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Alessandra Rhinehart


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Jennifer Ann Morrow, ESM Program Coordinator, was one of four recipients of the Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award. This award is hosted by the University of Tennessee Alumni Association and is part of their continuing effort to support creative and resourceful instruction, as well as recognizing exceptional teaching. After nominations, a committee of nine narrowed things down to ten finalists who were required to provide a resume, recent student evaluations, curriculum vitae, an essay about their teaching philosophy, and their spring schedule for classroom observation. This award also came with a cash reward.

Jennifer Ann Morrow“I just wanted to say thank you to all of my students for inspiring me to always make my classes as applicable and useful as they can be. You all keep me on my toes. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love to do, which is be excited about methodology…and hopefully have you get excited about it too.”

Brittany Pollard, Counselor Education PhD Candidate, was one of four recipients of the Extraordinary Graduate Student Teaching Award. This is a university-wide award given to graduate students for extraordinary performance in teaching.

Brittany Pollard original(1)_1“I am so thrilled and honored to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Graduate Teaching. My work with the Grief Outreach Initiative has been an invaluable experience and I’m so grateful for the incredible mentorship I’ve received and the students who have made coordinating this project a dream come true!”

Niranji Pathirage, ESM PhD Candidate, and Alessandra Rhinehart, Counselor Education PhD Candidate, were each one of seven recipients of the Extraordinary Professional Promise Award. This is a college-wide award given to students for professional promise in areas such as teaching and research.

Alessandra Rhinehart“I am happy to express my sincerest gratitude to the Counselor Education program faculty, department, college, university, and Chancellor for recognizing my extraordinary professional promise in research, teaching, and other contributions to the counseling profession. It is truly an honor, not only to accept this award, but also to embark upon my professional career with the knowledge, expertise, leadership skills, and grace afforded by my professors and mentors. I celebrate my training and ability to have a significant, positive impact on my students, the counseling profession, and the lives of those indirectly impacted by my service.”


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.

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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).

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Graduate Student Ethics Case Study Competition and placed 3rd overall. All four are in the Counselor Education Program –  Bruner, Painter, and Taylor as PhD students and Rhinehart as a PhD Candidate.

CE ACA Case Study Winners

ACA explains that this competition is an opportunity for graduate students to analyze a potential ethical case and create an appropriate decision-making plan of how to respond.

Once receiving the case scenario, Bruner, Painter, Rhinehart, and Taylor had to identify the dilemma, list their proposed ethical actions, justify those proposed actions, and describe the decision-making model used to arrive at that decision. They chose Welfel’s ethical decision-making model. Painter explained that this model incorporates reflection as a final step, which is not explicit in many other decision-making models. The team’s full essay response is posted on the ACA website.

CE ACA Case Study Winners around table

They placed third out of thirty-nine teams, each winning a fifty-dollar gift certificate to the ACA Bookstore, a certificate, and letter of recognition. Plus, their names are going to be published in Counseling Today, and their team essay response will be submitted to VISTAS (an online peer-reviewed article database) for consideration of publication. Also, they have all been invited to attend the ACA Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida next month to be recognized at the National Awards Ceremony. Bruner and Rhinehart are planning to attend the conference.

CE ACA Case Study Winners around conference table

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