Congratulations Graduates!

Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our 2021 graduates:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Jenna Clough
David Comer
Samantha Haling
Kathleen Hobbs
Melissa Kee
Emily Shank
Rachel Wilson

Counseling and Supervision

Stephanie Chalk
Peace Nadine Ningabire
John Rogers
Charles Shepard

School Counseling

Audra Koogler
Chelsea Martin
Caleigh Strother
Hannah Walker

The following students were also recognized as our 2020-2021 Award Recipients:

Outstanding Scholarship

This award is presented to students who have made exceptional contributions to research or scholarship in their field.

Charles Shepard

Outstanding Service

This award is presented to students who have made exceptional contributions in service to the Department of Graduate Psychology, university, community, or profession.

Hannah Walker

Outstanding Teaching

This award is presented to students who have demonstrated exceptional contributions in the area of teaching.

Karli Fleitas

William Hall Award for Contributions to the Learning Community

The William Hall Award is presented to the Counseling Programs student who has made outstanding contributions to the professional growth of other students and has significantly advanced the study of counseling.

Emily Shank

Helen Moore Award for Counseling Excellence

The Helen Moore Award is presented to the Counseling Programs student who has been exemplary in pursuing counseling excellence.

Samantha Haling

Carl Swanson Award for Service to the Counseling Profession

The Carl Swanson Award is presented to the Counseling Programs student who has made significant contributions to the program and the profession.

Caleigh Strother

We are proud of each and every one of our graduates and wish you the best in your professional journey. Please stay in touch, and congratulations on your accomplishments!

Welcome to our new Clinical, Counseling and Supervision, and School Counseling cohorts

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Ed.S.

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

Counseling and Supervision Ph.D.

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

School Counseling Ed.S.

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

Program News

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Although we expect to be back in classrooms in a more traditional format in the fall, the first year cohort ensured that those in the classroom as well as those joining online were always included in class discussions.

The 2021 CMHC grads are a cohort of talented and passionate counselors. Combined, this cohort has provided over 4900 of direct and indirect counseling services within Harrisonburg and the surrounding counties. With varied clinical interests including mental health, substance use, trauma, rural health, eating disorders, existentialism, animal-assisted therapies, and trauma-informed marital arts - this group of accomplished counselors are ready to launch into the counseling workforce. CONGRATULATIONS and Go Dukes!

Counseling and Supervision

Congratulations to the following students for successfully defending their dissertations:

Dr. Stephanie Chalk
Posttraumatic Growth During COVID-19: A Quantitative Analysis of Individualist and Collectivist Values

Dr. Peace Nadine Ningabire
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Self-Reported Emotional Well-Being for Well-Functioning Young Adults: The Case of Burundian College Students


Dr. John Rogers
Homelessness and Mental Health: A Participatory Action Research Approach


Dr. Charles Shepard
Informing Consent: A Grounded Theory Study of Parents of Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth Seeking Gender Confirming Endocrinological Interventions


Additional Accomplishments:

Dr. Chalk will join the faculty of Marymount University as Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program.

Karli Fleitas presented the session “HyBrid, HyFlex, Hy-What?” at the 2021 VACES Conference in February.

Corban Smith presented the session “From Criminal to Client: Cultural Considerations and Best Practices in Substance Abuse Counseling with Offenders” at the VACES conference. Corban has also written an article that will be published in the August 2021 issue of Counseling Today.

Dr. Debbie Sturm was selected to receive the 2021 Climate Justice Award from the Association of Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA).

School Counseling


Pictured: Emily Pace (Left) and Megan Hopkins (Right), holding book read to students at the learning pod.

The School Counseling program has some exciting news. Our program was recently approved to shift from a 54 credit-hour Master’s degree to a 60 credit-hour Educational Specialist degree (EdS). This degree is a step beyond the master's degree and oftentimes leads to a higher salary in K-12 educational settings.

Our accrediting body, CACREP, has required all school counseling programs to move to 60 credit hours, but ours is one of very few EdS degrees available in the country. The additional courses will allow for the creation of K-12 strengths-based interventions for children and adolescents.

Several school counseling practicum students (Lizzie Baker, Rebecca Fletcher, Allie Gittman, Diana Glakas, Megan Hopkins, Emily Pace, and Ashley Stovall volunteered at the Roberta Webb Childcare Center’s Learning Pod, which supported learning for 15 K-1 elementary students. School counseling students worked one-on-one with students to facilitate virtual learning and led several small and large group activities. The experience proved formative for all students involved: “Being able to do group lessons with them and provide some structure like a classroom with a counseling lens made it feel like we were making a real impact and using our skills in a way that would benefit them beyond the social and emotional inspirations of our lessons,” said Emily Pace. “The pod definitely put things into perspective for me of what it’s like for these kids experiencing their first schooling online and made me grateful to be able to help in the way that I could.”


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 Organizations

If you’d like to keep abreast of what’s going on in the field this summer, 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

Important Dates

Please make note of the following dates, and keep in mind that certain events may be changed. We will do our best to keep you updated on the Hub.

Our 2021-2022 Orientation for new students is planned for August 24, 2021 at the JMU Arboretum from 3:00-4:00PM. We will provide more details prior to that date via the JMU Counseling Hub. You are automatically a member of the Hub, so please be sure to turn on notifications for updates throughout the semester.

  • August 25, Wednesday: Classes meet as scheduled.
  • September 14, Tuesday: Last day to withdraw from the university with cancellation of tuition charges and refund.
  • October 14, Thursday: 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.
  • October 21-22, Thursday and Friday: Fall Break (No Classes – University Offices Open)
  • November 6, Friday: Homecoming
  • November 8, Monday: Registration begins for 2022 spring semester.
  • November 19, Friday: Comprehensive assessment results and scholarly documents are due to The Graduate School for December 2021 graduation candidates.
  • November 20, Saturday: Thanksgiving holiday begins
  • November 29, Monday: Classes resume.
  • December 10, Friday: Last day of classes.
  • December 11-17, Saturday-Friday: Final examinations.
  • December 17, Friday: Deadline for completion of course work for December graduates. Graduate Commencement Ceremony

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