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Counselor Education PhD

The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling is excited to announce the recent publication of the second edition of Child Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Therapeutic Relationships with Children, co-authored by EPC Professor of Counselor Education, Dr. Jeff Cochran.

Picture of the front cover of Child Centered Play Therapy, a black background with the title, authors, and a picture at the center of a group of children smilingFor students, educators, and practitioners of counseling and therapy who work with children, Child Centered Play Therapy has long been well-received in the field as a comprehensive manual that contains theory, research, and practical guides on play therapy, and is now offered in an updated second edition.

From the publisher: “The second edition provides a new chapter covering updated research outcomes, cultural competence, and intersections with neuroscience. This timely addition makes this book a top choice for CCPT trainers, their students, and for practitioners both novice and experienced.” Judi Jacobsen, MNZAC, founding director of ChildPlayWorks

Dr. Cochran holds a PhD in Counseling from Virginia Tech, and is a Professor in the University of Tennessee Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. Dr. Cochran “has over 20 years’ experience as a counselor educator, following 10 years as a counselor in schools and agencies in the US and overseas. Jeff and Nancy Cochran often work together, developing service-research projects to meet community needs, such as the REACH Project which provided child-centered play therapy in high-poverty schools. Jeff has served as department head for five years and is returning to faculty August 2022, where he looks forward to more time with students and exciting new research projects.”2022 Headshot of EPC Faculty Jeff Cochran, PhD

For more information about this new publication and its availability, follow this link: 

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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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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:


PhD Counselor Education, 2021              


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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The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling wants to congratulate the graduates from seven of our programs who earned their degrees and recipients from two of our graduate certificate programs who completed necessary requirements during the spring 2019 semester.

To see photos of our recent graduates, please go to the “EPC Graduates” album on our EPC Facebook page.

Madeline Birch Auge
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Jillian Mei-Li Blueford
PhD in Counselor Education

Rita Bourbon Gray
MS in Education – Instructional Technology
Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

Brenda Katz Murphy
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Christine Kay Patti
PhD in Education – Learning, Design & Technology

Ashley Kennedy Scheyder
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Amanda Carol Sexton
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Nancy Elaine Thacker
PhD in Counselor Education
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

*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

**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 We will add you to the list after receiving this information from you and confirming your graduation status.

Two faculty members and five students from the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling were recognized at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet on April 16, 2019.

See below for a description of each individual’s award.

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.


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. ”