department?

I would tell an incoming student to be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities available to you through the program, department, and UT as a whole. There are so many events and activities that allow you to learn about a wide range of topics, connect with other students and faculty, and to engage with the community as a whole. Taking advantage of the many opportunities will allow you to stretch and challenge yourself, meet people who are different from you and to really make the most of your experience here. There is a lot you can learn at UT outside the classroom that will really inform the kind of counselor you will become.


EPC Facebook page.

Awards

College Senate Departmental Staff Award
Recognizes a departmental-level non-exempt staff person who has provided exceptional contributions to his/her department (going above & beyond job expectations to accomodate students and faculty, contributing to a positive and supportive work culture and environment.

Synthia Clark

Synthia Clark
Administrative Specialist I

“I am so lucky to work in a department with such caring, supportive, and appreciative individuals!”

 


The Helen B. Watson Faculty/Student Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation
Awarded to a student and the faculty member who directed the outstanding doctoral dissertation within the departments of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Educational Psychology and Counseling; Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies; or Theory and Practice in Teacher Education.

Elizabeth Hays

Elizabeth Hays
“It is such an honor to have my dissertation recognized by the college. I am so grateful for the support and expertise of my chair, Steve McCallum, and my other committee members who made this study a possibility.”

Steve McCallumR. Steve McCallum
“It was a pleasure to chair Elizabeth’s dissertation. Her work has been extremely strong throughout her time at UT, in the classroom, in applied settings, and as a researcher; her dissertation is just one more example of her ability to conceptualize, conduct, and disseminate research. I consider her among the strongest students whom I have worked with during my 30+ years in higher education, and I’m happy the college was able to recognize and reward her work!”



CEHHS Board of Advisors Faculty Support Award
Awarded to recognize current/past accomplishments or future projects of one outstanding faculty member for teaching/research/service efforts in any area within CEHHS.

Steve McCallumR. Steve McCallum
Professor in School Psychology

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the CEHHS Board of Advisors for their recognition and support of my work. Over the years I have worked closely with board members and know firsthand of their many contributions to the college!”

 

Recognition

 Casey A. Barrio Minton
Associate Professor in Counselor Education

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Editor of Journal of Counselor Leadership & Advocacy
– Recognized under Authors/Editors of Books and Assessments for Evaluating Student Learning Outcomes in Counselor Education. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association
– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for Outstanding Research Award from Chi Sigma Iota International


Bonnie Bull
Administrative Support Assistant III

– Recognized under University of Tennessee Support Staff Service Awards for five years of service


Stephanie Cowherd
Associate Director of Corporate Connections for Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under Grants and Contracts Recipients for the Tennessee DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services/UT CLEE from the Tennessee Department of Human Services, $788,443


Joel F. Diambra
Associate Department Head & Director of Graduate Studies

– Recognized under Recipients of National/International Professional Awards for Outstanding Counselor Educator of the Year from the Tennessee Association for Counselor Education and Supervision


Patrick L. Dunn
Program Co-Coordinator for Rehabilitation Counseling

– Recognized under Grants and Contracts Recipients for the Long-Term Training: Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf from the US Department of Education – Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services, $148,492


Sandra Fugate
Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under 2014-15 Faculty & Staff Retirements (2000-2015)


Melinda Gibbons
Program Coordinator for Counselor Education/School Counseling

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Associate Editor of Professional School Counseling Journal
– Recognized under Grants and Contracts Recipients for the PIPES: Possibilities in Postsecondary Education and Science among Rural Appalachian Youth from the Office of Research Infrastructure Program, $209,136


Aaron Kohring
Director for Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under Grants and Contracts Recipients for the LINCS Regional Professional Development Centers Program from the US Department of Education, $284,750 and the Transition & Self Determination Support from the Tennessee Department of Education, $549,105


Robert Kronick
Professor for School Counseling & Cultural Studies of Educational Foundations

– Recognized under Chancellor’s Honors Awards for the Alumni Public Service Award
– Recognized under Grants and Contracts Recipients for the University-Assisted Community School from the Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, Inc., $100,000


R. Steve McCallum
Professor for School Psychology

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Co-Founder & Consulting Editor of Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment
– Recognized under Authors/Editors of Books and Assessments for Handbook of Reading Assessment: A One-Stop Resource for Prospective and Practicing Educators. Routledge: Taylor and Francis
– Recognized under Authors/Editors of Books and Assessments for Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test 2. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed Publishing Company
– Recognized under Chancellor’s Honors Awards for the Research & Creative Achievement Award


Merilee McCurdy
Program Coordinator for School Psychology

– Recognized under Presidents of National/International Professional Organizations for being Chair of Council for Directors of School Psychology Programs


Jennifer Ann Morrow
Program Coordinator for Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

– Recognized under Chancellor’s Honors Awards for the Excellence in Teaching Award


Roma Powis
Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under 2014-15 Faculty & Staff Retirements (2004-2015)


Stephanie Robinson
Institute for Assessment & Evaluation

– Recognized under 2014-15 Faculty & Staff Retirements (1994-2015)


Connie Settle
Institute for Assessment & Evaluation

– Recognized under 2014-15 Faculty & Staff Retirements (1993-2015)


Barbara Thayer-Bacon
Program Coordinator for Learning Environments & Educational Studies/Cultural Studies of Educational Foundations

– Recognized under Editors/Co-Editors of Peer Reviewed Publications for being Editor-in-Chief of Studies in Philosophy and Education


Connie White
Associate Director of School & Family Programs for Center for Literacy, Education & Employment

– Recognized under Grants and Contracts Recipients for the Tennessee Teachers’ Professional Development Event Support from the Tennessee Department of Education, $2,214,746 and the Tennessee Teachers’ Professional Development Event Support from the Tennessee Department of Education, $877,092


Robert Kronick was honored as a visionary of Knoxville community schools at the Community Schools Celebration – an event co-hosted by the League of Women Voters and South Knoxville Elementary on Thursday, February 25th 2016.

Kronick Visionsary

Photo submitted by Susan Martin.

Kronick is the founder of University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) and was awarded a framed piece of art created by Pond Gap Elementary student, Rylee Greaney.

UACS currently meets academic, social, and economic needs of students at Pond Gap Elementary and Inskip Elementary, and of Knoxville community members.

The Community Schools Celebration celebrated the twelve community schools in Knox County and honored two other visionaries – Superintendent Jim McIntyre and Buzz Thomas, Great Schools Partnership president.

For more information, see the article about the event in South Knox’s Shopper News.


University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) won a three-year $100,000 grant (totaling $300,000) from the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Bob Kronick“The grants were competitive and we got ours through hard work among the collaborative team.” – Bob Kronick, director of UACS

 

The grant was written by Bob Kronick, professor and director of UACS, Mark Benson, school coordinator of UACS, and Dareen Basma, Counselor Education PhD student. Through Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, United Way will award UACS a total of $300,000 over a three-year period.

UACS is an initiative to address unmet social, economic, and academic needs of Knoxville students and community members. They have two full-service community schools, one at Pond Gap Elementary School and a newer one at Inskip Elementary School. Funds from this grant will largely be used to hire staff to support the efforts at Inskip. The mission of UACS is to “create challenging learning opportunities for students to excel by providing a nurturing environment supported by the family, community, staff, and students.”


Bob KronickThe Community Full-Service Schools Program (now called University-Assisted Community Schools), directed by Bob Kronick, was chosen as one of fifty exemplary partnerships by the Carnegie Advisory Committee.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the UT Institute of Agriculture recently submitted a joint application for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. As part of that process, nominations were collected from every college and fifty exemplary partnerships were chosen to be promoted during the 2015 calendar year. The Community Full-Service Schools Program was not only selected at one of the fifty to be promoted, but also as one of only fifteen partnerships highlighted in the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Application.

The Office of Engagement and Outreach has already begun promoting this praiseworthy partnership effort, with a story focused on Kronick’s experiences with civic engagement through the community schools.

Fact-Sheet information provided for additional promotions include:

The Mission: The Community Full-Service Schools program addresses the unmet basic needs of Knoxville area children and their families that are not met by public schools and human service agencies. The program’s mission is to empower community participants to access support systems independently and learn to help themselves. The project seeks to improve educational outcomes and reduce the number of high school dropouts. The program has been in place at Pond Gap School since 2009.

The Partners: Community partners for this project include faculty members at Pond Gap Elementary, Knox County Schools, Boys and Girls Club, Pellisssippi State Community College, Knoxville Opera Company, and South College. University of Tennessee partners include the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Education, Health and Human Sciences, along with the departments of Sociology, Wildlife and Forestry, Counseling and Sport Psychology, and the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy.

Impact on UT: Institution impact includes service-learning opportunities for students in a variety of academic disciplines, and career development opportunities for UT students. Students serve in these schools as mentors, teachers and friends with faculty supervision, and participate in a learning environment promoting engaged educational reform. Six faculty members from College of Education, Health and Human Services work with 14 faculty members from Pond Gap Elementary School. During the regular academic year, close to 125 UT and Pellissippi students with the community schools and close to 55 students volunteer for summer activities.

Impact on Community: Community Impact includes the provision of health services to students and their families, mental health screenings, academic support for students and their families, as well as financial support for the families. At-risk urban students are enabled to create long-term, mentoring relationships with UT students and faculty based on the three tenants of prevention, collaboration, and systems-level thinking.

Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

535 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
Phone: 865-974-8145 Fax: 865-974-0135