NEW COUNSELING AND HUMAN SERVICES CHAIR BUILDS ON PROGRAM'S STRENGTHS
For Janine M. Bernard, timing was everything. Taking over as chair of the graduate Counseling and Human Services Programs this fall, Bernard inherited a solid, well-respected department with a balance of veteran and new faculty members. “There’s a lot of energy here to build on the department’s strengths,” she says. “Our goal is to enhance our status in the profession so that we are seen as a key program nationally, especially at the doctoral level. We’ll look at where we want to be 10 years from now. You only get a few opportunities to do that within a department.”
Bernard came to SU highly regarded in her field. A counselor educator for 15 years at Fairfield University in Connecticut, she received the American Counseling Association (ACA) 2000 Arthur A. Hitchcock Distinguished Professional Service Award for significant contributions to the profession. According to the ACA, Bernard’s 1979 article in the journal Counselor Education and Supervision changed the profession’s view of clinical supervision. She also published a well-regarded textbook, Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision. She served on the board of directors of the National Board for Certified Counselors from 1993 to 1999, and was chair from 1997 to 1998. During her tenure, the board developed the Approved Clinical Supervisor credential, and she worked at the state level to obtain licensing for professional counselors in Connecticut.
Bernard was attracted to counseling because of its focus on human development. “I see counseling as an optimistic discipline,” she says. “I believe most of us have the capacity to take the next positive step in our personal journey. Counseling isn’t a cure-all, but it always involves the potential for positive development.” The field is a blend of psychology and education, she says, and counselor educators must strive to balance the two. “To become recognized as a legitimate mental health field, we established ourselves in the world of psychology,” she says. “In doing that, we risked losing the educational component. We’ve had to balance both the remedial and the preventive worlds. I like to say we’re the health club of the mental health field—we don’t want to lose that aspect.”
Counseling departments, she says, must remain aware of the personal nature of the field. “We need to be vigilant about challenging students to integrate counseling knowledge intellectually and personally,” she says. “Our students take their education in counseling personally. The challenge for faculty is to provide a healthy context for students to do the work they’ll need to succeed.”
Bernard is looking forward to working with SU’s rehabilitation counseling programs, a new experience for her. “I’ve never worked as a faculty member in a department that had programs in rehab counseling as well as counselor education,” she says. “That’s an exciting blend, because we have to keep in mind at all times people who are challenged by physical or mental disabilities, and how what we’re teaching serves those people as well as school or college counseling populations. I like that balance, because each specialty can inform the other.”
ENGINEERING EDUCATION SCHOLARS WORKSHOP GUIDES NEW FACULTY TOWARD SUCCESS
With the support of a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Graduate School have teamed up to help shape the training of future engineering professors. Representatives from the two schools joined personnel from Howard University and the University of New Hampshire this past summer to present the Engineering Education Scholars (EES) workshop in Durham, New Hampshire. The goal of the interactive workshop was to provide aspiring or new engineering faculty members with strategies and tools to improve their teaching.
Civil engineering professor Sam Clemence, co-director of the workshop, says when the project began he felt it would be an invaluable tool for aspiring faculty. And he wasn’t disappointed. “This workshop was one of the most stimulating experiences in my academic career,” he says. “The responses from participants have been overwhelming—they feel empowered and well-prepared to become effective teachers and researchers at their institutions.”
The NSF awarded more than $320,000 to SU to develop the three-year project, which will continue with a workshop in summer 2001 at Howard University and finish the following summer at SU. The three institutions are nationally known for their faculty preperation programs, such as SU’s Future Professoriate Project.
Stacey Lane Tice, assistant dean of the Graduate School and co-director of the workshop, says the workshop was effective because it was interactive and comprehensive. Participants created lesson plans, wrote grant proposals, and used various methods of classroom instruction, receiving feedback from the professors and their peers. “We have some of the most talented engineering professors in the Northeast guiding the participants,” Tice says. “In similar settings you only have people from an education background. They are excellent, but having professors from the discipline enhances the process.”
Shobha Bhatia, professor of civil engineering, and Shiu-Kai Chin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, joined Clemence as the SU representatives on the workshop faculty.
Jae Oh, a new SU faculty member, felt fortunate to attend the EES workshop. “I am still amazed that in three days we were exposed to so many topics, such as syllabus development, proposal writing, classroom instruction, the balance between professional and personal life, the list goes on,” Oh says. “I definitely believe that attending the workshop helped ease my transition.”
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