Counselor Studies Others and Herself

Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

Counselor Studies Others and Herself


Editor's note: Like most Phi Kappa Phi award winners this year, Love of Learning recipient Glinda Rawls answered email questions that had been forwarded to her. She enjoyed the process so much that Rawls agreed to expand her initial comments into an autobiographical profile. Here are edited excerpts.

Job: Assistant Professor, University Counseling and Testing Center, Western Michigan University.

Education: DePaul University (B.A., Communication), Grand Valley State University (M.Ed., College Student Affairs Leadership), and Western Michigan University (M.A., College Counseling, and Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision).

Other credentials: Nationally Certified Counselor, Master Career Counselor, Licensed School Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and Licensed Professional Counselor.

Research interests: Elementary, middle and high school and college counseling, student affairs, counselor education, and career counseling.

How I used my Love of Learning Award: To help finance a trip to China and Tibet sponsored by the American Counseling Association, coordinated by the People to People Ambassador Programs, and focused on mental health and career development issues in China and Tibet. On my journey (May 25-June 6), 1 discovered that in China, just as in the U.S., the main reasons people seek counseling or psychological services are for depression and anxiety. Clients also tend to be female, as is the case in America. On a personal note, this trip was my first time outside the United States. The experience has enriched my understanding of diversity issues and fed my hunger for multicultural education.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Favorite book: For a first-year seminar I am teaching this semester, I included the 2007 novel Right Behind You, a thriller for teens by Gail Giles. It's about a nine year-old boy who kills a seven-year-old boy, spends years in the juvenile system, and emerges as a teenager confronting his troubled past and searching for a positive future. I love this book because it really challenged and deepened my understanding of redemption and forgiveness.

Satisfying community service: Habitat for Humanity International in Kalamazoo, Mich., helping build a house for a single mother with three children.

Most proud of: My mother. She went back to school at the age of 44 to complete her associate's degree in liberal studies after taking a 20-year break to raise me and my twin sister (now a lawyer). My mom, Alveria Rawls, finished her degree in two years and is now working as a receptionist. She demonstrated a true love for learning.

Theme song: Marvin Sapp's "Never Would Have Made It."

Best part of Phi Kappa Phi: At my chapter at Western Michigan University, the best part of Phi Kappa Phi is the induction ceremony. I serve on the executive planning committee for the induction ceremony. The induction ceremony is quite special: we have wonderful music, typically a live band or piano soloist, and a reception with delicious food. I enjoy honoring new members recognized for their achievement by an association that advocates for scholarship and service. The most significant aspect of the event, though, is the gathering of friends and family who support their loved ones, the inductees.

Love of Learning Awards help fund postbaccalaureate studies and/or career development for active Phi Kappa Phi members. Fifty awards, at $500 each, are given annually for graduate or professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, career development, travel related to teaching/studies, etc. This year, more than 1,000 competed for the 50 awards. Including 2009, 150 members have earned Love of Learning Awards totaling $75,000 since the program began in 2007. Due to the program's popularity, 30 additional $500 grants will be distributed starting in 2010, making the annual tally 80 Love of Learning Awards worth $40,000. …

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