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Counselor Education PhD


Extraordinary Professional Promise

Honors awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate professional promise in teaching, research, or other contributions.

Terry Gibson, ESM student

Terry O. Gibson Jr.
PhD Candidate in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

“Receiving the Extraordinary Professional Promise award was inspirational and made me feel a sense of accomplishment.”


Marlon Johnson, Counselor Ed

Marlon Johnson
PhD Candidate in Counselor Education

“It’s humbling to be acknowledged as someone who can make an impact in the field of Counselor Education. I’m often resistant to exploring and experiencing acknowledgements like this. I work hard like my colleagues, knowing that we do it all to better our communities and our profession. I’m overwhelmed with joy and hope to continue to make a difference after graduation!”


photo of Ashley Scheyder

Ashley Scheyder
MS in School Counseling ’19

“Receiving the Extraordinary Professional Promise Award is such an honor. I am so thankful for my entire graduate experience with the counseling program and I know that this award reflects the hard work of many others that have supported me and poured into me in various ways. I would not me the person that I am today if it were not for this program and I am thankful that they have challenged and helped me to grow while still allowing me to be myself along the way. I am so excited to begin my professional journey in School Counseling, and receiving this award reminded me that I am ready and that there are many people right next to me cheering me on along the way.”


Mary Wynn

Mary Wynn
MS Student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

“I am so appreciative for our program and the counseling field. I always knew I wanted to help people, but it was a journey to find my way to the counseling profession. Now that I’m here, my spirit is overflowing with exuberant gratitude! I love what we do! We get to help and empower clients through individual counseling and psychoeducation, and we are working to break down systemic barriers through social justice advocacy. I love that our program doesn’t ask us to put on a façade of perfection, rather we are called to openness and self-awareness to harness our life experiences, to attune our perceptions and biases. I am so thankful for my cohort, professors, and mentors who have seen me and invested their time to help me grow.”



Excellence in Teaching

Honor bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in the classroom.

Lauren Moret

Lauren Moret
Assistant Professor



Excellence in Advising

Honor bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in advising.

Jennifer Ann Morrow

Jennifer Ann Morrow
Associate Professor

“Over the past 21 years I have gotten to work with some amazing students and colleagues. Thank you for continuing to remind me why I love what I do.”


LGBTQ Student Leadership Award

Award given by the Commission for LGBT People to a student who demonstrates a commitment to advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues on campus.

Thacker

Nancy Thacker
PhD in Counselor Education ’19

“I am honored to receive the LGBT Student Leadership Award. Working for the Commission for LGBT People at UT Knoxville for the past three years has been the most rewarding experience. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve the UT Knoxville LGBTQ+ community alongside a group of strong, persistent, and dedicated LGBTQ+ social advocates. ”


Brenna Butler at GSS Awards Ceremony

photo contributed by the Graduate School, Steven Bridges

Brenna Butler | Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching

“As a graduate student considering a future career involving teaching, this award made me feel validated in my ability to teach in an effective way. It was also great to be recognized for my work as a GTA and realizing that the effort placed into this role was appreciated.”

Brenna is a PhD student in the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program and a Graduate Teaching Associate for EDPY 550 – Applied Statistical Concepts, EDPY 577 – Statistics in Applied Fields I, and EDPY 677 – Statistics in Applied Fields II.

This award is presented to graduate teaching assistants and associates for extraordinary performance in teaching.


Gary J. Skolits at the GSS Awards Ceremony

photo contributed by the Graduate School, Steven Bridges

Gary J. Skolits | Graduate Research Mentor of the Year

The Graduate Research Mentor of the Year award was a special surprise and honor for me. Spending quality time working with graduates students on their research efforts is its own reward. To be appreciated and recognized by the students themselves for these research mentoring efforts is a singular honor for me as a faculty member. This award truly will be a career highlight.

Gary is an associate professor and program coordinator of the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement program.

This award recognizes faculty and staff members who have shown outstanding commitment to mentoring graduate research students.


Arden Szepe at the GSS Awards Breakfast

photo contributed by the Graduate School, Steven Bridges

Arden Szepe | Excellence in Service

Service holds a special place in the field of Counselor Education and in my heart. Being recognized with this award was validating in my development as a counselor educator and advocate for the counseling profession.

Arden is a PhD Candidate in the Counselor Education program. She was recently recognized as a Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Fellow for 2019/2020. Arden currently serves as president of the Upsilon Theta chapter, UT’s local chapter of CSI, and as a member on the Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Board for the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Previously, she served on the National Career Development Month Committee for the National Career Development Association.

This award is presented to graduate and professional students who are extraordinary campus leaders, participate in service learning or other community initiatives, and/or provide service leadership to their academic discipline through service in professional organizations.


EPC Facebook page.

Lezli Suzanne Anderson
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Frank Pancho Aviles
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Lynn Marie Beeler
PhD in Educational Psychology & Research – Adult Learning

Evan Montgomery Burns
PhD in Counselor Education

Danielle Lee Dillard
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Amber Lane Giffin
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Holly Jean Greene
MS in Education – Instructional Technology

Julie Ann Hall
PhD in Educational Psychology & Research – Adult Learning

Maren Elizabeth Henry
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

John James Humphrey
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Kamela Taylor Manuel
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Laura H. Maples
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Jessica Abby Nelson
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Janet Elaine Schwartz-Micheaux
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Abby L. Sherman
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Katelynn Michelle Swafford
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Emily Elisabeth Tester
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

*If you are one of the graduates listed above and would like to have your photo added to our EPC Graduates Facebook album, then please email your picture to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu.

**If you were an Educational Psychology and Counseling student who graduated during this time frame, yet have unintentionally been omitted from this list, please send your name, degree, and major/concentration to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu. We will add you to the list after receiving this information from you and confirming your graduation status.


EPC Facebook page.

Carly Ann Chwat
PhD in School Psychology

Synthia Ann Alene Clark
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Deepa Rajiv Deshpande
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Jaewoo Do
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Sheryse Noelle Grant Dubose
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Katherine Ellen Fleming
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Ashlee Nicole Fugate
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Holly Jean Greene
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Caroline Marie Jaquett
PhD in School Psychology

Frederick Joseph Kelly
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Jonathan Edward Kelly
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Raymond Rodney Kimmitt
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Lauren Brooke Leonard
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Rachael Camille Marshall
PhD in Counselor Education
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Anthony C. Miller
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Charles Branton Mitchell
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Desiree P. Nicholas
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Leslie Renee Owle
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Kelley Nicole Rieder
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Jonah Lee Ruddy
PhD in School Psychology

Gwendolyn Sue Ruttencutter
PhD in Educational Psychology & Research – Adult Learning

Yacob Tewolde Tekie
Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement

Taralyn Page Tibbits
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Kathryn Claire Ward
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Nathan Bobby West
PhD in Counselor Education

Samantha Ellen Williams
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Rebecca Leigh Witowski
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

*If you are one of the graduates listed above and would like to have your photo added to our EPC Graduates Facebook album, then please email your picture to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu.

**If you were an Educational Psychology and Counseling student who graduated during this time frame, yet have unintentionally been omitted from this list, please send your name, degree, and major/concentration to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu. We will add you to the list after receiving this information from you and confirming your graduation status.


At Camp Aliya, children spent their time in small and large groups, outside, and being involved in music, arts, and crafts. Here are some of their activities:

  • They constructed and guided each other through obstacle courses made of yarn, relating the difficulties of the course to the grieving process and discussing the role of others in helping you get through the process.
  • Campers played sorting games to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful coping behaviors.
  • They had the opportunity to depict their story of grief however they wanted. Some children wrote stories, other drew pictures, then if they were comfortable they shared them with the group.
  • The children made body drawings in chalk to label different feelings they have related to their grief.
  • Campers wrote down things they felt afraid to share on pieces of paper, crumbled them into balls, and threw them back and forth. They talked about what it was like for others to physically hold our fears and troubles. After they were comfortable, everyone anonymously opened one of the balled up fears to read allowed, and they found that many of the fears were similar, despite different stories.

Wheat ran Camp Aliya with 10 other staff members comprised who are current students, recent alumni, and/or community members. Wheat explained, “We intentionally kept the camp small and time-limited this year to make sure we knew what we were doing! I hope very much to secure grant funding to keep it going annually and expand from elementary-age kids to any school-age kid. I also hope that in the future we can develop and implement a trauma-focused therapeutic element as well, perhaps based on Allison Salloum’s work (Grief and Trauma in Children: An Evidence-Based Treatment Manual).”

Laura Wheat“I am so thankful to be in a place that is supportive of programming that focuses on child and adolescent grief. It still feels a little bit magical to me, even four years later, that I get to do this work.”

When asked how it felt to to initiate and complete Camp Aliya, Wheat said the following: “It felt AMAZING!! It was a really daunting task, and it felt at times like climbing a mountain. But I was lucky to have Jillian Blueford, Counselor Education student, who was a huge help. She and I designed and implemented the whole thing together, so seeing it run those two days was incredible. We had the best, most energetic, creative, and heart-filled staff, and such great care from the folks at Pond Gap. I took some of the staff out for celebratory apps at Fieldhouse Social afterwards to thank them for their commitment and enthusiasm. However small it was with only 11 campers, I know we put some good in the world, and that’s what matters most to me. I could see some of the campers really benefiting. I even heard an anecdote via Jillian the other day, who reported that one of the campers’ caregivers had told her that he still wears the support bracelet he made at camp and talks about it all the time.”

To see photos from the inaugural Camp Aliya, check out the EPC Facebook page! Also, keep an eye out for the next edition of Accolades for an in-depth story about Camp Aliya.

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