Meet Our Counselor Educator Advisory Board
Dr. Chris Belser
Dr. Christopher Belser, NCC, joined the Counselor Education Program at the University of New Orleans as an Assistant Professor in August 2017. He earned his Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision at the University of Central Florida and his M.Ed. in School Counseling at Louisiana State University. His research interests include K-12 and post-secondary career development initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and school counselor preparation/practice. Dr. Belser has experience in Louisiana public and charter schools as a middle school counselor and as a high school career coach. He served as Co-Investigator on the National Science Foundation-funded UCF COMPASS Program, which seeks to recruit and retain undergraduate students in STEM majors using career development as an intervention. During his doctoral work, Dr. Belser coordinated a multidisciplinary research team with the UCF COMPASS Program and also taught a STEM-focused undergraduate career planning course. Dr. Belser has delivered dozens of presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences, has published numerous articles and book chapters on counseling and career-related topics. He is the current Associate Editor of the Journal of Child & Adolescent Counseling, the 2020-2021 President of the Louisiana Career Development Association, and Chi Sigma Iota’s 2020-2021 Edwin Herr Fellow.
Dr. Julie Cerrito
Dr. Cerrito has been actively engaged in the school counseling profession for over
twenty years. She spent the first twelve years of her career as a practicing school
counselor in Pennsylvania public schools. She worked in higher education as a school
counselor educator for the past eight years. Currently, Dr. Cerrito serves as an Assistant
Professor and Program Coordinator for the School Counseling Graduate Program at Bloomsburg
University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this position, she was employed as an Associate
Professor and Director of the School Counseling Graduate Program at the University
of Scranton. Dr. Cerrito earned a Ph.D. degree in Counselor Education and Supervision
from the Pennsylvania State University and holds credentials including National Certified
Counselor, National Certified School Counselor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor.
Her research interests focus on issues related to access, equity, and inclusion for
underrepresented and underserved populations with a specialization in school and career
counseling. She also studies the use of online career guidance and planning systems
with PK-12 students and how school counselors utilize those platforms in the work
they do with student career planning. Dr. Cerrito has earned awards including Counselor
Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association, The Edwin
L. Herr Fellowship for Excellence in Counseling Leadership and Scholarship by Chi
Sigma Iota Academic & Professional Honor Society International, the Partner in Education
Award by the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Faculty
Senate Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award by the University of Scranton.
Dr. Nancy Chae
Dr. Nancy Chae is an Assistant Professor of Counseling in the Department of Counseling at Montclair State University. Nancy earned her PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from William & Mary. She earned her Master’s degree in School Counseling and Post-Master’s Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor and certified school counselor in Maryland, an approved clinical supervisor (ACS), and a nationally board-certified counselor (NCC) and school counselor (NCSC). Nancy was a P-12 school counselor for six years in Baltimore, Maryland and also provided free family counseling and group counseling services for children, parents, and families in the greater Williamsburg area in Virginia for three years. Her research interests include school counselors’ roles in promoting equitable access to academic rigor and postsecondary opportunities, advocacy for underserved P-12 students and families, and school counseling training, practice, and supervision.
Dr. Raven Cokley
Raven K. Cokley (she/her) earned her Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services
from the University of Georgia. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), with
clinical expertise in school-based clinical mental health counseling, Sista Circle
group counseling practices with Black girls and women, and individual counseling practices
with minoritized clients. Her research agenda includes: 1) exploring the socioemotional
and sociocultural experiences of Black girls and women; 2) eradicating anti-Blackness
in counselor preparation programs; and 3) utilizing critical theories and methodologies
in qualitative study.
Dr. Cokley is an active member of several counseling associations, including: the American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), and Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW). She was also selected for the 2018 NBCC Minority Doctoral Fellowship, 2019 AMCD Emerging Leader Award, the ASGW Peg Carroll Scholarship, and the 2020-2022 SACES Emerging Leaders Program. Dr. Cokley is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Clark Atlanta University.
Dr. Mary Edwin
Dr. Mary Edwin is an Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri-St Louis. She is an award-winning career development researcher and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Before becoming a faculty member, Dr. Edwin served as a career counselor and an elementary and middle school counselor. She owns a career development company where she serves as a career counselor and coach in addition to her faculty role, and partners with corporations to improve employee outcomes through career development. Dr. Edwin’s research focuses on career development in K-12 schools, especially around school counselors’ role in supporting students’ college and career outcomes.
Dr. Beth Gilfillan
Dr. Beth Gilfillan is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Department at Northeastern Illinois University (IL). She has a doctorate degree in Counselor Education & Supervision from Penn State University, a master’s degree in Counseling from DePaul University, and a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Psychological Services from Northwestern University. Prior to her role as a counselor educator, she was a high school counselor for ten years in Illinois, specializing in post-secondary counseling. She served as President of the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling in 2015-16. Her research and advocacy interests include training school counselors, improving college access, college and career readiness, and supporting first generation college students and their families. She is currently a Co-Investigator on a $750,000 Department of Justice grant aiming to promote mental health in schools.
Dr. Ileana Gonzalez
Dr. Ileana Gonzalez, Ph.D., is a child of immigrants and a first-generation college student. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Counseling program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her M.Ed. in School Counseling at the University of Florida. She has published and presented nationally on social justice action in schools and higher education settings. Her research interests include urban school counselor preparation, multicultural and antiracist counselor education and cultural competence in counseling.
Dr. Dana Griffin
Dr. Dana Griffin is a counselor educator and researcher with 13 years of experience training school counselors. She conducts research on the role of school counselors in addressing college readiness and the academic and mental health needs of students by using school-family-community collaboration and parent involvement. She focuses specifically on racialized and minoritized students who are often considered “at risk” for academic failure – Black and low-income students of color. Dr. Dana Griffin developed a community asset mapping approach, suitable for school counselors, as a tool they can use to find and build partnerships that helps them meet the needs of their students. She is a qualitative researcher and spends time in schools and in communities, working with families and community leaders, collecting data that she then uses to help school counselors develop better approaches for working with their school populations. Dr. Dana Griffin also works as a diversity consultant, working with school stakeholders (teachers, counselors, administrators) across the state of North Carolina, helping them to build antiracist and culturally relevant practices to meet the needs of their minoritized and historically excluded students.
Dr. Kara Ieva
Dr. Kara Ieva (she/hers) holds many identities. In addition to being a wife, mom, school counseling advocate, and co-conspirator in working to dismantle oppressive educational practices, policies and systems, she is an Associate Professor in the Counseling in Educational Settings program at Rowan University. Her educational career spans over 20 years as a former Spanish teacher, administrator, and professional school counselor, and counselor educator. Kara uses her research for advocacy by using asset-based approaches to empower student agency while promoting equity and wellness (academic and mental health). Her specific interests include social emotional development (with students, in classrooms, embedded in content, educator SEL, and systemic tiered interventions centered on promoting healthy identities), group counseling, and post-secondary/ career development (First Gen & STEAM). She consults and delivers professional development nationally to PK-12 school counselors, teachers, and administrators on strategies for cultivating a safe, equitable, and inclusive mental health and neurodiverse culture in schools.
Dr. Kaprea Johnson
Dr. Kaprea Johnson, is a tenured professor at Ohio State University. Her interests are broadly situated in interrogating education and healthcare systems as it relates to addressing social determinants of health needs, equity, access, and justice. In education, she is interested in school counseling practice, training needs, and outcomes in under-resourced schools that are predominantly minority serving. She is an experienced scholar with over 5 million in grant funded projects as either PI or Co-PI, 53 peer reviewed journal publications, 2 co-authored books on culturally responsive school counseling practice, 100+ presentations, and several practitioner oriented publications. She is passionate about supporting the mental health and wellness needs of youth through assisting in the development of caring, knowledgeable, antiracist, equity driven school counselors.
Dr. Ian Levy
Dr. Ian Levy, EdD is an Assistant Professor and Director of the School Counseling Program at Manhattan College, a New York City native, former High School counselor, and the Vice President of Counselor Educators for the New York State School Counselors association. His research interests include the examination of mental health practices in urban schools, which entails exploring the effective use of the school counselor and other school staff to support the emotional lives of young people. Most notably, Dr. Levy piloted the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Hip-Hop based counseling framework that engaged students in small-group counseling through the writing, recording and performing of emotionally-themed mixtapes. His work has been featured on various news outlets including the New York Times, and CNN, and published a variety of reputable academic journals. In 2016 he was named the New York State School Counselor of the Year. Ian is a co-editor of the HipHopEd: The Compilation on Hip-Hop Education, Volume 2, and author of a forthcoming research monograph with Routledge titled Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Therapy in School Counseling: Developing Culturally Responsive Approaches (in May, 2021). Ian is also an emcee, and released his album – And Then It Glistens – in 2020.
Dr. Robert Martinez
Dr. Martinez is a Latinx researcher who was raised and attended public schools in Los Angeles, had immigrant parents who didn’t graduate high school, and was an underserved/under-resourced foster youth. Dr. Martinez was also a first-generation college graduate who lacked sufficient career and college readiness self-efficacy and access information for postsecondary education throughout my K-14 experience. It is no wonder he takes a historical, cultural, and social perspective when considering how school counselors prepare and ready vulnerable populations to access, afford, and transition into postsecondary opportunities. A commitment to community engagement, social justice, and understanding the perspectives and assets of underrepresented communities is fundamental to his personal beliefs and values as a faculty member within the School of Education at UNC-CH. Dr. Martinez’s interest in moving to North Carolina was in large part due to the tremendous growth of the Latinx population. West Coast scholars have established lines of inquiry and community outreach that reflect the historical and social context of multigenerational urban and rural Latinx populations entering postsecondary education. North Carolina and the new south provide opportunities to explore the needs, assets, and barriers Latinx populations encounter in a southern educational system and how school counselors prepare and ready them for postsecondary pathways. With this in mind, North Carolina presents a unique opportunity for primary data collection and innovative scholarship that can inform and impact how school counselors create culturally relevant programming and counseling services for Latinx youth and vulnerable populations.
Dr. Erin Mason
Dr. Erin Mason, Ph.D., LPC, CPCS is an Assistant Professor in the School Counseling (Masters) and Counselor Education and Practice (Doctoral) programs at Georgia State University. She was recognized as the 2020 Counselor Educator of the Year by the Georgia School Counselor Association. Erin worked as school counselor for 13 years in the metro Atlanta area, and then spent nine years in Chicago as a faculty member in the Counseling program at DePaul University. While in Chicago she served as President of the Illinois School Counselor Association. Dr. Mason’s research focuses on school counselor professional identity, antiracist practice and preparation, and technology and innovation. She has published multiple articles, a book, and presented nationally and internationally. As a white scholar with multiple privileged identities Erin continues to work both personally and professionally on learning and unlearning.
Dr. Leann Morgan
Dr. Leann M. Morgan earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the
University of Northern Colorado and has been a counselor educator for almost 20 years.
She is currently a Core Faculty member in the School Counseling Program at Walden
University. Her primary counseling experience is with adolescents and their families,
both in the community and school settings. She is a former School-to-Career Coordinator
and High School Counselor. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in
Colorado and a Certified Career Counselor Educator (CCCE). Her research interests
include, career development, postsecondary and workforce readiness, counselor supervision,
training, and accountability, career/life programs for K-12 “newcomers,” and career
counseling with military veterans and other adults in transition. She lives in Colorado
with her husband, 2 children and 2 dogs, and enjoys hiking, skiing, movies, wine,
traveling, and watching F1 Racing.
Dr. Marsha Rutledge
Dr. Marsha L. Rutledge PhD, NCC is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program at Longwood University. Dr. Rutledge is a former Professional School Counselor with 18 years school counseling experience. Dr. Rutledge’s research interests include career development of racial-ethnic minority female youth, improving outcomes for minoritized student populations, and culturally responsive school counseling. Dr. Rutledge is an active member of the Virginia School Counselor Association where she has served in many capacities, most recently as the Chair of the Communications and Public Relations Committee. She has recently been tasked to serve the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with the American School Counselor Association as well as Chair the Anti-Racism committee. Dr. Rutledge has presented at several national, state, and local conferences.
Dr. Sam Steen
Dr. Sam Steen is an Associate Professor and licensed Professional School Counselor who specializes in school counseling, group work and cultivating Black students’ academic identity development. Dr. Steen was a school counselor for 10 years and these practitioner experiences shaped his research agenda, approach to teaching, and service. Currently, two objectives guide his scholarship: 1) to further develop creative and culturally sustaining school-based counseling interventions that improve student achievement; including The Achieving Success Everyday Group Model (ASE Group Model) designed to promote social emotional and academic development for students of color and 2) to explore issues related to the training and preparation of pre-service counselors and school counselors in the local, regional, and national community. Dr. Steen is a Fellow for the Association for Specialists in Group Work, a division of the American Counseling Association. Recently, Dr. Steen received the Al Dye Research Award and the Professional Advancement Award both from ASGW recognizing his outstanding efforts advancing the field of group work through research and development of new and innovative strategies for schools, families, and marginalized communities.
Dr. Arden Szepe
Dr. Arden Szepe is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Doane University in Lincoln, NE. Her research interests include career development, postsecondary exploration and career readiness, and the role of mentorship in professional identity development. Additionally, she is a strong advocate for increased access to postsecondary opportunities and exploration for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Szepe received her PhD in Counselor Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her primary counseling experience is with adolescents and their families in community and school settings.
Dr. Anita Young
Dr. Anita Young is an associate professor in the Counseling program. She earned her PhD from The Ohio State University. Her research agenda has a two-fold strand: using data and accountability strategies to close achievement and opportunity gaps for K-12 students and building leadership capacity for school counselors. Anita Young has co-authored two books, published research in scholarly journals, and served on editorial boards. She has presented at numerous local, state, regional and national conferences specific to her research interests. Combined, her scholarly publications and presentations have contributed to the school counseling profession. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, American School Counselor Association, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Association of Multicultural Counseling Development and affiliated state organizations. Prior to her appointment at Johns Hopkins, she gained extensive experience in the field of K-12 education as a school counselor and administrator and remains eligible for school counseling certification credentials.