The Professional Counselor (TPC) recently recognized the winners of its annual awards, the Dissertation Excellence Award and the Outstanding Scholar Awards. The Dissertation Excellence Award recognizes original research that significantly contributes to the counseling profession and is judged according to the presentation and clarity of ideas, sound methodology and interpretation of findings, innovative quality, and overall utility to the future of the counseling profession. The Outstanding Scholar 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.
The winner of TPC’s seventh annual Dissertation Excellence Award is Alison M. Boughn. Her dissertation, Child Psychological Maltreatment, was completed in pursuit of her Doctor of Philosophy in counselor education and supervision from the University of South Dakota. Before enrolling in her doctoral program, Boughn, PhD, NCC, LPC (South Dakota), LMHC (Iowa), ATR-BC, TF-CBT, QMHP, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of South Dakota (2013), and both a Master of Science in mental health counseling and a Master of Science in art therapy counseling from Emporia State University (2015).
Dr. Boughn is an assistant professor in Wayne State College’s counselor education program in Wayne, Nebraska. She is also a practicing clinician at the MercyOne Siouxland Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Sioux City, Iowa, and the Family Education and Counseling Center in Yankton, South Dakota.
Dr. Boughn practices trauma-focused art therapy and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with pediatric clients at the MercyOne Siouxland CAC. Her clients are typically involved in some form of child maltreatment case. She began her work there in 2016 where she developed trauma-focused mental health programming and policy as well as implementation of regular mental health screening procedures for all children entering the CAC. These screening processes provide evaluation for general trauma symptoms, sexual concerns, and suicidal ideations following a child’s forensic interview process. The implementation of these assessment protocols led to the ability to provide earlier interventions for children to access mental health and crisis services.
Her research interests began with concerns facing first responders and their relationship with fatigue and stress. She facilitated an art therapy project titled Shots After Work in 2013 with local law enforcement professionals integrating firearms and art-making into a therapeutic experience for participants. Shots After Work was shared on a national scale at the American Art Therapy Association’s 47th Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2016. Combining her clinical and art therapy professional identities, Dr. Boughn’s first responder work branched off into guest presentations with paramedic students and professionals during their educational and clinical training. The aim of these presentations was to implement awareness to the unique stresses first responders face in their professional and personal lives as well as to introduce self-care strategies.
Dr. Boughn’s dissertation focus continues to be a critical aspect of her professional identity. She has provided factual and expert testimony on child psychological maltreatment and recognizes the need for a comprehensive understanding of these experiences across professions, state and national laws, and varying cultural experiences. Dr. Boughn plans to continue her research goals by enhancing the integrity of the developed Psychological Maltreatment Inventory (PMI). Dr. Boughn hopes that the PMI may eventually act as a bridge between a child’s experiences with psychological maltreatment and an adult’s understanding of those experiences.
Jennifer L. Rogers, Jamie E. Crockett, and Esther Suess received the 2019 Outstanding Scholar Award for Concept/Theory for their article, “Miscarriage: An Ecological Examination.”
Jennifer L. Rogers, PhD, NCC, is an assistant professor in the Wake Forest University Department of Counseling. She received her PhD in counseling and counselor education from Syracuse University. Her clinical and research interests are centered around relational approaches to counseling, supervision, and counselor preparation across ecologically diverse practice contexts. Her current research focuses upon how attachment and cognitive patterns among beginning counselors influence their experiences during clinical supervision.
Jamie E. Crockett, PhD, NCC, LCMHCA, is an assistant professor in the Wake Forest University Department of Counseling and a clinical mental health counselor at Triad Counseling and Clinical Services. Her clinical and research interests include human development, attachment, gender and sexuality, reproductive health, grief and loss, contemplative and breath-based approaches, emotion, wellness, religion and spirituality, ethics, feminism, and diversity and culture.
Esther Suess, MA, NCC, LPC-A, LCMHCA, is a mental health counselor at the Mood Treatment Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a specialty in the treatment of eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology from University College Dublin in 2016 and received her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Wake Forest University in 2018. Her research interests include cultural diversity and biopsychosocial factors in counseling and eating disorders.
Stacey Diane A. Litam received the 2019 Outstanding Scholar Award for Quantitative or Qualitative Research for her article, “She’s Just a Prostitute: The Effects of Labels on Counselor Attitudes, Empathy, and Rape Myth Acceptance.”
Stacey Diane A. Litam, PhD, NCC, CCMHC, LPCC, is an assistant professor of counselor education at Cleveland State University. Dr. Litam is a researcher, counselor educator, and social justice advocate on topics related to human sexuality, sex trafficking, and the phenomenological experiences of individuals who have intersecting marginalized identities.
As a scholar, Dr. Litam’s research has been published in prestigious journals such as The Professional Counselor (TPC), Journal of Sexual Aggression, and Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. Her doctoral dissertation, An Examination of Whether Scores of Attitudes Based on Labels and Counselor Attributes Predicted Scores of Human Relations and Beliefs About Rape in Counselors, won TPC’s 2019 Dissertation Excellence Award. In addition to her two TPC awards, Dr. Litam has won numerous awards for her academic and advocacy work, including a 2016 Doctoral Minority Fellowship from the NBCC Foundation, the 2016 Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year award from the Ohio Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the 2017 Humanistic Advocacy and Social Justice Award from the Association for Humanistic Counselors division of the American Counseling Association, the 2018 David K. Brooks Award from Chi Sigma Iota, and a 2019 Outstanding Service to Specialized Populations Award from NBCC.
She has facilitated over 70 refereed presentations at the national, regional, and state levels and actively contributes to peer-reviewed publications in journals, books, and edited volumes. Her professional interests encompass human sexuality, human trafficking, decolonizing the model minority stereotype, and the influence of internalized racism and intra-ethnic othering on Asian American identity development.
Read more about the TPC scholarship awards here.
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