Brandon Hunt Named Fellow of the American Counseling Association
by Sara LaJeunesse (April 2011)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Brandon Hunt, a professor of education at Penn State, has been named a Fellow of the American Counseling Association (ACA). The honor is reserved for ACA members who have made significant and unique contributions in professional practice, scientific achievement and governance, or teaching and training, and who have made important contributions to the counseling profession. Hunt was presented with the honor in March 2011 at the ACA’s annual conference in New Orleans, La.
“I believe in the profession of counseling and the important ways in which counselors contribute to our society, so it was great to be recognized for my contributions to the field,” said Hunt. “To me, being named a Fellow represents those colleagues, students, and clients whom I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years and who have helped me to make a contribution to the field. When I look at the award, I see their names etched on it right next to mine.”
Hunt’s research focuses on the professional identities and attitudes of counselors. In particular, she has conducted research on counselors’ attitudes toward working with people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and grief and loss. She also is beginning to study counselor’s feelings about working with people with mental illness.
An expert in her field, Hunt serves as the qualitative associate editor for the Journal of Counseling & Development, and she served on the journal’s editorial board from 1994-2008. She has published 38 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and she has given 32 presentations at national conferences.
As a teacher, Hunt said that she is fortunate to teach both undergraduate and graduate students. “I appreciate the students’ excitement about their respective fields and their enthusiasm about what they are learning,” she said. “I feel privileged to work with really amazing students who I know will go out and do great work with their clients.” Specifically, she teaches Introduction to Rehabilitation and Human Services, Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling, and Issues and Trends in Counselor Education and Supervision.
Hunt currently is the secretary for the board of directors for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), an independent not-for-profit credentialing body for counselors whose goal is to establish and monitor a national certification system, to identify those counselors who have voluntarily sought and obtained certification, and to maintain a register of those counselors. “This year I was fortunate to travel with the board to the Kingdom of Bhutan, a small country in South Asia, where we helped counselors there to further develop the profession in their country,” said Hunt. “It was an amazing experience to meet with professionals who have the same counseling values and beliefs as we do, and to help them implement the profession in ways that are culturally appropriate.”
In addition to her work with NBCC, Hunt served two terms on the board of directors of the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), which accredits counselor education programs in the United States. She also was a member of the board of directors of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association.
Hunt earned a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology at James Madison University in 1983. She earned a Master of Education degree and a Ph.D. degree in community agency counseling and counselor education from the University of Virginia in 1986 and 1992, respectively. From 1989 to 1990, she worked as a counselor for the University of Virginia in the Women’s Center and the Personal and Career Development Center. She then worked as an instructor in the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Virginia from 1990 to 1992. Hunt joined the faculty of the Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services at Penn State in 1992 as an assistant professor and was promoted first to associate professor in 1998 and then to professor in 2009.
Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Counseling Association is the world’s largest private, not-for-profit organization for professional counselors. Dedicated to promoting public confidence and trust in the counseling profession, the American Counseling Association provides leadership training, continuing education, and advocacy services for its more than 42,000 members. For more information on the American Counseling Association, visit http://www.counseling.org/.