This year’s Wardian Student Leadership Award for Clinical Mental Health Counseling goes to Angel Knoles, who was voted such by her peers and confirmed by her faculty. Angel is very deserving of this award and that fact could be exemplified in many stories of her throughout her time in the program. For instance, Angel took on a leadership role in many of her courses through volunteering, going above-and-beyond, taking risks to show transparency, and being courageously vulnerable. These are all leadership traits. She is an individual who demonstrates for others leadership through the sharing of herself, her own strengths, and her own weaknesses.  These traits are not exhibited by all learners in a master’s program and are sometimes quite difficult. One of her peers in her program commented that, “Angel epitomizes resilience and courage. She does not back down. Even when full of fear, she pushes forward through the discomfort. Even among her many successes, she is humble and perpetually seeks growth.”

Within the Department of Counselor Education are five values: intentional, kind, personal, relational, and transformation. In her own journey through the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, Angel demonstrated all of these as a person, a learner, and as a leader. One of her primary professors noted this about Angel, “She is bravely intentionally relational in a personal and kind way that promotes her own and others’ transformation!!” Angel clearly displayed within her two years of the program each of these values and more. It is therefore with great pride that we award the 2020 Wardian Student Leadership Award for Clinical Mental Health Counseling to Angel Knoles. We know she is going to be a leader in her counseling work, service to others in her community, and beyond! Congratulations, Angel!