“Elephants are what counselors should be—empathic and caring”

By: Maia Farris

Gene Eakin
Gene Eakin and an Elephant friend

The College of Education’s Counseling Program Coordinator, Gene Eakin, shares an impactful story about a veterinarian whose death was mourned for by a group of elephants. The veterinarian cared for the elephants, and when he passed away, the elephant herd was reported to have stood in front of the veterinarian’s house and bowed their heads. Eakin’s favorite animal is an elephant because he believes that “elephants are what counselors should be—empathic and caring”.

This year we are congratulating Gene Eakin who has been awarded the 2017 Leona Tyler award. This annual award was established by the Oregon Counseling Association to recognize individuals whose work has had statewide implications for counseling. Eakin is the 8th person from Oregon State to receive the Leona Tyler award.

(Past winners listed here http://or-counseling.org/Past-Awards )

Eakin has worked hard on both the state and national level to strengthen school counseling and connect people to the current issues that are especially found in K-12 schools. This past June, Eakin and his wife Twila celebrated 50 years as OSU Alumni.  As an alumus and experienced counselor educator, Eakin is passionate about his work in the counseling program. He is proud to share that in the counseling hybrid program (online and in person), 31 out of 35 students were working full time as they started their third year in the program. The hybrid format fulfills Oregon State University’s land grant mission in providing individuals from all areas of Oregon access to becoming a counselor.

Eakin’s counseling work has spanned forty-two years in Oregon working at Lebanon High School, West Salem High School, Lewis and Clark College, and Oregon State University. Being awarded the Leona Tyler award is unique and means a lot to Eakin, because previous award recipients have mainly been a part of the large population of clinical mental health counselors, and he is one of the few to be recognized for his work as a school counselor and school counselor educator.

He hopes that this award will give him a platform to “speak to the mental health needs of our children and adolescents.” Going forward, we need counselors who will advocate for these needs and have the empathic and caring traits of an elephant. There is an increase in the number of elementary school students who need this support; as elementary school counselors across the state report that more and more students’ lives have been affected by family trauma related to the recession and the resulting family poverty.

Award
Leona Tyler Award

Eakin says, “there are a limited number of mental health counselors in most communities providing services to children and adolescents and Oregon, overall, ranks 49th in provision of mental health services to our citizens.” Eakin expressed that “we need more school counselors doing the good work that they do and more school social workers doing the good work they do in order for Oregon schools to increase attendance rates, graduation rates, post high-school education matriculation rates, and improve the behavioral and mental health of our students.” With Oregon’s student-counselor ratio (510-1) ranking 39th, Eakin vows that that he will continue to advocate for the school counseling profession and for the work they do in meeting our youth’s career and college readiness counseling needs, academic counseling needs, and personal-social-emotional counseling needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Gregg Kleiner

For 12 years, Lindsay Dec worked as a licensed massage therapist. She noticed that many of her
clients would talk during the massage — telling her stories about their lives and describing
challenges they were facing, from fears to family issues.
“People seemed to be looking to me for help or advice,” Dec says.
Because she didn’t feel qualified to do much more than listen, Dec started looking for a new
career that would give her the skills and credentials to help people in a new way — one that
could bridge the mind-body connection. During her search, she stumbled across the Master of
Counseling program at OSU-Cascades.
“When I found that, I just knew,” she says. “I wanted to continue to help others, so this was
perfect.”

The program’s location was also perfect, since Dec was already living in Bend, Oregon, where
she’d moved in 2010. The program’s part-time option allowed her to continue her massage
practice while pursuing a master’s degree.
She credits her parents with influencing her overall career path.
“They always taught us t

o help people, to foster connections with others, and my mom always
emphasized the golden rule,” Dec says.
In 2014, she earned her master’s in clinical mental health counseling and now works as a
counselor at Bend Counseling and Biofeedback Inc.
“The best part of the program was — and still is — the faculty,” Dec says. “They are just
amazing — the adjunct faculty, too. There is great breadth of experience and a range of
strengths. I felt very well-supported, and I’m still in contact with some of the faculty.”
While in the program, Dec completed three different internships — one at the Warm Springs
Indian Reservation, one at a Bend relief nursery for vulnerable children and one at the
counseling office where she now works. She also earned a certificate in Interpersonal
Neurobiology from Portland State University and completed HeartMath Biofeedback training
during her graduate program.
“It was a little insane,” she says of all she did while working on her master’s.
Now that her formal training is complete, Dec still stays busy. She serves on the OSU-Cascades’
Counseling Program Advisory Board and is raising a puppy named PJ to be a certified therapy
dog.

“Therapy dogs are great in nursing homes, and they can help kids who struggle with reading,”
says Dec, who brings PJ to the office with her. “My clients love her and say PJ is
going to make a great therapy dog.”
For Dec, OSU-Cascades was the right location with the right faculty and the right focus. And it’s
clear she loves her new career.

 

Society needs good counselors.

Oregon State has been educating them for 100 years.

By: Gregg Kleiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timeline Graphic By: Maia Farris

Oregon State University has one of the oldest continuously operating counseling
education programs in the U.S. The first course was taught in 1917 — just five years
after Harvard University offered the first counseling course in the nation.
The earliest courses focused on the vocational training movement that prepared people
for a range of key jobs during wartime. That focus remained until the late 1920s when
courses expanded to include emotional and psychological issues.

Today, Oregon State’s counselor education program is one of the largest in the nation,
with 125 master’s and 72 doctoral students taking course work delivered in a
combination of in-class and online formats. These hybrid programs include students
from across Oregon, as well as students coming from as far away as Chicago, New
York and North Carolina. Master’s students meet for two days a term at Chemeketa
Community College in Salem, while doctoral students attend two weekend sessions a
year at Clackamas Community College in Wilsonville. A more traditional master’s
program of mostly in-class courses is offered at OSU-Cascades in Bend.

“Because of our national reach, we have amazingly talented and diverse doctoral
students who will go on to train the next generation of school and mental health
counselors,” says Cass Dykeman, an associate professor of counseling in the College
of Education.

“Don’t be a teacher! It’s a lot of work and takes a lot out of you”, warned Keri Imada’s mother. “But as they say, teaching is a calling… and I heard that call”, says Imada.

Keri Imada was inspired by her mother, a hard-working educator who would dedicate her time to a job “she loved and carried an influential passion for”. This year, Imada is graduating from the College of Education’s Double Degree program with a Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) degree and an Education degree.

Imada has an experienced background in education. Starting at a young age she would help her mother in the classroom on the weekends with her sister, saying, “the empty hallways was our playground!” In high school, Imada enjoyed tutoring “several middle students and…creating activities to help them with their studies.”

She was surprised that she ended up in Oregon for college, since she “grew up in Hawaii and I didn’t plan on coming to the mainland for college.” But one day she applied to OSU and got accepted. Imada is very happy she came to OSU since it has “given [her] insight to the world beyond the shores of Hawaii” where she was able to meet so many new people and learn so many new things. “I wouldn’t trade my experience here at OSU for anything”, says Imada.

Imada shares that her last few years in the Education program were busy due to student teaching and classes saying, that the “days were long…after teaching all day, I come home and work on papers.” In the program, she enjoyed her HDFS classes “full of amazing information” and making “new friends that have the same passion and love for education that I do.” Although it has been a busy last few years, Imada says, “It has been a long journey, but one that I am proud to have walked down.”

After graduation Imada is hoping to find a teaching position in the Beaverton or Hillsboro school district. Imada says, “I love Corvallis, but I am ready for another adventure.” She is excited (and nervous) to have her own classroom and implement her own style of teaching. Imada “hopes to help shape the future by touching the lives of the students that come through [her] classroom and helping [them] advance towards a brighter future.”

Suzette Savoie found a spark in her teaching talents while working as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Wyoming teaching Physical Geography. As an undergraduate, she was also mentoring kids and found that she is able to make great relationships with them. At Oregon State, she was able to “combine [her] passion for science and mentoring” through completion of the Master of Science in Education program this year.

Originally from Alabama, Savoie “moved out west for the mountains”; and her love for camping and trout fishing definitely fit into the Oregonian culture. Savoie has enjoyed her time at OSU going to a few baseball games, taking a stained-glass class at the craft center and attending some science talks as well. Her last few years of school, she admits, were “quite accelerated and tough; however, I had a great support group in my peers, professors, cooperating teachers, friends, and family which helped me tremendously in sticking it through to the end.”

Through her prior experience and her time at OSU, Savoie discovered a key to building authentic relationships with students. “I think that having a great sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself is key to becoming a successful teacher. Having strong skills in empathy and compassion are also essential in teaching,” she shared.

After graduation, Savoie plans on being a middle school science teacher. Although Savoie is nervous about the state of the U.S. education system, she still says, “I’m excited about beginning this new chapter in my life where I help to inspire kids to be curious about science.”

 

Graduate Student Stories- Program: Mathematics Education Ph.D.

After five years of dedication, Allison Dorko is graduating this spring with a PhD in Mathematics Education. Dorko recognized her passion for teaching while she was working on her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and Physical Education from the University of Maine. Later on, she got her Master’s in Mathematics Education in Maine and “fell in love with the research component” which inspired her to pursue a Ph.D. “in order to do more research and teach college mathematics.”

While at Oregon State, Dorko added a Bachelor’s of Mathematics to her studies before working on her PhD. She especially enjoyed her last two years in the PhD program working with the STEM Club (which is part of the FIESTAS project) at Lincoln and Garfield elementary schools in Corvallis, OR. Dorko says “it is a lot of fun to do maths and science with children and to help the Education majors [in the College of Education] learn how to make maths and science exciting” and “we [even] do maths with Legos!”

Dorko’s years as a student have been busy and she advises other graduate students about the importance of getting enough sleep because “when you’re sleep-deprived, your brain simply doesn’t function well.”

After graduation, Dorko is moving to Oklahoma where she has landed a job as an Assistant Teaching Professor. There, she will “coordinate and supervise their college algebra program, teach mathematics, and do research.” Dorko says, “it’s a great job and I’m excited about it… I’ve heard Oklahoma has amazing storms [and] I’m looking forward to seeing some of those.” Dorko has enjoyed her time here in Corvallis, but she is excited to move on to the next step in her career, “being a faculty member instead of being a student.”

Graduate Student Stories- Program: Community College Leadership

Bruce Hattendorf’s final years of school have been challenging, but his hard work and determination has paid off and he is graduating from the Community College Leadership (CCL) program this year. Hattendorf began his work in the education field as a tenured English professor before being asked to step into a role as an Associate Dean of Instruction. “I had no administrative experience or training at the time”, says Hattendorf, “so I enrolled in the CCL program to develop professionally and also to get a degree that would allow me to advance my administrative career in the future.”

Hattendorf was attracted to the OSU program saying, “I am very committed to the community college mission and OSU had one of the few higher education leadership programs that focused specifically on my area of interest.” He also found at “doing the program and learning a new job that was directly related to the program simultaneously, was a great way to learn.”

As a distance student, Hattendorf says that the most valuable experience was “the cohort interaction, both at Silver Falls and online [because] the cohort provided great friendships and terrific professional contacts.”

While in the program, one of the challenges was being able to “balance work, school, and life” because “it meant putting a lot of my personal life on hold – or at least scheduling things more carefully.” Hattendorf was very busy due to “working full time and [becoming] a full Dean at that point”, and yet his determination pressed on­—listening to advice from a former OSU student who had completed the same program, “to take three weeks off at Christmas and lock [himself] in a room and write”, Hattendorf did just that, using vacation time during school breaks to get the work done.

After graduation, Hattendorf plans to continue his current job as Dean for Arts and Sciences at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington and with the pressure of his dissertation lifted, he hopes to have more time to enjoy hiking and traveling with his wife and dogs, as well as being more involved in community arts and practicing his creative writing again. Hattendorf is optimistic about the education field, saying that “the thing about education, whether it’s in the classroom or at the administrative level, is that we can always find ways to get better at what we do, and I find that exciting and engaging.”

Darlene Russ-Eft-“leading the profession through research”

Since 1984, Darlene Russ-Eft has been an on-going contributor to the Human Resource Development (HRD) field by “leading the profession through research” and the “development of new knowledge”.  She is considered one of the founders of the field of HRD, with a passion for teaching and research that has awarded her with an Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Hall of Fame honor.  

This Hall of Fame award is unique in that it is only given to those who have received the AHRD Outstanding Scholar Award prior. Russ-Eft received this award in 1999 with evidence of scholarly publications that contribute to the fundamental theory and practice of HRD. This practice is more specifically seen in her books and articles that emphasize and highlight the role of program evaluation. At this time Russ-Eft was the Director of Research for Achieve Global, an international training provider. She also contributed to the development and adoption of the AHRD Standards on Ethics and Integrity (AHRD, 1999) and is currently co-chair of a task force working on revisions of those standards. She has served on the AHRD Board, as the vice president for research, and recently as president.

The focus of Russ-Eft’s research involves the connection of human resource development and program evaluation. At OSU, she engages in evaluation of educational programs and activities related to the Bioenergy minor program, the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience (SMILE) teacher workshops, and the SMILE Summer Bridge program that introduces Bioenergy concepts.

Russ-Eft’s education and research efforts have allowed her to travel as well. As a graduate student, she served as a teaching assistant in undergraduate psychology courses.  While a researcher at the American Institutes for Research in Palo Alto, she taught undergraduate courses in psychology. One of her recent travels for teaching has been to Bangkok, Thailand where she taught a course titled Ethics and Good Governance in Complex Organizations in the doctoral program in Human and Organizational Development at the National Institute for Development Administration (NIDA). Russ-Eft shares that she has also guest-lectured at other universities in the United States and internationally.

Russ-Eft has worked at Oregon State University’s College of Education since 2002. Today she continues her work as a Discipline Liaison in Adult and Higher Education (AHE) and a Professor in the doctoral program for Community College Leadership, Higher Education, and in the AHE Masters program. Russ-Eft shares how she “love[s] both research and teaching” and how she has “enjoyed the various research and evaluation projects that have been a part of [her] OSU position.” She emphasizes that she has especially “enjoyed teaching the various courses here; including Learning Theory at the masters level, Instructional Leadership at the doctoral level, Research Analysis and Interpretation at the doctoral level”, as well as her current courses.  In addition, “advising both masters thesis students and doctoral advisees have been a highlight” for her.

Along with her love for teaching and research, Russ-Eft says, “for fun [she and her] husband, who is a retired Division Counsel (lawyer) for the Army Corps of Engineers, love to travel, hike, bicycle, and cross cross-country ski, and sing in a choir.”

 

The counseling program at OSU has come a long way since the founder, Professor Frank H. Shepherd, taught the first counseling course during the Spring Semester of 1917. This year, Oregon State University’s College of Education’s Counseling program is proud to announce the celebration of its 100th anniversary.

Entering the 100th year of counseling, Cass Dykeman shares, that “the centennial is a chance for all of Oregon to celebrate the pivotal role the citizens of the State have played in the continuous development of this profession, [which is] so vital to the health of the nation.” Cass Dykeman, the Associate Professor in Counselor Education at OSU’s College of Education, has been a part of the program’s development since 1998.

After receiving a Master’s in Educational Psychology with a School Counseling concentration and a Doctorate in Counselor Education, Dykeman pursued his passion in the following years as a counselor educator, and as an elementary school and high school counselor in Washington. Although he loves his current job, he admits that he “miss[es] playing football with the kids at recess. You don’t get recess teaching doctoral students!”

Today, Dykeman continues his work as an Associate Professor in the program. His favorite part of the program is working with doctoral students on their dissertations because, “helping advanced students create new knowledge is a thrill” for him. He enjoys the manuscript style of the dissertations, because many of the doctoral students publish their efforts in peer-reviewed journals. Rebecca Bolante is one of Cass’ prior students who has produced two peer-reviewed journal articles from her dissertation about Threat Assessment. Dykeman has already served as a major professor for 24 PhD graduates, and says, “[his] goal is to hit 50 by the time [he] retire[s].”

Dykeman understands that pursuing a doctorate is an overall large investment; but finds the Counseling program unique because, it has offered “distance hybrid education since 1933” and is ranked third oldest for continuously operating counselor education program in the world. Dykeman adds that, the program is “high quality and [has] a proven track record.”