Wardian Award Winner: Lauren Mills

It is with great pleasure that the school counseling program recognizes Miss Lauren Mills with the 2018 Wardian Leadership Award. Lauren returned to Gonzaga pursue her master’s degree in school counseling with a passion for supporting youth and strengthening her community.  A natural helper, listener, problem solver, organizer, and cheerleader, Lauren began this journey with so many skills and talents.  Still, she jumped into this program with both feet, stretching herself both personally and professionally, and working diligently to be outstanding in her work.  “Good enough” is not “good enough” for Lauren; she gives her best in all she does. During her time in the program, Lauren consistently volunteered her time to support programs within the department and in the community.  She is always one of the first people to say, “yes,” when offered an opportunity.  Lauren thinks efficiently, compassionately, and with extra attention to potential barriers to access and services that others may experience. While being early in her career, she fully demonstrates what it means to be a contemporary school counselor.  She is data-informed, student-centered, and understands how to implement an ASCA-aligned school counseling program. The combination of her personal gifts and characteristics, as well as her presence as a collaborative professional in the work, will continue to serve her well in this role.

Her peers shared the following:

Lauren exemplifies leadership in multiple areas of her life! One way that sticks out to me is within our cohort. From the beginning, she has always been willing to host study sessions, game nights, and get togethers. She is very passionate about spending time with everyone outside of class and has a constant willingness to open her home and adjust her schedule to meet everyone’s needs!  These events and gatherings have strengthened our friendship and bond throughout the program!

Lauren is a great leader because she always goes above and beyond to help others.  It is apparent her dedication to students, she attends meetings and visits students at her site even when she is not scheduled to be there. In juggling school, her job, and internship, Lauren still managed to support extra projects like the advisory project at Garry Middle School and made extra visits to at St. John Vianney Catholic School to support students in crises.

Lauren is an intelligent, motivated, and enthusiastic individual. She is joy to be around.  She makes everyone around her smile and is truly a leader in our community!

Her site supervisor shared:

Lauren is the strongest counseling intern that I have had the pleasure of working with and is multitalented. Everything she undertakes is organized, well communicated, timely and of the highest quality. She brings her wisdom and maturity, tremendous skills, insight and compassion in her work as a school counselor.

Throughout her practicum and internship, Lauren faced many challenging situations, involving trauma impacted students and families, domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness, abuse and neglect.  A couple of weeks ago, our school faced a significant loss with the death of a beloved teacher.  Lauren not only brought her typical best self to work to support all of us (including me!).  She also personally set up a warm and inviting room for crisis team members to work with hurting students and brought wonderful homemade treats for staff.  Lauren’s instincts and personal touches consistently go above and beyond.

One needs to observe Lauren for just a few minutes to see how gifted she is with children. She creates an environment of tremendous warmth and trust and students feel genuinely cared about. She maintains high visibility, and developed positive relationships with students in all settings, including the hallways, lunch room and playground. With her consistently calm and kind demeanor, she provides an atmosphere where children grow and thrive. With her support, students found a safe place to deescalate and work toward restorative problem solving. Lauren truly enhanced our school counseling program, the Roosevelt community and touched all of our lives in positive ways during her time here.

You are an exceptional student, school counselor, and human.  You will continue to do good in this world and positively impact so many youth and families.  What a privilege it has been to learn from and work alongside you.

 

Congratulations!

Wardian Award Winner: Kailey Rice

The teaching profession is rarely given the respect it deserves – in this country, at least. Perhaps because respect is so often conflated with earning power, there is a general assumption that K-12 education does not attract the best and the brightest. I’m fairly new to K-12 Teacher Education, but I have to say, this has not been my experience. In fact, selecting a recipient for this year’s Jeanne Foster Wardian Leadership in Education Awardswas no easy task, because as Taylor Mali reminds us in his comedic diatribe “What Teachers Make,” all teachers make a difference.

However, some of our best and brightest really do stand out, and Kailey Rice is one of those. She has constantly shown her commitment to the education and mentoring of our youth and in particular, to those who for reasons of language, culture, or socio-economic status, face overwhelming challenges. As an undergraduate she received the Service Learning Student of the Year Award and she has continued to embody the call of our mission to be men and women for others as a graduate student in the MIT program. She led the English Plus program at Shaw middle school last year, an after-school program to promote literacy for English Language Learners, and was heavily involved in the Shaw Boat Project last spring, collaborating with the Shaw community to build a traditional Marshallese sea canoe. Currently finishing up her student teaching at Rogers high school, she recently completed a research project to measure student perceptions of the nature and effectiveness of teacher support, as well as attitudes towards use of languages other than English in the learning environment. Over 300 students participated in the research, and the English Department at Rogers have commented that her findings are precisely the kind of data they need – but rarely have the chance to collect – in order to enhance their work.

For her embodiment of the mission, her mentorship, and her dedication to the profession of teaching, it gives me great pleasure to present this year’s Wardian Leadership in Education Awardto Kailey Rice.

Wardian Award Winner: Alexander Day

This year’s Wardian Student Leadership Award for Clinical Mental Health goes to Alexander Day who was voted such by his peers and confirmed by his faculty.

I know of no one who deserves it more.

Alexander hails from the Midwest and came to us a young man with self-identified areas of growth and the motivation to achieve great things.  And that he did.

While it is clear that Alexander leaves us a man of greater wisdom and confidence and a counselor with sharpened skills as he heads to University of Reno to enter a top-notch doctoral program, this is not my focus today as these are small accomplishments compared to what he truly did while at Gonzaga.

What he did was lead a cohort group in a manner so that each member had an opportunity to examine self and grow within a relationship of care.  This years’ graduating class certainly had their share of bumps and bruises…but none of them at Alexander’s hand.  Indeed, Alexander was a steady rock in their storms and a celebrator of their successes.

Let me read a bit of what his cohort-mates had to say about him:

No one opened themselves up to this experience more than Alexander. 

He is the kindest, most gentle soul, and would literally give you the shirt off of his back if you allowed him to. 

His work ethic is astounding.  What he has accomplished in regards to extra work while in the program is nothing short of remarkable. 

He is a light in our entire cohort.  We are lucky to call him friend…and for some of us, family. 

Alexander embodies al the qualities that that make a compassionate leader.

He provided unparalleled support, love, kindness, and generosity to his fellow students over the past two years that went above and beyond anything anyone would have reasonably expected form a graduate student—so much, in fact, that he may have felt stretched in a thousand different directions (sorry, buddy…and thank you).

This program and our cohort are so thankful for his contributions to our personal and professional growth.  He is a student, a friend, and soon-to-be full-fledged counselor that leads from his head and his heart—and we are all the better for it.

Alexander is a valued leader because of his genuine, beautiful spirit. 

Alexander is a leader in every aspect of his life, in the most authentic way.  The person you see now is the person he’s always been. Honest, kind, with the heart of a helper.

He has a quiet power about him, and is as humble as they come.  I look up to and admire him every single day.

All throughout our time in the program, the concept of growth is preached to us. We are encouraged to step out of our comfort zones and challenged to be better than we were when we first started. Obviously, self-growth can be uncomfortable and unpleasant at times. For me personally, I found it easier at times to simply be content without challenging myself to be introspective and grow. Alexander was never once satisfied with contentment during his time here at the program. He was constantly challenging himself to grow and improve as a professional, all the while encouraging his classmates to step out of their comfort zones as well. He fully bought into the mission of the program and I feel he truly embodies what this program is. He genuinely cares about others, is the nicest human I’ve ever met, and brings an energy to the profession and classroom that is unprecedented. Needless to say, I’m incredibly proud of him and I feel nobody deserves this award more than him! Yay Alexander!

Having traveled pretty much literally around the world with him and having witnessed him dancing in the streets and on stage (via video…don’t ask), having presented professionally with him in Bangkok, and having taught with him all semester, I humbly agree with his cohort-mates. Alexander is a student who has left an indelible mark…he has helped me be a better professor, counselor, and human. Keep leading in your loving, kind, and quiet way, Alexander, the world needs more you.

 

Wardian Award Recipient: Aaron Vaughn

It gives me great pleasure to present the 2018 Jeanne foster Wardian Award for the program of Masters of Arts in Sport and Athletic Administration to Mr. Aaron Vaughn.

Since Aaron has been in the MASAA program, he has exemplified what it means to be a leader inside and outside of the classroom. Aaron volunteers with the Ferris High School Baseball team as well as being and Area Leader for the Special Olympics Washington branch.

One of the pillars of the Wardian Award is the contribution of the individual to the improvement of processes and practices in order to enhance our work together.

These contributions by Aaron were evident in several capacities including his time as a Graduate Assistant with GU’s First Year Experience program AND our Physical Education activity classes.

Aaron’s supervisor Kelly Alvarado, Manager of the First Year Experience Programs had this to say…

He has been an absolute gift to our office.  Aaron has been a steadfast, dependable leader in the First Year Experience Programs. His role was to plan the transition programs and assist during New Student Orientation. When we had a staff member go on maternity leave in the Fall 2017 semester Aaron was willing to take on additional hours in the office and take on challenging tasks such as managing our department budget. He was thoughtful in regards to how he would be able to use these skills in his future career endeavors and helped us fill a much-needed administrative role.

Not only has Aaron excelled in a leadership role through his volunteering and responsibilities with the GU Physical Activity Program and First Year Experience Program, it became clear by his instructors and fellow students that he was a leader early in his Graduate Studies.

 

Graduate Commencement 2018

On May 12, 2018, nearly 200 School of Education graduate students crossed the stage at Graduate Commencement and officially earned their Master’s degrees. This is a testament to their commitment to education, knowledge and service, and we are so proud of their accomplishments.

Following Graduate Commencement, SOE graduates gathered with family, friends, and faculty members to celebrate on the North Lawn of the Rosauer Center for Education. The reception drew nearly 600 people.

The importance of preparing high-quality education professionals goes without saying, and we are confident that these new Gonzaga graduates – teachers, counselors, special educators, principals and more – will demonstrate compassion and excellence in their work. To all of our graduates, congratulations on a degree well-deserved. To education professionals everywhere, thank you for all that you do!

Check out our video recap of this special day!

Wardian Award Winner: Sean Dorsey

I have the privilege to present Sean Dorsey the Wardian Student Leadership Award. This award represents evidence of excellent scholastic achievements and a commitment to education through leadership, service, and integrity of character. I cannot think of a better person in our program that is more deserving of this award than Sean. I am lucky to have had Sean in multiple courses and I have also served as his academic advisor. He will graduate here in a few weeks with a Sport Management degree and a minor in both Business and Promotions.

Sean was pleasure to have in class, he was always excited to learn and ask questions to expand his knowledge. He works great collaborating with his fellow classmates and works hard to get the most out of his education. He also takes advantage of opportunities to further his career in sports. For example, this past spring break he went with Dr. Smith, myself and 10 other students to Phoenix, AZ to meet with professionals in the sport industry.

One of our other Sport Management professors, Dr. Smith, had this to say about Sean:

Sean was a wonderful student that took every opportunity provided to him during his time at Gonzaga. He was a leader by example to his peers by networking with sport industry professionals in Spokane, as well as attending the Sport Management Experiential Opportunity trip in Phoenix. He directly led his fellow Zags as a student leader in the Gonzaga Outdoors program. Gonzaga has been lucky to have Sean on campus and he will be a great GU Alum in the future and has expressed his desire to continue to work with and mentor future sport management students.

Sean completed multiple internships, one with the Spokane Indians in ticket sales, one with the Spokane Empire in promotions, and another with the Eugene Emeralds Baseball team. He is currently applying for various sports positions within major and minor league sports. His supervisor with the Spokane Indians, Josh Roys, the Vice President of Development had this to say about Sean:

He started as an intern for us after his sophomore year and it was always a shock when a manager found out he still had two more years left. He was THAT good, THAT early. He has been everything we could have asked for and then some. He has a very strong work ethic and is extremely reliable, especially with details which is not a common strength we see in most candidates. Because of these traits we have actually searched for and found ways to keep him partially employed during the school year, doing various projects as they arise.

We are excited to FINALLY be able to employ Sean in a full-time capacity this summer. He will be a member of our concessions leadership team and oversee our number one revenue center including 75+ employees. Sean has a bright future and we are excited to have him as part of our team. 

Sean has also been involved with the GU outdoors program and a volunteer with St. Aloysius Catholic School 7/8 grade football team. There is no doubt in my mind that Sean will graduate and go on to accomplish great things. It has been a pleasure to have spent the last four years with Sean and I cannot wait to hear what his future entails! Congratulations Sean on the 2018 Wardian Leadership award.

 

Wardian Award Winner: Jacquelyn Hatzke

On behalf of the Kinesiology and Physical Education Program, I am pleased to announce Jacquelyn Hatzke as the recipient of this year’s Wardian Student Leadership Award.

Jacquelyn stands out in our department for numerous reasons.  She is currently the only non-traditional student in our undergraduate Kinesiology and Physical Education degree program.  She came to Gonzaga in Fall 2016 after working as a medical assistant in women’s health for over 10 years.   She received her AA from Spokane Community College, completed all of her nursing prerequisites, and was on a path to nursing school when she decided to change career paths due to her passion for teaching.  She chose Health and Physical Education because as she says, “I feel that it is the most relevant and meaningful subject for students”.

She is not only a full-time student, but a full-time mother and wife.  She has 5 boys, ages ranging 9 to 19 that she does homework with, drives to soccer, football, lacrosse, basketball, rugby, and cross-country.  She and her husband Kevin, also find time to play golf and softball together.  At the beginning, there was a concern among some in our department that she would be able to fit into the program as a non-traditional student and mother.  That concern was quickly wiped away.

Jacquelyn excels in the classroom.  Ask any professor in our program who is the most engaged and reflective, and the answer will be Jacquelyn.  When other students shy away from speaking up in class—Jacquelyn does not.  I have had Jacquelyn in six different courses over two years, and when I look out at my students as I am explaining a concept—I see her processing, taking notes, and raising her hand to contribute.  She is present and driven to learn. When the expectation is a two-page reflection, she submits a four-page reflection that is riveting to read.  She is a tremendous asset to our classes as a role model for professionalism and work ethic.

Jacquelyn is also a servant leader.  This semester in her Adapted Physical Education and Sport course, all students were required to complete 12 hours of observation or volunteer work in a physical activity setting for special populations.  Jacquelyn chose to go to Shadle Park High School and complete all of her hours assisting the adapted physical education teacher.  Some students in the course expressed difficulty in being able to jump in and work with individuals with disabilities.  Not Jacquelyn—she is not one to sit on the sidelines due to fear or lack of confidence.  She essentially became part of the class and worked directly with the students while she was there.  I want to read you an excerpt from her reflection on the experience that speaks to her character:

“I never would have considered being an adapted physical education teacher before this observation and was initially intimidated. By engaging with the students and gaining more knowledge about the dynamics, I now feel much more comfortable and would not be as opposed to teaching adapted PE. It was actually a little sad to leave; I told the teachers and students that I would be back to visit, and I will keep my word on that. The value that I got from my time in this class is immeasurable. Every teacher, whether they are in PE or not should observe and volunteer in this type of class, as it is insightful and humbling and also encouraging. It takes a great amount of love, compassion, patience, resolve and energy (mentally, physically and emotionally) to give these kids the best out of yourself and to effectively meet their needs and it takes very special people to do this well. I have such a respect for the para-educators and their devotion and acceptance of these students. In turn, the students themselves are inspirational and have equal devotion to those who support them. “

I have no doubt that Jacquelyn will be the kind of teacher that gives her students the very best of herself. She is a student that challenges me to be the best I can be because I know she wants to serve with excellence and make a life-changing impact on students.  I want to do everything I can to support her being an effective and inspirational educator.

Last but not least, Jacquelyn stands out as the best 90s hip hop dancer in our program.  In the Fall, we had a dance-off competition in which Jacquelyn was pronounced the Queen of Dance.  She sets the bar high for those around her in everythingshe does.

Thank you Jacquelyn for your dedication to scholastic excellence, your commitment to education, and for your service to all those around you.   Congratulations, your award is well deserved.

Sport and Physical Education Students Team Up with School Counseling

Recently, SOE’s Sport and Physical Education students collaborated with School Counseling students to help understand their role as mentors in their field. as well as provide suggestions for dealing with difficult situations.  Armed with potential 10 scenarios, EDPE students took turns acting as struggling “students/youths” or “adults,” or as a mentor offering advice and support (coach, trainer, teacher, etc.). School Counseling students observed the interactions and offered probing questions or extra assistance if needed, as well as giving feedback on verbal and nonverbal communication.

Scenarios included:

  • Student “A” has not been playing well in their sport over the last few months, there is added stress from taking advanced placement courses in high school and the pressure from their parents to do well enough in their sport to get a full ride scholarship. The student meets with his/her coach to talk about the stresses that are affecting their performance.
  • You are working with a new client at your gym, they have expressed that they have never really worked out in the past and they are very nervous to get started with a workout plan. They tell you that they would like to lose 20 pounds and the struggle has been that they have used unhealthy food to help them through a divorce over the past year. What are some ways you can create a welcoming environment for the client and assist them with starting their workout plan?
  • You have a boss that is a very poor communicator. He/she never says what they really want from you and does not allow you the time to ask questions. Therefore, you asses each project on your own and do they best you can, but you are constantly being reprimanded for not doing things “the right way.” You set up a meeting wth your boss to try to create a better work environment and lines of communication. What are some things you would say to your boss about the communications challenges?

Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Pierson, MA School Counseling, ’17

What is your name, which degree did you earn, & what year did you graduate?

My name is Melissa Pierson and I received a master’s degree in school counseling in 2017.

What is your current occupation or role?

I am currently a middle school counselor at Kamiakin Middle School in the Lake Washington School District.

Why did you choose a program in the School of Education at Gonzaga?

While selecting graduate programs, Gonzaga stood out to me because of its sincere to commitment to holistic education. To me, the field of education is more than teaching basic skills like math or English. I believe education is a cornerstone of our democracy and has a responsibility to prepare students academically and socially for the opportunities they pursue in the future. Gonzaga embodies this belief and I knew the program would prepare me to

What, or who, influenced you the most at Gonzaga? 

Without a doubt my advisor, Dr. Addy Wissel, was my biggest influencer, supporter, and challenger the program. She challenged me to think critically about my role as a school counselor and helped me develop the skills to serve my school and community with honesty and integrity. Even after graduating from the program, Dr. Wissel still encourages me to seek opportunities to grow and learn.

What was your greatest lesson learned at Gonzaga?

The greatest lesson I learned and continue to learn from Gonzaga is the importance of taking care of myself in order to care of my school community. The role of a school counselor is rewarding and demanding and in order to serve community with a happy and grateful heart, I need to take care of my body, soul, and mind.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in your field? Most challenging?

The most rewarding aspect of this field is being able to work with goofy middle school students all day, every day. They are the most honest group of people I have ever met, almost to a fault, but I get a surge of adrenaline every time I earn a new student’s respect. Just the other day a student told me I should play Fortnite because I’m cool enough. Even though video games are not a part of my self-care routine, I knew this invitation was a stamp of approval from this student.

The most challenging part of my job is the limit of support I can provide students. I spend a lot of my days working with students in crisis and it is challenging for me to accept the reality that the student’s crisis may not subside. As hard as it is to know a student’s trouble may not dissipate, I have the privilege of helping the student feeling safe and connected at school.

What critical issues do you see that need to be addressed in your field?

Critical issues that need continual attention in the field of education are mental health and addressing the ever-persistent achievement gap. There is so much meaningful work taking place in addressing mental health and the achievement gap. In addressing both topics, educators must first look within to understand their own biases and how their experiences shape how they teach and interact within the walls of a school. Personal reflection, understanding and compassion from the community, and commitment from out legislatures will continue to support this important work.

What advice do you have for future education professionals?

The field of education needs passionate, mindful, and caring adults to support the internal growth of students. Some days are blissful and other days may feel like you’re caring the world on your back. Find your accountability buddy to remind yourself why you chose to be an educator. My accountability buddy reminds me that I love the goofiness and earnestness of middle schoolers.

 

Student Spotlight: Angela Maccarrone, M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

What is your name and which degree are you pursuing?

Angela Maccarrone, Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

What inspired you to pursue this degree and field, and why did you choose a program in the School of Education at Gonzaga?

I graduated from Gonzaga with my B.A. in psychology in 2016 and knew I wanted to work in the mental health field. After learning about Gonzaga’s CMHC program, I knew the Jesuit and humanistic values aligned with my values of the type of counselor I wanted to be and that this program would be a perfect fit.

What, or who, has influenced you the most at Gonzaga? Please share as much as you are willing.

My experiences with University Ministry both as an undergraduate and graduate student has influenced me significantly and has molded me into the person I am today. Through University Ministry, I have been inspired to spread God’s love and grace and serve others with my gifts.

If you have worked or are currently working in the field (e.g. student teaching or internship), what is the most rewarding aspect of working in your field? Most challenging?

I am a counseling intern at Catholic Charities Counseling and love it! I love sitting with my clients in session and hearing their life stories and being present with them.  As an intern, I constantly have a thirst to learn more. I have to remind myself I am still learning and some skills come with experience over time.

What goals do you have as a future education professional?

I plan on getting my PhD and work in the rehabilitation counseling world. Based on my own personal experiences, I want to work with others with chronic illness and disabilities to give them hope and meaning in their lives despite their adversity.

 

Learn more about our MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program here.

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