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School Counseling MS

School Counseling

April earned an MS with the School Counseling program in 2012 and currently lives in Knoxville, TN. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Awards
  • Awarded Tenure from Knox County Schools, spring 2018
  • Coalition Member of the Year from the Metro Drug Coalition, 2016
Accomplishments
  • On the Leadership Team at Richard Yoakley, since 2012
Current Occupation

School Counselor
Richard Yoakley School
Knox County, Tennessee

Personal Interests

My husband and I have taken up hiking in the last few years. We especially enjoy hiking in the nearby Smoky Mountains. So far, we have just done day hikes, but we plan to start camping in the future.

Another hobby of mine is making jewelry. I enjoy making jewelry from glass, stones, metals, and found objects. It’s a fun, creative outlet.

Future/Vocational Goals

I very much enjoy my role as the school counselor at Richard Yoakley School. I plan to stay in this role for the foreseeable future and continue to improve my school counseling program. One day, I might pursue a leadership position in the school system.

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

I remember feeling welcomed and informed when starting the program. Our professors did a great job explaining expectations and program goals. I felt very prepared to complete assignments, and I also felt that I was cared about as a person. The school counseling program is rigorous with high standards and expectations, which is a great thing. I know I received a high quality education which prepared me for my current profession.

What is the best tidbit/find about Knoxville?

Two of my favorite things about Knoxville are the Market Square Farmer’s Market and the trails at Ijams Nature Center. The market is a great place to buy local produce as well as crafts, and Ijams Nature Center is a beautiful place to be in nature yet still close to the city.

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.