Rebecca Bolante By Maia Farris

Rebecca Bolante: Director of Threat AssessmentWhen trying to prevent a tragedy, OSU alumna and Director of Threat Assessment, Rebecca Bolante, says threat assessment is “not about finding someone who would do something bad, it is the opposite — it is about creating a supportive plan so their situation changes.”

Rebecca Bolante is a stellar graduate from the Oregon State University College of Education who was studying in the PhD in Counseling program when the Virginia Tech shooting occurred. This event sparked her interest in threat assessment, and she changed her research focus to answer the question, “How can we prevent something like this happening in Higher Education?”

In 2014, Bolante graduated from Oregon State University with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. Bolante continues her work as the Director of Threat Assessment Management programs at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. Along with her Ph.D., her education background includes a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Western Oregon University.

Bolante was first introduced to the counseling program here at OSU when one of her professors spoke highly of the program. The flexible, hybrid program including both online and on-campus classes was perfect for her needs. Working full time and as a mother made finishing a degree more challenging, but her passion of caring for others, education, and research propelled her to earn her degree.

With her research on threat assessment, she learned the best tactics to prevent violence and continues to share these techniques with various professionals like counselors, law enforcement, human resources, and legal counsels . “The key to threat assessment”, she says, “is a team approach”. Overall her research created the Threat Management Resources program at Chemeketa. This program focuses on three parts: prevention (threat assessment), what to do during an event, and disaster behavioral health recovery, and can result in a certificate.

Currently, Bolante’s work at CCC is filling the need to provide the support, education, and training in Threat Management for working professionals. The program has even expanded to places outside of the state to provide the training where it is needed. Bolante’s work doesn’t just engage with the national conversation about mental health and safety nationwide, she contributes to it.

At the beginning of her research she thought that all campuses had threat assessment teams, given they are highly recommended by the Secret Service, FBI, and the U.S. Department of Education. In reality, most colleges and communities do not have someone like Bolante to help facilitate the aftermath of traumatizing events; however, she hopes that her workshops on how to set up a response room, to-go box, and other trainings will help see an increase. She believes campuses should all have threat assessment teams because “there is a need and it continues to grow”. Fortunately, here at Oregon State we have our own Threat Assessment Team with Oregon State Police lieutenant, Eric Judah, co-founder of the team, who also assists Bolante with various training.

After learning about the College of Education’s new Master of Counseling in Clinical Mental Health program, Bolante expressed interest in the online aspect. She shared that her last part of her academics was online and although she originally questioned how it would work out, she stated that “the online experience went very well…[because] it is very efficient to handle the details. I can see how it would benefit counselors in training”.

Some improvements that Bolante hopes for the future is more work in counselor education involving threat assessment and disaster behavioral health. Bolante admits that she “made an assumption that counselors have training [in disaster response], and although there is more now, it is a different skill set with emphasis on psychological aid.” She also emphasizes the importance in education about spirituality and belief systems because they play a significant part of responding to disasters since “people’s belief systems oftentimes get confused and unsure during these times”.

One thing she loves about her job is seeing people “get off the pathway to violence and receiving positive support”. Bolante shares that “if we could learn more about the warning signs and report them prior to an incident we could reduce mass violence.” With work keeping her busy and oftentimes dealing with dark topics, she knows how important self care is and enjoys gardening, music and family time.

Bolante is fortunate to have her hard work and determination supported by her family, husband, and children. Another person who is a continuing supporter of Bolante’s education and work is Dr. Cass Dykeman, a faculty member in OSU’s Counselor Education program. Bolante says that he has “been a champion for these initiatives” and together, they have created recent publications; including one this year.

Logo of Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

ACESOregon State University will be well represented at the Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors (ACES) National Conference in Denver, Colorado from October 16-20, 2013, with approximately forty students, alumni, and faculty members presenting during the conference.

The goal of ACES is to improve the education, credentialing and supervision of counselors working in all settings of society.  The association also strives to encourage publications on current issues, relevant research, proven practices, ethical standards and conversations on related problems.  Counselors often find leadership opportunities through ACES.

Please see the following list of Facebook links to the names of College of Education associates presenting and their topics:

Students:

Bohrer, DeJesus, Hambrick, Hixson, and Millmore

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/c813ab239bd3c51ba0eccefec1d3718e#

Causey

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/4f499e95e8b16d29ef2c657feb04b1f7

Clark

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/3f4aeff15138ad163493889a0b5fb4e5

DeJesus and Nelson

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/bfbae24feb052a76c888b74179681155

Franklin

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/debf37fd18f7d364b2254f98f63415f3#

Pendygraft 

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/a04c483d75e14f0c0c850ff7d9be5156#

 

Alumni:

Aasheim and Melton

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/a45bb22f95c83c533906d98622a44cce#

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/a45bb22f95c83c533906d98622a44cce

Cook and McGlasson

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/5f722f2089481f4cce33808779f754e7#

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/7b39da48f4c0d34a079a2cc9bd818436#

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/baa14f3a5e65e46391b5d167e4a9c63b

Dempsey and Ratts

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/f21fe4f93db92cb0ffc154222537ed91

Dekruyf

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/4eda64c69dd38dea706c92e596281ab3

Donaldson

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/cbdd11b627383f0ac1fb41621b263f7f

Glover

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/ad6dac249b5a9630c172189e170efc19#

Graham

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/82d62d4902e2f32b9387331e604fb813

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/8805a81b9d80b954b4331883a435de7e

Jorgensen and Murphy

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/603b164d5118d2f65431dc0db09897d0

Pepperell

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/75c9433ddb437da1acfd89109810ff61

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/9207b5a5ad7286985575f69f7565f3e2

Shea

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/a45b6b64927ffd7587739c1d06de2b3f

Smith

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/07def8e502688a3d208830aa62a5ca64

 

Stauffer

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/603b164d5118d2f65431dc0db09897d0

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/4e5258424c1f0df947aee9f51abd2912

 

Faculty:

Biles, Donaldson, Ford, Kelley, Reese, and Stroud

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/cbdd11b627383f0ac1fb41621b263f7f#

Eakin

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/8659491c5f067b56bfa931732f62a1ea

Ng

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/6032685b7f8e1631b61be856141c5bb3

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/e97b5a1d66de9d1c2d73e554bd8ed61d

Rubel

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/2d95fea6aae7f8f9bb98a7193e45da18

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/3f4aeff15138ad163493889a0b5fb4e5

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/bfbae24feb052a76c888b74179681155

Reese

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/de6bc45fd665d96aeb9226f64e6c1c85#.UlXEg2RgY4Y

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/9d7771ca269f9bd35411048442720813#.UlXEomRgY4Y

Stroud

http://aces2013.sched.org/event/a04c483d75e14f0c0c850ff7d9be5156#

College of Education alum and White House Champion of Change award winner Sandra Henderson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon State University alumna Sandra Henderson was recently honored in a White House ceremony for being a champion of citizen science.

sandrahenderson-225x300Henderson is the director for Citizen Science at the National Ecological Observatory Network in Boulder, Colo. She received a doctorate in science education, with a minor in geography, from OSU in 2001.

She was recognized this week by the White House Champions of Change program, which aims to identify and recognize Americans doing extraordinary things.  This year, the program is honoring people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in engaging the broader, non-expert community in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, or STEM research.

In 2007, Henderson co-founded Project BudBurst, a national online citizen science campaign where individuals from all walks of life report on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants in their communities. The data are freely available to researchers and educators who can use it to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to local, regional, and national changes in climate.

“Being able to combine my interest in science education with my passion for nature through NEON’s Project BudBurst has been a career highlight,” Henderson said. “It is so inspiring to work with thousands of people across the country to make a difference in our understanding of how plants respond to environmental change. Plants have stories to tell us about changing climates if we only take the time to observe and learn.”

To learn more about Sandra Henderson’s work with NEON’s Project BudBurst, please read this blog post on the Champions of Change website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/25/stories-plants-can-tell-neon-s-project-budburst.

For more information on the White House Champions of Change program, please visit: www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

College of Education alum and new Mt. Hood Community College president Debra Derr

Debra Derr, Mt. Hood Community College’s next president, plans for a long tenure at the Gresham campus (Oregonian)

Derr started her academic career as a student specialist and counselor at Clackamas Community College in 1980. Mt. Hood hired her in 1987 to coordinate disability services and eventually promoted her to vice president for student development and services. While at Mt. Hood, she earned a doctorate of education from Oregon State University. (see also Portland Tribune)