Friday, November 10, 2023

The University of Iowa College of Education’s Department of Counselor Education faculty and doctoral students have been honored for their work in counselor education by the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NCACES). 

Erin Barnes: NCACES Outstanding Supervisor Award

Portrait of Erin Barnes, clinical associate professor in Rehabilitation Counseling
Erin Barnes

Erin Barnes is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Counselor Education who has been with the College of Education since fall 2018. She was awarded the NCACES Outstanding Supervisor Award based on four student testimony letters from her clinical mental health counseling students  and one from a colleague. 

“I was touched,” Barnes says of her reaction when she won. “I was just genuinely grateful for all the people who took so much time to recognize the investments that I make in students.”  

Barnes works to create environments that facilitate psychological safety and where students feel their personal experiences are valuable learning contributions.  

“I'm always thinking about how I am helping them to be leaders,” says Barnes. “How am I helping them to be scholars, and how am I helping them to be innovative, and what those nomination letters show me is that what I actively try to manifest does happen.” 

Allison Levine: NCACES Outstanding Professional Teaching Award

Allison Levine
Allison Levine

Allison Levine is an assistant professor in the College of Education's Department of Counselor Education. She was nominated by Barnes, with supporting letters from current and former students, and ultimately was selected for the NCACES Outstanding Professional Teaching Award.

“I teach a challenging class, so it's nice to know that students are still having a good experience when they're in my class,” Levine says.

Levine works with graduate students in counseling on how to be effective clinicians when working with people from marginalized backgrounds.

“In our multiculturalism class, students are learning how to reflect on their personal relationships to diversity and equity and what that means for them and how that may look when they are in a counseling position working with someone who is having an experience that they have never seen before,”she says. “And to be able to understand how the cultural context fits into that person's ultimate treatment plan and goals in a way that supports a positive mental health outcome for that particular client.”

Levine says she came to the College of Education in 2021 because she was impressed by the rehabilitation counseling program

“This department and faculty have been historically really successful in putting out strong counselors into the community,” Levine says.

Sailee Karkhanis: NCACES Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Sailee Karkhanis

Sailee Karkhanis, a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Department of Counselor Education, received the NCACES Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

Her research focuses on the K-12 population and the demands students face in the 21st century.

“I’m interested in any issues regarding technology, identity crisis, diversity and inclusion of all those topics together,” Karkhanis says. “And currently, one of the research projects that I'm working on under this broad realm of research is the impact of social media on the at-risk adolescent population’s emotional and mental health.”

Karkhanis says it was surreal to be the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, the first regional award she has won.

“It's a validation of the work that I have done and that I am moving in the right direction. I am grateful for it,” she says. “It is also a sign that I should continue working hard, follow the research interests that I am passionate about and keep moving forward.”

Chantel Johnson and Tevin Middleton: NCACES Research Grant recipients

A headshot of Chantel Johnson.
Chantel Johnson

Chantel Johnson and Tevin Middleton were awarded the NCACES Research Grant to fund the project entitled "Development of Minority Student Recruitment and Retention Tool for CACREP –Accredited Counselor Education Programs.”

“When we were notified, we won the award, we were elated to know that we were selected and that our research endeavors will be financially supported,” Johnson and Middleton say in a shared statement. “ As students of color, we found it imperative to celebrate this major achievement, and we look forward to developing this tool to support our profession to become more diverse.” 

A headshot of Tevin Middleton.
Tevin Middleston

Johnson and Middleton’s lived experiences within and outside of the profession motivate their shared research interest in multicultural issues in the profession.  

Johnson is currently a temporary licensed mental health counselor who works with adults and children, and she is also a third-year doctoral student in the College of Education Counselor Education and Supervision Program. She says she is excited to be creating this tool with her colleague and co- principal investigator Middleton. Johnson also shared that she hopes this tool will be used throughout counselor education programs in different geographical locations. 

Middleton is a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Department of Counselor Education, who is certified as a professional school counselor. He is also currently a temporary licensed mental health counselor. Middleton shares that he is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Johnson in developing a tool to aid the counseling profession.