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Phd Programs


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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Leia Cain

Educational Psychology & Counseling’s Dr. Leia Cain, Assistant Professor of Evaluation, Statistics & Methodology, discussed some of her research on February 9 in the first virtual lecture of a series hosted by The Commission for LGBT People and the UT Pride Center.

Leia Cain, an Assistant Professor for the Educational Psychology & Counseling PhD Program in Evaluation, Statistics & Measurement,┬ákicked off the UT Pride Center’s latest lecture series on February 9 with a compelling talk entitled, “Spilling the (Sweet) Tea: How Southern U.S. Queer Students Thrive in Icy University Climates.”

Cain holds a PhD from the University of South Carolina. Her current research focuses on “LGBTQ+ Student and Faculty Experiences in Higher Education.”Photo of a mason jar filled with sweet tea and a straw, set on an outdoor table.

Among the topics discussed in the lecture, Cain shared her recent research on the positive and negative experiences of LGBTQ+ students and faculty in Southern culture, and how institutions can be more inclusive.

For more information about this lecture, and to register for upcoming lectures, visit the UT Pride Center in the Student Union, room 373, M-F 8am-5pm.

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