Welcome to the Fall 2021 Semester!

In this issue...

Welcome Note
Alum Spotlight
Responding to Covid Together
Orientation Recap
Updated Fall Calendar

We look forward to seeing you this fall, with more opportunities for in-person classes and conversation.  While we are all stick working amid a pandemic, we intend this issue to be one echoing themes of support and community.  With a look to our past (Alum Spotlight), present (Orientation), and our near future (Fall calendar), we hope these themes resonate in our experience this semester.

Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Mina Attia

Graduation year: 2019
Current Job: 
Assistant Professor of Counseling at The George Washington University

  1. Seek Mentorship - at every graduate school level, mentorship is an essential tool to feel supported, gain wisdom from seasoned professionals, and grow personally and professionally.
  2. Stay Focused - graduate school is a breeding ground for imposter syndrome. Don't listen to it. Reflect, follow your passions for being in this field, and have high aspirations.
  3. Actually Practice Self-care - we talk a lot about self-care in counseling programs, and the reality is, people can easily overlook this essential step. Graduate school is the best time to practice cultivating these skills.

Kaila Spurlock

Gradation Year: 2020
Current Job: 
School Counselor at Keister Elementary School in Harrisonburg
 Hi, everyone! Welcome to the counseling programs at JMU. This program has impacted my life far beyond the profession of school counseling. As you learn the role of counselor, I encourage you to enter into the process and embrace moments of discomfort. Take the time to master your basic counseling skills (LUV) because these will be the heart of what you do with your future clients. You will have many professional development opportunities to master the "science" of counseling. Take these years to develop and lay the foundation for the art of counseling.

Olivia Gillies

Graduation year: 2016
Current Job: 
Same Day Access Clinician at Valley Community Services Board
I think more practical guidance would be to get experience working with clients in crisis, such as through a hospital or the Emergency Services department through a Community Services Board. It is helpful to understand the process of hospitalization and getting comfortable addressing a client in crisis. I also recall that the program strongly encouraged self-care, and I only sort of took it seriously at the time. But now working full time I realize how important this is. I need to set boundaries for myself and have other hobbies that can take my mind off things when my workday is tough.


We enjoyed getting to see many of you – some for the first time! – on Tuesday, August 24th for the orientation for the School and Clinical Programs.  Here are some important reminders from the meeting:

  • Ask for help when you need it.  Renee (Clinical Program Director), Michele (School Program Director), Joe, and Amanda may each not have the answers to all your questions or concerns, but all are ready to help you in the process of finding them.  We are all in Johnston Hall (right next to Miller Hall, where you will have many of your classes).
  • Consult the various resources available.  Your program’s handbook, found through the Graduate Psychology website, contains tons of important information.  See the resource links at the end of the issue for other links to organizations discussed in orientation.
  • Check in with your peer mentors.  Tuesday provided many of you the opportunity to meet with your peer mentors.  We encourage everyone to keep connecting throughout the semester and beyond.  Their help is invaluable!

Welcome to Our Newest Community Members!

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  • Kate Bailey
  • Eileen Clinton
  • Emily Flaherty
  • Kelly Higgins
  • Matthew Higgins
  • Kimberly Hughes
  • Kylie Mirabella
  • Ian Richard
  • Caitlin Vu
  • Ashley Oginz Wilson

School Counseling

  • Gillian Aiello
  • Emma Dulin
  • Meredith Hynes
  • Emily Kunowsky
  • Rae Martz
  • Madison McKay
  • Madison Moore
  • Nathan Ostrande

Counseling and Supervision

  • Cannie Campbell
  • Liz Dinwiddle
  • Ellen Dotas
  • Anne Erickson
  • Shayna Finn
  • Onteria Harris
  • Renee Haskins
  • Jacqueline Houston
  • Sarah Johnson
  • Jinok Lim
  • Brian Lusk

Fall 2021
Counseling Programs Calendar

Counseling Programs Calendar Fall 2021



Orientation for CMHC and School Programs at the JMU Arboretum from 3:00-4:00PM


Classes Begin




CACREP and Directors’ Meeting from 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC from 2:00-3:30PM (Directors)


Counseling Faculty Meeting 10:00AM-12:00PM


Tea & Talk at 12:00PM with Renée & Michele


Department of Graduate Psychology meeting (All).


Last day to withdrawal from classes with a full refund


CACREP and Directors’ Meeting from 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC from 2:00-3:30PM (Directors)


C&S Doctoral Program Residency Weekend


Counseling Faculty Meeting from 10:00AM-12:00PM




Counseling Faculty Meeting from 10:00AM-12:00PM


ACES Conference, Atlanta, GA


Tea & Talk at 12:00PM with Amanda


CACREP and Directors’ Meeting from 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC from 2:00-3:30PM (Directors)


Department of Graduate Psychology meeting (All)


Last day to submit application for Masters, Ed.S., or Doctoral degree


Counseling Faculty Meeting from 10:00AM-12:00PM


Fall Break




Counseling Faculty Meeting from 10:00AM-12:00PM


CACREP and Directors’ Meeting from 11:00AM-1:00PM
Tea & Talk at 12:00PM with Debbie & Joe
GCC from 2:00-3:30PM (Directors)


Virginia Counseling Association Conference




Department of Graduate Psychology meeting (All)
Spring 2022 Registration begins


C&S Doctoral Program Residency Weekend


Counseling Faculty Meeting from 10:00AM-12:00PM


CACREP and Directors’ Meeting from 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC from 2:00-3:30PM (Directors)


Comprehensive assessment results and scholarly documents due TGS for Dec. 2021 graduation


Thanksgiving holiday




CACREP and Directors’ Meeting from 11:00AM-1:00PM
GCC from 2:00-3:30PM (Directors)


Counseling Faculty Meeting from 10:00AM-12:00PM


Last day of classes


Final examinations


Department of Graduate Psychology meeting (All)


Deadline completion of coursework for Dec. graduates



Need a Graduate Assistantship?

Be sure to check openings regularly on Joblink! Additional openings are likely to be added throughout the semester and into the summer.

Keep an Eye on:

Several offices at JMU offer support for graduate students. Here are a few:

Counseling Programs on Social Media

Counseling Organizations

If you’d like to keep abreast of what’s going on in the field this summer, be sure to check out:

We Care About You and Our Community

JMU and the Department of Graduate Psychology are committed to the health and well-being of every single member of our learning community. This means that we remain responsive on a daily basis to the ebb and flow of the COVID-19 virus in our community and among its members. 

If you are feeling at all under the weather or have any concern that you may have been exposed, we cannot stress strongly enough that we prefer you not to attend in-person classes. Accommodations will be made without any consequences for those who prefer to meet synchronously online or via asynchronous methods. We should not be taking any risks with each other. 

If you have questions about JMU’s planning and response, please refer to the Stop the Spread page.  This page is being continually updated. Also see President Alger’s message to the community about COVID’s impact on this fall here.

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