It is with great excitement that we introduce the incoming The Professional Counselor (TPC) Editor: J. Richelle Joe, PhD, NCC.
Dr. Joe is an associate professor of counselor education at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She previously served as a high school teacher, a middle school counselor, and a child/family behavior specialist in rural, urban, and suburban settings. Dr. Joe’s scholarship focuses on culturally responsive services for underserved and marginalized clients and communities and specifically includes an emphasis on the experiences of individuals of color and the mental health needs of individuals and families affected by HIV. At UCF, she leads the HIV Education, Awareness, and Research Team (H.E.A.R.T.) and serves as Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for the Community Counseling and Research Center. Dr. Joe has given many conference presentations and is a well-cited researcher and author. NBCC is thrilled to have a scholar as prolific and impactful as Dr. Joe at the helm of TPC.
Dr. Joe has been active in committees, task forces, and mentorships through the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and NBCC Foundation’s Minority Fellowship Program. She has also been a member of the TPC Editorial Review Board as a peer reviewer since 2016 and was part of the inaugural team of TPC Associate Editors introduced in 2021. In these roles, Dr. Joe has shown herself to be a capable, passionate, and inspiring colleague with a knack for facing challenges head-on and infusing compassion and humor into everything she does.
“The excitement in the TPC office is palpable,” says Catherine Clifton, NBCC Director of Professional Resources and TPC Managing Editor. “We know that Dr. Joe brings the expertise, determination, and collegial spirit that will allow TPC to continue to grow.”
Kylie Dotson-Blake, President and CEO of NBCC and Affiliates, agrees with Ms. Clifton. “Dr. Joe is a prolific scholar who has made significant contributions to the scholarly discourse through her research and publications. We are certain that under her leadership, TPC will continue to flourish. Dr. Amie Manis implemented innovations to ensure a strong and sustaining editorial framework for the journal and we are excited to see how Dr. Joe will continue to expand the scholarly impact of the journal from that foundation. At NBCC, we feel so fortunate to welcome Dr. Joe, a thoughtful and dynamic leader, into the role of Editor for the journal.”
NBCC staff caught up with Dr. Joe recently at the 2022 Bridging the Gap Symposium and talked to her about TPC, counselor education, and her outlook for the counseling profession. Dr. Joe spoke about the importance of health equity in both counseling and counselor education and the challenges and opportunities in breaking down structural barriers and increasing cultural competency. “Our field is at risk of becoming stale and irrelevant to the public” if they continue to maintain the status quo, she said, so educators, researchers, and practitioners must find ways “to be inclusive of new and diverse perspectives and contributions.”
In reflecting on the forward trajectory of the Journal, Dr. Joe said that she is enthusiastic about having the opportunity to expand support for authors and streamline journal processes. “TPC already does so many things well and with innovation. My main plan is to build on my predecessors’ work by further strengthening and developing the editorial team to ensure that the rigor, quality, and clinical applicability of the scholarship in TPC continues to improve.”
We look forward to working with Dr. Joe on these initiatives, and we know that she will lead the journal with intentionality and care as the scholarly counseling community moves toward a future in which the availability of diverse and innovative voices in research, education, and practice allows the profession of counseling to flourish and improve lives all over the world.
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