My interest in counseling and counselor education began while I was working with court-referred adolescents. After several years in the field, I began to pursue a master's degree with the hope that it would help me learn to be more effective clinically and give me more credibility when interacting with social service agencies. Gradually, I realized that while increasing my knowledge and skills about working with individuals was important, that systemic change was essential to the long-term success of the children and families with whom I was working. What I learned about the process and value of research in my master’s degree led me to pursue my PhD. What I have learned through reading and conducting research continues to build on the early lessons I learned working with adolescents that: it is crucial to understand cultural context, relationships matter, and individual problems often reflect broader systemic ones. I am a firm believer in the benefits of early intervention, prevention, and working for systemic as well as individual change.
My goal is that my students develop the personal awareness and clinical skills they need to be effective counselors and also become committed and effective agents of systemic change. I believe that those in the counseling field possess the skills and knowledge to help improve the lives of others through advocacy as well as through more traditional individual and group counseling services. I hope that all those who complete the program at CU Denver leave with, not only the knowledge they need, but also the motivation to continue to learn and grow professionally and personally throughout their lives.
Counseling Theories – CPCE 5010
Internship Supervision – CPCE 5930
Introduction to School Counseling – CPCE 5815
Developing and Implementing School Counseling Programs – CPCE 5425
My Research Interests
My research interests lie in discovering both effective interventions and identifying the critical components that promote the education and personal development of individuals and families, particularly those from historically marginalized groups. This broad interest includes several different areas. The first of these is inquiry into elements of the counseling process and evaluation of the effectiveness of school and clinical mental health counseling programs. Exploring how multicultural and social justice perspectives can be effectively infused into counselor education and counselor practice is another element. Lastly, I examine school counselor activities that promote the success of students in the three domains of the ASCA model: academic, career, and personal-social.
My hobbies include spending time engaging with my two daughters as they discover the world and going outside to play in the mountains.