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ACA Annual Conference and Expo


Justin is a master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and co-chaired the position with Kevin last fall. Kevin (’16) is an alumni of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and became the service chair in 2015. With the guidance and support of current and past faculty advisors (Casey Barrio Minton and Shawn Spurgeon, respectively), they helped create and grow relationships Upsilon Theta built with the Knoxville Reanimation Coalition and Katherine Ambroziak (associate professor from the College of Architecture and Design), who heads the project at the Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Kevin said, “I was sincerely elated and surprised, not because I didn’t think our project was worthy of recognition, but because I had not done anything like this before. Although recognition is not necessary, it can help keep momentum going for an organization. It can stimulate even bigger and better ideas and growth. I hope the award motivates others who join CSI to think about not only what they can do but also what is possible. I am also excited for what this means for the Knoxville Reanimation Coalition, the group whose mission it is to maintain, revitalize, and enhance the East Knoxville community. I think they are doing some of the most important work in Knoxville. They don’t do it for recognition; they engage in hard work to improve the neighborhood that is home to them.”

Justin expressed, “I am truly honored to be receiving this award and to see how Kevin and Katherine Ambroziak’s hard work has paid off. If there is anything I would like to add to this piece, it would be how important service and advocacy (the driving force of service) are to the counseling profession. If we truly want to serve our clients whether we are in schools or in mental health settings, we need to be active and intentional members of our community, and I think service events through Chi Sigma Iota are excellent way to begin that meaningful process of engagement.”

Kevin explained the application process:

Every fall, CSI opens applications for chapter awards and student nominations for national positions. Casey Barrio Minton (associate professor), our current chapter advisor and long-time member of CSI, encouraged us to apply for the chapter award. I agreed with her that I thought it was a good idea, and I was happy to help. I honestly did not think we would have a chance because I thought the relationship was too new. However, since CSI-UT’s participation in the the Odd Fellows Cemetery project, our student engagement in service activities improved tremendously – in part because of the uniqueness of the project itself, in part from some new enthusiasm coming from the student board, and in part because I think there are some emerging ideas coming from the counseling community regarding social justice and community-level work that individual “therapy” simply does not address. Service and building community relationships are critical aspects of my life that I love and want to share with others, and I tried to provide that opportunity for anyone who was interested while I was service chair. So, naturally, I think others picked up on that.

Justin Hawkersmith and myself worked on the application proposal with Casey Barrio Minton and Katherine Ambroziak to submit letters of recommendation for the project. We spoke on not only what it meant to engage CSI counseling members in a project that was off campus and in a predominantly black community but also on the importance and meaning of the project itself. The cemetery represents an important part of black history and black heritage in Knoxville, and its current dilapidated state is worth the reflection and attention of the greater Knoxville community. Counselors, who more often than not are white and middle class, will go on to work with individuals from a variety of communities different than their own, but may not have an in-depth understanding of those communities and the issues within them. Given the current climate of our society, it is integral more than ever that organizations and university groups build and foster relationships and work on real problems.

Barrio Minton really helped make the process easy. Writing the application was the easy part, because the project meant a lot to me and Justin and I hoped to really see it continue even after I graduated from the program. Barrio Minton really helped pull it together, helped us stay organized, and made sure we had what we needed to submit a quality proposal.

Upsilon Theta was recognized and awarded during a ceremony held at the ACA Annual Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA from March 16-19, 2017.

For more information about this project, check out the following Counselor Education blog stories:
CSI-UT Sponsors Service Event at Odd Fellows Cemetery
CSI-UT Returns to Odd Fellows Cemetery to Continue Service
CSI-UT Sponsors Service Event at Odd Fellows Cemetery


Casey Barrio-Minton

“I serve the organizations I serve because I believe our collective work facilitates a context in which professional counselors can develop their skills and serve their communities. On one hand, the recognition feels deeply meaningful and affirming because it reflects back an important part of my identity. On the other, it feels somewhat incongruent; I serve because I believe we have a collective responsibility to our profession and our community, not for individual recognition or reward.”

Barrio Minton was nominated for this award by the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC), a division of ACA for which she has served as president. She will be recognized and awarded during a ceremony held at the ACA Annual Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA from March 16-19, 2017.


Jennifer Moralejo“I am honored to represent Upsilon Theta through this opportunity. I look forward to meeting and collaborating with Chi Sigma Iota leadership and other selected fellows. Overall, I am excited for this opportunity and the upcoming year.”

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that focuses on promoting academic and professional excellence in counseling. CSI was established in 1985 and was created for counselors-in-training, counselor educators, and professional counselors.
The CSI Leadership Fellows Program is a yearly award designed to cultivate and support graduate counseling students by developing their skills, network, and competencies as future counseling professionals in a changing, multicultural society. When asked what the application process was like Moralejo explained, “Faculty and peers were supportive. Part of this process required that I reflect upon my leadership philosophy and how being a fellow may further develop my ideas, skills, and experiences. It was an honor to even be considered for nomination and definitely surprising and exciting to be selected for the fellowship.”

Moralejo will be attending the American Counseling Association (ACA) Annual Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA in March 2017. As CSI Leadership Fellow, she will provide a minimum of fifty service hours on a CSI task force/committee and one hundred hours on special projects, attend the CSI Leadership Training, attend CSI activities, receive a $600 grant from CSI, receive a $100 dollar grant from her nominating CSI chapter (Upsilon Theta), and be recognized at the CSI Awards Ceremony during the ACA Annual Conference and Expo.


Everett Painter“I very much value the role CSI plays in our profession. So I consider this a privilege and am grateful for the opportunity. It also means a great deal to know the faculty were supportive of the nomination.”

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that focuses on promoting academic and professional excellence in counseling. CSI was established in 1985 and was created for counselors-in-training, counselor educators, and professional counselors.

The CSI Leadership Fellows Program is a yearly award designed to cultivate and support graduate counseling students by developing their skills, network, and competencies as future counseling professionals in a changing, multicultural society. Painter explained, “It requires previous leadership experiences at the chapter level, support of two faculty members and the chapter advisor, a financial commitment on the part of the chapter, and application process including the writing of an essay.” He is currently the president of Upsilon Theta, the CSI chapter at UT Knoxville.

Painter will be attending the American Counseling Association (ACA) Annual Conference and Expo in Montreal, Canada next month. As CSI Leadership Fellow and Intern, he will provide a minimum of fifty service hours on a CSI task force/committee and one hundred hours on special projects, attend the CSI Leadership Training, attend CSI activities, receive a $600 grant from CSI, receive a hundred dollar grant from their nominating CSI chapter (Upsilon Theta), and be recognized at the CSI Awards Ceremony with a plaque at the ACA Annual Conference and Expo. After a successful CSI Internship year, Painter will also receive a certificate of recognition at the 2017 CSI Awards Ceremony and an additional $600.


Amanda DeDiego and Alessandra Rhinehart

Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) is an international honor society that focuses on promoting academic and professional excellence in counseling. CSI was established in 1985 and was created for counselors-in-training, counselor educators, and professional counselors.

The CSI Leadership Fellows Program is a yearly award designed to cultivate and support graduate counseling students by developing their skills, network, and competencies as future counseling professionals in a changing, multicultural society.

DeDiego and Rhinehart will be attending the American Counseling Association (ACA) Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida next month. As CSI Leadership Fellows, they also will provide a minimum of fifty service hours on a CSI task force/committee, receive a $600 grant from CSI, receive a hundred dollar grant from their nominating CSI Chapter (Upsilon Theta), and be recognized at the CSI Awards Ceremony with a plaque at the ACA Annual Conference and Expo.

CSI Leadership Fellows_021215_SClark_15

In Upsilon Theta, DeDiego acts as Workshop Chair planning professional development activities, at times partnering with other university organizations. Rhinehart has served as Secretary, President Elect, President, and is currently acting as Past President, advising the current President. She is also on the CSI International Awards Committee Panel.

Didego and Rhinehart expressed special excitement over their training at the ACA conference next month, because they will be learning from Presidents and CEOs from organizations such as the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

CSI Leadership Fellows_021215_SClark_26

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