Thursday, February 9, 2023

Three Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral students recently received Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Graduate Student Grants. These grants are awarded annually to doctoral students pursuing research projects at institutions across the nation. This year, three University of Iowa College of Education students were each awarded $500 grants, to conduct their research projects.

Following are the 2023 ACES Grant Recipients from the College of Education:

Sailee Karkhanis

Sailee Karkhanis is from Mumbai, India. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of social media and the internet on one’s emotional and mental well-being/health. “For this grant specifically, I am looking at how adolescents from minoritized communities who lack proper safeguards and protection use social media in their daily lives,” Karkhanis says.

“I was ecstatic when I was notified about winning this award,” she adds. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and the people who have supported me during the entire process.”

This award opens many doors for Karkhanis, who is grateful for the credibility and exposure to her research that this award provides, along with helping make her research possible thanks to the funding.

Reflecting on her own journey, Karkhanis offers words of advice for other students pursuing research opportunities.

“I believe that to be successful in research, one needs to be open to delayed gratification and the concept of failure,” Karkhanis says. “If you are passionate about the work that you are doing, no criticism is going to stop you from moving forward.” 

After graduation, she plans to continue pursuing research, advocacy, and teaching, with a goal of working as a university professor.

Kayla Kemp

Kayla Kemp is from Mora, Minnesota. Her research explores advocacy within the field of counselor education, with a specific focus on how counselors rate their own competence in advocacy work, and how this competence may or may not change over time.

 “Ultimately, I hope this research will provide counselor education programs with insight about possible training opportunities and curriculum changes to support their students in developing strong advocate identities,” Kemp says.

“When I learned I received this award, I was so excited. It’s very affirming to have someone else see value in the work you’re doing,” Kemp says. She also recognizes how valuable this grant is in helping her complete her research, through incentivizing individuals to participate and being able to fairly compensate these people for their time.

Kemp also advocates for students pursuing research to consider doing so with a friend, to make the journey easier and more rewarding for everybody involved. “Find someone to bounce ideas off of – having a research buddy, even if you’re not working on the same project, is invaluable,” Kemp says.

After graduation, Kemp hopes to continue working with teaching, research, and practicing counseling. “I find great value in using knowledge from all areas of my professional life, so I hope to find space in academia that allows me to fulfill three roles – that of educator, researcher, and practitioner,” Kemp says.

Byeolbee Um

Byeolbee Um is from Gunpo, South Korea. Her research aims to identify the relationship between minority stress and burnout in counseling students of color.

“Based on the Stress-Strain-Outcome (SSO) model, I plan to examine the impact of counseling self-efficacy and social support of counseling students of color on preventing their burnout,” Um says.

Um was excited and grateful to receive this award, which will propel her to complete her research prior to May graduation.

“The funding will be used to measure academic burnout of counseling students of color and encourage their participation in the survey,” Um says.

Um also highlights the importance of utilizing the resources available to students at the university, whether physical or human resources, such as mentors or advisors.

“I want to encourage others to deeply think about what they are really interested in and how it can contribute to our field,” Um says. “I got so much support from my mentors and our program, so it's also important to find great resources around you.”

After graduation, she hopes to continue working with the ideas explored in her research, along with a career in counseling.

 “I want to be a school counselor educator at a university and support my students' successful development as school counselors,” Um says, “And as a researcher, I want to conduct more community-based research projects for improving the mental health of school counselors and underrepresented students.”