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Doctoral Student in Education Awarded Dissertation Grant

Amanda Healey, a doctoral student in counseling from Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education, has been awarded a $500 Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Excellence in Counseling Research Grant for expenses associated with conducting a research study on "Female Perspectives of Professional Identity and Success in the Counseling Field."

Healey began the research following her dissertation proposal defense in February and will complete data collection in the early fall. She is conducting the research as her primary dissertation study.

In a letter to Healey announcing her award, Donna M. Gibson, chair of the CSI Research Grants Committee and an educational studies faculty member at the University of South Carolina, said the committee was "impressed with [the proposal's] clear and comprehensive synopsis."

"Mandy has done exceptionally well competing on the national level and receiving this research grant," said Ted Remley, chair of ODU's Department of Counseling and Human Services. "As doctoral students are preparing their dissertation prospectus, they take a course that requires them to submit a proposal for external funding for their research projects. Mandy has brought honor and recognition to herself and to ODU."

Danica Hays, director of the graduate program in counseling, added, "As an active leader in the honor society and budding scholar in the counseling profession, Amanda is very deserving of this award. Her dissertation will be rigorous and comprehensive in every way. The design embodies the quality of scholarship of which both ODU and Chi Sigma Iota International will be proud for many years to come."

Healey, who has a master's from East Tennessee State University in counseling with a dual emphasis in marriage and family as well as community agency practice, is a licensed professional counselor through the state of Tennessee. She enrolled in the ODU doctoral program in 2007 and expects to receive her degree in counselor education and supervision in December.

"This study is a mixed methods endeavor involving counseling practitioners, doctoral students, and tenure track counselor educators," Healey said. "For the first stage of the study, I interviewed women in each of these three areas of the counseling profession concerning their perceptions of the field and the process by which they define their identity within the profession and their values related to success. I also asked them to talk about the role of women within the counseling field."

She added, "I completed these interviews with women throughout the U.S. and Canada this spring and am in the process of developing an inventory for professional identity based on their voices. It is my hope that this inventory can be used in human services and counseling programs to gauge the development of their students, their values and how they relate to the helping field, and their level of identification with the counseling philosophy."

The CSI award is the latest in a string of grants and awards Healey has won while at ODU, including the $1,600 Nancy Topping Bazin Women's Studies Scholarship, awarded through the university for 2008-09.

CSI will recognize Healey's research during the American Counseling Association Convention in Pittsburgh in March 2010.

Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International is the international honor society of professional counseling.

This article was posted on: July 15, 2009

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