Professor wins national award for advocacy work

AUGUSTA, GA. – Dr. Richard Deaner, professor of counselor education at Augusta University, has been selected to receive the 2017 American Counselor Association Counselor Educator Advocacy Award.

The ACA Counselor Educator Advocacy Award recognizes a counselor educator for work in fostering an awareness of and expertise in advocacy among counseling students.

“Advocacy is a foundation of the counseling profession, so the award is especially meaningful to me,” Deaner said.

Dr. Margaux Brown, professor of counselor education, nominated Deaner. She said that while her colleague is a great educator and mentor at Augusta University, his influence is strong nationwide.

“He has been seminal in the direction that ethics and rights and advocacy have taken in our profession. In fact, the writer of the professional ethics code referred to Dr. Deaner’s work when he talked about ethics at our national conference,” Brown said. “I feel like his service and advocacy are really under-celebrated.”

“This is a great personal honor, but I hope it also highlights the excellent quality of teaching, research and advocacy being accomplished by faculty in the College of Education and across Augusta University,” Deaner said. “We take seriously our responsibility to be advocates for our students, our community, and our professions.”

It’s an accolade that is well deserved, said his department chair, Dr. Michelle Bryan, who recalls that when she visited a class of his for peer observation, she became engrossed in the conversation and forgot she was supposed to be observing him.

“I started taking notes on techniques and strategies and trying to figure out how I could take them up in my own classroom,” Bryan said. “Anyone who has seem him teacher or who has enjoyed his teaching understands precisely why he has earned this award.”

“Dr. Deaner continues to show the impact of effective and engaging teaching,” said Dr. Zach Kelehear, Dean of the College of Education. “Advocacy for ethical practice is crucial when training young educators and counselors. And Dr. Deaner’s classes are full of students who clearly engage with him as a professor.”

That engagement is crucial to alumni success post-graduation, because the transition from classroom to practice can be overwhelming.

And because that transition from classroom to practice can be daunting, Deaner takes an active interest in each student’s experiences. “I believe strongly in creating service-learning opportunities where students can apply skills with real people in real settings,” he said. In addition to his award-winning teaching, Deaner is a researcher with numerous publications and presentations, and he is committed to diversity and student success.

Dr. Deaner has received multiple awards and honors for teaching excellence, including the University System of Georgia Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award (2016). He is a CACREP liaison and a member of the American Counseling Association Ethics Committee and has served as faculty advisor for the Chi Sigma Iota chapter since he began at Augusta University 10 years ago. In addition to his work for ACA, Dr. Deaner is a member of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and Chi Sigma Iota International Counseling Honor Society.

Deaner has been on the faculty at Augusta University since 2007. He holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia; an M.Ed. in counselor education from Lynchburg College; and a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of South Carolina.

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