The Professional Counselor (TPC) recently recognized the winners of its annual scholarship awards for best article in a volume, the Outstanding Scholar Awards. These awards—one each for Concept/Theory and Quantitative or Qualitative Research—are selected each year from the articles published in that year’s volume, and are chosen based on their scholarly style, innovative and inventive material, and relevance to the counseling profession.
Melissa Sitton, Tina Du Rocher Schudlich, Christina Byrne, Chase M. Ochrach, and Seneca E. A. Erwin received the 2020 Outstanding Scholar Award for Quantitative or Qualitative Research for their article, “Family Functioning and Self-Injury in Treatment-Seeking Adolescents: Implications for Counselors.”
Melissa Sitton, MS, is currently a doctoral student studying clinical psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She earned her BA in psychology and individual and family development from Seattle Pacific University, and her MS in experimental psychology from Western Washington University. Her research interests include experiences of stress and interpersonal violence in adolescence and young adulthood, and factors that might exacerbate or ameliorate outcomes following those stressful events.
Tina Du Rocher Schudlich, PhD, MHP, is a professor of psychology at Western Washington University. She serves as the director for the Psychology Department’s Counseling Training Clinic, where she oversees graduate counseling students providing free counseling services to community members. Her research interests examine the role of parent and family processes in the development, maintenance, and treatment of psychopathology in children. Areas of specific focus include understanding reciprocal relations between mood disorders and families’ well-being and the role of parent participation in treatment for youth self-harm and autism spectrum disorder. Another emerging area of her research explores barriers and ways to increase access to mental health treatment for culturally and linguistically diverse youth and their family. She incorporates multi-method approaches to her research and is especially fond of qualitative methods, such as behavioral observations, interviews, and diary methods.
Christina A. Byrne, PhD, is an associate professor in the psychology department at Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Washington, where she serves as Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Dr. Byrne’s research interests include psychological trauma and interpersonal violence.
Chase M. Ochrach, MS, is finishing her third year in the counseling psychology doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Western Washington University. Ochrach currently works with adjudicated youth at Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and with veterans at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. She recently proposed her dissertation study, titled Boy’s Search for Meaning: Meaning Making as a Predictor of Trajectories of Adaptation in Formerly Incarcerated Youth. She hopes to continue with research and clinical work with forensic juvenile populations and will be applying to clinical internships this year.
Seneca E. A. Erwin, MA, recently received her master’s in educational psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. She works in the recruiting sphere at a Fortune 500 technology company. Her research interests focus on social justice, domestic violence, mindfulness, and play therapy.
Jessica R. Burkholder, David Burkholder, Stephanie Hall, and Victoria Porter received the 2020 Outstanding Scholar Award for Concept/Theory for their article, “Training Counselors to Work With the Families of Incarcerated Persons: A National Survey.”
Jessica R. Burkholder, PhD, NCC, ACS, LPC, is an associate professor of professional counseling at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. She received her PhD in counselor education and supervision from Kent State University. Dr. Burkholder’s research interests focus on the ethical development and multicultural training of counselors. She also is a licensed professional counselor and has a private practice, where she specializes in trauma.
David Burkholder, PhD, ACS, LPC, is an independently licensed counselor and associate professor and chair in the Department of Professional Counseling at Monmouth University. Dr. Burkholder started his professional career as a counselor in 2004, working primarily with children and adolescents. He joined Monmouth University in 2009 after completing his PhD, where he mainly teaches field placement courses, career counseling, group counseling, and human development. Dr. Burkholder has primarily published in the areas of applied ethics, spirituality, and professional identity. He is a level three trained Gottman Method couples counselor and has a private practice, where he works exclusively with couples.
Stephanie Hall, PhD, NCC, ACS, CT, is the Founding Department Chair and Program Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Emory & Henry College. She is a licensed professional counselor in both Virginia and New Jersey. Her interests include grief counseling, multicultural counseling, women’s issues in counseling, the professional identity of counselors, and group work.
Victoria Porter, MS, NCC, LAC, received both her BA in psychology and MS in clinical mental health counseling from Monmouth University. She is the Program Coordinator at Wholehearted Healing Collective, a growing group practice in West Long Branch, New Jersey. This manuscript is Ms. Porter’s first professional publication, and she is incredibly grateful to have worked alongside her co-authors as a graduate research assistant during her graduate studies journey. Ms. Porter’s professional interests include self-compassion–based practices, grief work, research, and community outreach. She is also currently facilitating a group for teen girls striving to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies.
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