Welcome to the Fall 2022 Semester! 


Welcome to a new academic year! This semester marks a return to many social and in-person activities that were absent in the pandemic. We hope you enjoyed our Counseling Program Orientation and Potluck as well as our Department Picnic at the JMU Farm. In this issue, we get to know our new faculty (Dr. Stephanie Crockett and Dr. Kenson Hiatt), hear from some of our alums, welcome our newest students, celebrate the return of Pizza and Process, and review our Fall Calendar and other resources that might be helpful..

Our New Faculty

Please give a warm welcome to our newest faculty, Dr. Stephanie Crockett and Dr. Kenson Hiatt.

Dr. Stephanie Crockett

I grew up in a small, rural town in Southwest Virginia and went to a small college in Tennessee where I got my bachelor’s degree in psychology. After college, I worked for a few years in vocational rehabilitation and really came to enjoy working with folks one-on-one. In 2005, I began my master’s program at Old Dominion University. I also worked in the career center at ODU where I provided career counseling to students.

I have always had a passion for higher education and teaching, so I decided to pursue my doctorate in counselor education in 2008. While in my doctoral program at ODU, I continued to practice career counseling. I dabbled in private practice, providing career counseling to women in transition. I also worked in the high schools providing crisis counseling.

After graduating in 2011 with my doctoral degree, I started my first faculty job in the counseling department at Oakland University. During my time there I was the Director of the Adult Career Counseling Center, as well as the coordinator for the counseling Ph.D. program.

I am passionate about conducting research in the counseling field. My specific interests include counselor preparation, professional counseling issues and trends, as well as action/outcome research in counseling. I enjoy being a part of research-practitioner collaborations that produce consequential results for counselors practicing in real-world settings. I always welcome interested students to be a part of these research collaborations.

I will be teaching courses in the Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision program. My courses include Applied Research, Advanced Supervision, and Advanced Techniques. I will also be serving as the president-elect of the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling. This is the American Counseling Association’s division for research nerds such as myself!

Outside of my work life, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two cats, Freddie and Ozzie. They are the best of friends and can often be found napping together. When we are not hanging out with the cats, my husband and I love exploring the outdoors. We regularly run many of the trails in Shenandoah National Park. I also enjoy backpacking and have visited many national parks outside of Virginia. Some of my favorite include Olympic National Park, the Grand Canyon, and the National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Dr. Kenson Hiatt

Hello! My name is Kenson Hiatt and I’m thrilled to be part of the counseling programs here at JMU. I’m coming here as a fresh graduate from William & Mary’s Ph.D. program in Counselor Education. I have a background in clinical mental health, addictions, career, and couples counseling. At my core, I am relational and I love helping others achieve growth, improvement, and healing. I also consider myself a deeply spiritual person who feels compelled to explore existential philosophy and questions. I find great meaning and connection in learning about the religious and spiritual beliefs of others, which is also an important part of my research agenda.

I have written articles and conducted research about religious/spiritual (R/S) competence in counseling and I am currently attempting to encourage a paradigm shift in our field. I hope to help clinicians focus on having a R/S orientation that allows client and clinician to co-create safe spaces for sharing and exploring R/S beliefs and identities. I have also written articles about clinical supervision, including a novel approach for compassionately supporting supervisees through their development process as new clinicians.

This year I’ll be teaching the clinical internship for the CMHC students as well as the group counseling course. I also look forward to meeting with students and finding ways to serve you. That’s the main reason I decided to become a counselor educator. I want to help students become great counselors who find joy and meaning in their work. So please don’t hesitate to approach me! I tend to be friendly and I truly am eager to help.

A little more about me: I am married and a father of three girls. I love being a “girl dad.” I also carefully maintain my “dad bod” (i.e., like André the Giant said in The Princess Bride, “I don’t even exercise!”) while celebrating the mediocrity of my “dad” identity. I love streaming movies and shows, playing Nintendo, and playing board/card games. Despite not exercising well, I enjoy playing sports (basketball, tennis, soccer) and being outdoors.

Our New Students


Brook Carroll
Katelyn Dolieslager
Ashlea Hough
Joel Porter
Tyler Puryear
Kyle Rose
Jaclyn Sovocool


Emma Hines
Brittany Hook
Veronica Jones
Madelyn (Maddy) Ohm
Tara Pollnitz
Danilo Salli
Rayah Secrist
Emily Wagener
Diondre (Dre) Watkins


Tyler Brooks
Autumn Dawson
Emily Gardner
Gianna Genzale
Madison Greer
Brook Hostetter Gonzalez
Edward (Eddie) Mann
Kerry Scannell
Jessica Tutton

Alum Spotlight

We continue our new feature that shines light on some of our recent alums. Read below to hear what they are up to and advice they have for current students.

Sarah Kennedy Zamfir (she/her)

Graduated in 2017 from the School Counseling Program

What Sarah’s been up to professionally

After graduation, I spent a year doing Therapeutic Day Treatment with elementary aged students. Now, I’m an elementary school counselor! I was at a rural Title I primary school in Buckingham, VA for three years and now I’m at a Title I elementary school in Reston, VA.

Research/interesting interventions

I’ve done several trainings in trauma informed practices, art-based interventions, and many more!

Advice for current students

Fully immerse yourself in your internships and practicums. Become a part of that school’s community and really learn the ins and outs. Also, just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice! Advocate for students during your internships - often, schools can become blind to their own biases and an outsider POV is so valuable. The trainings provided in JMU’s program are so valuable and I use the practices daily. Take advantage of everything they have to offer because it’s all applicable!

Return of Pizza and Process!

Pizza and Process offers students from all programs a chance to connect in- person with peers and faculty. Each one takes place once per month, on a different day of the week, and from 12:00-1:00 PM (Miller or Johnston Hall). Locations will be announced in the week leading up to each Pizza and Process. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Connection. Catch up and check in with students and faculty whom you may not see regularly.
  • Reminders. Faculty facilitators will review the calendar and offer recommendations for items to keep on your radar. Occasionally, alums or other members of our community may talk about professional opportunities like conferences, volunteering, and jobs
  • Questions. Everyone will have an opportunity to ask questions in all matters related to the programs and counseling professions that can benefit everyone.

Counseling Programs Calendar




Counseling Programs Orientation and Potluck, JMU Arboretum Pavillion 4-6 pm


First day of classes.


Department of Graduate Psychology Welcome Picnic (JMU Farm)




Graduate Psychology Department Meeting (1pm to 2:30pm).


Last day to withdraw from the university with cancellation of tuition charges and refund


Pizza & Process @12p, location is TBA (Miller or Johnston)




Fall break


Last day to submit an application for a Masters, Ed.S. or Doctoral degree if graduation requirements are to be met in May or August 2022.


Pizza & Process @12p location is TBA (Miller or Johnston)


Interprofessional Education Seminar for School Counseling Interns




SACES Conference

11/7/2022 Spring registration begins.
11/16-18/2022 VCA Conference.
11/17/2022 Pizza & Process @12p location is TBA (Miller or Johnston)
11/18/2022 Comprehensive assessment results and scholarly documents are due to The Graduate School for December 2022 graduation candidates.
11/19-27/2022 Thanksgiving holiday break.
12/9/2022 Last day of classes
12/17/2022 December graduation ceremony.



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

JMU Graduate Psychology
JMU Graduate Programs in Counseling
JMU School Counseling (Instagram)

Counseling Organizations

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

American Counseling Association and the Virginia Counselors Association, as well as its relevant divisions and chapters.

American Mental Health Counselors Association

American School Counselor Association

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

In this issue, you will find:

  • Welcome Note
  • Our New Faculty
  • Our New Students
  • Alum Spotlight
  • Return of Pizza and Process
  • Updated Fall Calendar
  • Resources

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