Dr. Gina Sanders, director of the M.Ed. in Counseling program at Stephens, has been named Counselor Advocate of the Year by the Mid-Missouri School Counselor Association.
She was honored at an appreciation luncheon last month and now is among 12 regional recipients to be considered for the state award.
The team of counseling faculty members at Stephens nominated Sanders, praising her for her tireless advocacy of the program.
“Under her leadership, our school counseling program at Stephens has flourished significantly,” Ann Landes, Carolyn Roof and Bragg Stanley wrote in the nomination letter.
Students also praise Sanders for her encouragement and accessibility.
“Dr. Sanders is a caring, thoughtful lady,” said Courtney Blankenship Perry, an M.Ed. in Counseling student. “She has gone above and beyond to make each student’s learning experience organized and worthwhile. ... Her overall nurturing, yet driven, personality made coming to class each evening enjoyable.”
Sanders said she is honored to be nominated, but said she feels as though she’s just doing her job.
“As the director of the M.Ed. in Counseling program, I feel it is my responsibility to understand the complexities and intricacies of each educational track we offer,” she said. “Therefore, I have put much time and effort into learning about school counseling and the Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program so I can best support our school counseling students and instructors.”
She praised the faculty, saying Landes, Roof and Stanley “are a joy to work with—it’s hard not to get excited about school counseling when I’m around them. Their enthusiasm for teaching and sharing the world of school counseling is infectious, and I am honored to have them as colleagues and as part of the Stephens team.”
She said she also appreciates the support given by Leslie Willey, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Sean Livengood-Clouse, DESE certification officer.
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